Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 2551–2579 | Cite as

Social Capital Dimensions and Subjective Well-Being: A Quantile Approach

  • Isabel NeiraEmail author
  • Maricruz Lacalle-Calderon
  • Marta Portela
  • Manuel Perez-Trujillo
Research Paper


This paper investigates the effects of different dimensions of social capital (i.e., trust, social network and norms of civic engagement) on subjective well-being (SWB) at the individual level by attending to differences between the extremes of SWB distribution, that is, between the happiest and the unhappiest people. To this end, we use the 7th wave of the 2014 European Social Survey to run a quantile regression analysis to investigate whether any of these dimensions of social capital has a heterogeneous effect on the full distribution of well-being. We also perform a factor analysis to summarize the principal components of these three dimensions. Our results show that each dimension of social capital has a positive and significant correlation with SWB, but the different dimensions have a heterogeneous effect on the different quantiles of the well-being distribution. All of these dimensions of social capital have a stronger effect on the SWB of the least happy people in society than on the happiest.


Social capital Subjective well-being Quantile regression 

JEL Classification

C21 I31 Z13 



We would like to thank the Editor of this journal, Dr. David Bartram, and two anonymous referees, for their valuable suggestions and helpful comments, which have greatly enhanced the quality of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Quantitative Economics Department, Faculty of Economics and BusinessUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Economic Development Department, School of Economics and BussinessUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Finance and Accounting Department, Faculty of Economics and BusinessUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  4. 4.Departamento de EconomíaUniversidad Católica del NorteAntofagastaChile

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