Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

HERO Online Working Paper Series,
University of Oslo, Health Economics Research Programme

No 2007:9: An exploratory study of associations between social capital and selfassessed health in Norway

Tor Iversen ()
Additional contact information
Tor Iversen: Institute of Health Management and Health Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 1089 Blindern, NO-0317 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: The objective of this study is to estimate associations between social capital and health when other factors are controlled for. Data from the survey of level-of-living conditions by Statistics Norway are merged with data from several other sources. The merged files combine data at the individual level with data that describe indicators of community-level social capital related to each person’s county of residence. Both cross-sectional and panel data are used. We find that one indicator of community-level social capital — voting participation in local elections — was positively associated with self-assessed health in the cross-sectional study and in the panel data study. While we find that religious activity at the community-level has a positive effect in the cross-sectional survey and a non-significant effect in the panel survey, we find that sports organizations have a negative effect on health in the cross-sectional survey and a non-significant effect in the panel study. This result indicates that sports organizations represent bonding social capital.

Keywords: social capital; health; Norway

JEL-codes: I19

21 pages, June 3, 2009

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