• English
  • Italiano
Bauernschuster, S., Falck, O., Woessmann, L. (2011). Surfing Alone? The Internet and Social Capital: Evidence from an Unforeseeable Technological Mistake. SOEP WP 392

Does the Internet undermine social capital or facilitate inter-personal and civic engagement in the real world? Merging unique telecommunication data with geo-coded German individuallevel data, we investigate how broadband Internet affects several dimensions of social capital. One identification strategy uses panel information to estimate value-added models. A second exploits a quasi-experiment in East Germany created by a mistaken technology choice of the state-owned telecommunication provider in the 1990s that still hinders broadband Internet access for many households. We find no evidence that the Internet reduces social capital. For some measures including children’s social activities, we even find significant positive effects.


Bauernschuster, Stefan

Stefan Bauernschuster is researcher at the IFO Institute of the University of Munich.

Falck, Oliver

Oliver Falck is is researcher at the IFO Institute of the University of Munich.

Wößmann, Ludger

Head of Department Human Capital and Innovation Ifo Institute for Economic Research Human Capital and Innovation Poschingerstraße 5 81679 München Phone: +49(0)89/9224-1699 Fax: +49(0)89/907795-1699 Website: http://www.cesifo-group.de/woessmann-l Professor of Economics, esp....

Attached content

Upcoming events

No events in the list.