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D’Hombres R., Rocco L., Shurcke M., Mckee M., (2010). Does social capital determine health? Evidence from eight transition countries. Health Economics 19, 56-74.

There is growing interest in the role of social relationships in explaining patterns of health. We contribute to this debate by investigating the impact of social capital on self-reported health for eight countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States. We rely on three indicators of social capital at the individual level (trust, participation in local organisations, social isolation) and employ alternative procedures to estimate consistently the impact of social capital on health. The three social capital indicators are choice variables and are hence, by definition, endogenously determined. We attempt to circumvent the endogeneity problems by using instrumental variable estimates. Our results show that the individual degree of trust is positively and significantly correlated with health, this being true with least squares estimators as well as when relying on instrumental variable estimators with (and without) community fixed effects. Similarly, social isolation is negatively and significantly associated with health, irrespective of the procedure of estimation. On the other hand, the effect of being a member of a Putnamesque organisation is more ambiguous and usually not significantly related to health.

Authors

d'Hombres, Beatrice

Since 2006, Beatrice d’Hombres has been working in the Econometrics and Applied Statistics Unit of the Joint  Research Centre of the European Commission. She is part of the Statistical Indicators for Policy Assessment Action. Beatrice d’Hombres is an economist with expertise in...

Rocco, Lorenzo

Address Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche “Marco Fanno” via del Santo, 33 – 35123 Padova. e-mail: lorenzo.rocco@unipd.it tel. +39 049 8274260 Research interests 1) Economics of Education 2) Health economics Current position Assistant Professor of Economics - Department of...

Suhrcke, Marc

Prior to joining UEA I have worked for more than 5 years as an economist with the WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development (Venice), where I was responsible for the research on the economics of health, and on social determinants and inequalities in health. Prior to WHO I have...

McKee, Martin

I qualified in medicine in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with subsequent training in internal medicine and public health. As Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine I co-direct the European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition (ECOHOST), a WHO...

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