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Online social networks and trust

Author

Listed:
  • Sabatini, Fabio
  • Sarracino, Francesco

Abstract

We explore how participation in social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook and Twitter affects the most economically relevant aspect of social capital, trust. We use measures of trust in strangers (or social trust), trust in neighbours and trust in the police. We address endogeneity in the use of SNS by exploiting the variation in the availability of broadband for high-speed Internet, which relates to technological characteristics of the pre-existing voice telecommunication infrastructures. We find that all the proxies of trust significantly decrease with participation in online networks. We discuss several interpretations of the results in light of the specific features of Internet-mediated social interaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2015. "Online social networks and trust," MPRA Paper 62506, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:62506
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2016. "Online Networks, Social Interaction and Segregation: An Evolutionary Approach," MPRA Paper 70122, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2015. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?," Papers 1507.08863, arXiv.org.
    3. McDool, Emily & Powell, Philip & Roberts, Jennifer & Taylor, Karl, 2016. "Social Media Use and Children's Wellbeing," IZA Discussion Papers 10412, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Angelo Antoci & Alexia Delfino & Fabio Paglieri & Fabio Sabatini, 2016. "The ecology of social interactions in online and offline environments," Papers 1601.07776, arXiv.org.
    5. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2016. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do Online Social Networks Raise Social Comparisons?," Working Papers 2016.32, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Online Networks and Subjective Well-Being," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 456-480, August.
    7. Antoci, Angelo & Delfino, Alexia & Paglieri, Fabio & Panebianco, Fabrizio & Sabatini, Fabio, 2016. "Civility vs. incivility in online social interactions: an evolutionary approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68800, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internet; broadband; online networks; social networking sites; Facebook; trust; social capital; hate speech;

    JEL classification:

    • D89 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Other
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • Z19 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Other

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