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Will Facebook save or destroy social capital? An empirical investigation into the effect of online interactions on trust and networks

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  • Fabio Sabatini

    ()

  • Francesco Sarracino

    ()

Abstract

Studies in the social capital literature have documented two stylised facts: first, a decline in measures of social participation has occurred in many OECD countries. Second, and more recently, the success of social networking sites (SNSs) has resulted in a steep rise in online social participation. Our study adds to this body of research by conducting the first empirical assessment of how online networking affects two economically relevant aspects of social capital, i.e. trust and sociability. 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. Several interpretations of these findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2013. "Will Facebook save or destroy social capital? An empirical investigation into the effect of online interactions on trust and networks," Department of Economics University of Siena 692, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:692
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    Cited by:

    1. Thierry Pénard & Alexandre Mayol, 2015. "Facebook use and individual well-being: Like me to make me happier!," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201506, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    2. Yamamura, Eiji & Sabatini, Fabio, 2014. "Superstars in politics: the role of the media in the koizumi regime," MPRA Paper 56178, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Sabatini, Fabio, 2014. "The relationship between happiness and health: Evidence from Italy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 178-187.
    4. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2014. "Online and offline social participation and social poverty traps. Can social networks save human relations?," MPRA Paper 55703, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino & Eiji Yamamura, 2014. "Social norms on rent seeking and preferences for redistribution," Econometica Working Papers wp55, Econometica.
    6. Eiji Yamamura & Fabio Sabatini, 2014. "Superstars in politics: the role of the media in the rise and success of Junichiro Koizumi," Papers 1407.1726, arXiv.org.
    7. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9808-z is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Online Networks and Subjective Well-Being," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 456-480, August.
    9. Efstratia Arampatzi & Martijn J. Burger & Natallia Novik, 2018. "Social Network Sites, Individual Social Capital and Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 99-122, January.
    10. Yamamura, Eiji & Sabatini, Fabio, 2015. "The impact of the media on voters’ attitude toward Junichiro Koizumi and his policy," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34, pages 24-32.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social participation; online networks; Facebook; Internet-mediated communication; social capital; broadband; digital divide;

    JEL classification:

    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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