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E-participation: social capital and the Internet

  • Sabatini, Fabio
  • Sarracino, Francesco

We add to the literature by conducting the first empirical assessment of how online networking affects two economically relevant aspects of social capital, i.e. trust and sociability, in a large and representative sample. We address endogeneity in online networking by exploiting technological characteristics of the pre-existing voice telecommunication infrastructures that exogenously determined the availability of broadband for high-speed Internet. We find that participation in SNSs such as Facebook and Twitter has a positive effect on face-to-face interactions. However, social trust decreases with online interactions. We argue that the rising practice of hate speech may play a crucial role in the destruction of trust.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 55722.

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Date of creation: 04 May 2014
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:55722
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  1. Yamamura, Eiji, 2010. "The role of social trust in reducing long-term truancy and forming human capital in Japan," MPRA Paper 26407, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2010. "The Solaria Syndrome: Social Capital in a Growing Hyper-technological Economy," MPRA Paper 21023, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  6. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "Surfing Alone? The Internet and Social Capital: Evidence from an Unforeseeable Technological Mistake," IZA Discussion Papers 5747, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Stolle, Dietlind & Hooghe, Marc, 2005. "Inaccurate, Exceptional, One-Sided or Irrelevant? The Debate about the Alleged Decline of Social Capital and Civic Engagement in Western Societies," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(01), pages 149-167, January.
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  12. Andrea Tesei, 2014. "Trust, Racial Fragmentation and Income Inequality: New Evidence from the U.S," CESifo Working Paper Series 4718, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2012. "See you on Facebook! A framework for analyzing the role of computer-mediated interaction in the evolution of social capital," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 541-547.
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  19. Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2014. "E-lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2238-65, July.
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  21. Robison, Lindon J. & Siles, Marcelo E. & Jin, Songqing, 2011. "Social capital and the distribution of household income in the United States: 1980, 1990, and 2000," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 538-547.
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  24. Angelo Antoci & Fabio Sabatini & Mauro Sodini, 2013. "Economic Growth, Technological Progress and Social Capital: The Inverted U Hypothesis," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 401-431, 07.
  25. Angelo Antoci & Fabio Sabatini & Mauro Sodini, 2014. "Bowling alone but tweeting together: the evolution of human interaction in the social networking era," Quality & Quantity- International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1911-1927, July.
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