The Missing Link: Are Individuals with More Social Capital in Better Health? Evidence from India

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Alpaslan B., Yıldırım Öcal J.

SOCIAL INDICATORS RESEARCH, vol.150, no.3, pp.811-834, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 150 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11205-020-02343-6
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, FRANCIS, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, ABI/INFORM, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Communication & Mass Media Index, EBSCO Education Source, EconLit, Geobase, Index Islamicus, Philosopher's Index, Political Science Complete, Psycinfo, Public Administration Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.811-834
  • Keywords: Social and human capital, Self-reported health, India, Conditional mixed-process model, SELF-RATED HEALTH, CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, ADULT MORTALITY, EDUCATION, COMMUNITY, GROWTH, NETWORKS, SMOKING, DISEASE, DEMAND
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


This paper extends a two-period overlapping generations model of endogenous growth in which associations between human capital, social capital, and health outcomes are critically examined for a low income country, India. If individuals with higher levels of human capital can build strong social ties and have more robust social networks, they are then less likely to have health problems and are therefore physically healthier. In an attempt to test the so-called relationship between the variables in question, a unique dataset, where micro-level data from the world values survey and regional-level macro data from the central statistics office of India were both utilised, was accessed. A three-equation model has been then estimated using the conditional mixed-process method in order to address endogeneity issues explicitly. Our estimation results provide important insights into the theoretical thesis in several ways. Firstly, human capital has a favourable impact on social capital, which in turn enhances self-reported health. Secondly, we provide a comparison of three main experiments: an increase in the share of public spending by region on education, social capital-enhancing activities, and health. The results confirm the positive effect of an increase in each form of government spending on outcome variables. Thirdly, the correlation coefficient between disturbances of these three equations turns out to be statistically significant, suggesting that there are unobserved factors, which can affect self-reported health, social capital and human capital variables.