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From social capital to health - and back

  • L. Rocco;
  • F. Elena;
  • M. Suhrcke;

We assess the causal relationship between health and social capital, measured by generalized trust, both at the individual and the community level. The paper contributes to the literature in two ways: it tackles the problems of endogeneity and reverse causation between social capital and health by estimating a simultaneous equation model, and it explicitly accounts for mis-reporting in self reported trust. The relationship is tested using data from the first four waves of the European Social Survey for 26 European countries, supplemented by regional data from the Eurostat. Our estimates show that a causal and positive relationship between selfperceived health and social capital does exist and that it acts in both directions. In addition, the magnitude of the structural coefficients suggests that individual social capital is a strong determinant of health, while community level social capital plays a considerably smaller role in determining health.

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Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 11/21.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:11/21
Contact details of provider: Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
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  16. Fujisawa, Yoshikazu & Hamano, Tsuyoshi & Takegawa, Shogo, 2009. "Social capital and perceived health in Japan: An ecological and multilevel analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 500-505, August.
  17. Nicolas Sirven & Thierry Debrand, 2011. "Social Capital and Health of Older Europeans," Working Papers DT40, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Feb 2011.
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