An exploratory study of associations between social capital and self-assessed health in Norway
2007/9: Author: Iversen T, Health Economics Research Programme at the University of Oslo, and Institute of Health Management and Health Economics (PDF)
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.