Advertisement

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Social capital Subjective well-being Quantile regression 

JEL Classification

C21 I31 Z13 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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.

References

  1. Afandi, E., Kermani, M., & Mammadov, F. (2017). Social capital and entrepreneurial process. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal,13(3), 685–716.Google Scholar
  2. Andriani, L., & Christoforou, A. (2016). Social capital: A roadmap of theoretical and empirical contributions and limitations. Journal of Economic Issues,50(1), 4–22.Google Scholar
  3. Aslam, A., & Corrado, L. (2012). The geography of well-being. Journal of Economic Geography,12(3), 627–649.Google Scholar
  4. Bates, D., Mächler, M., Bolker, B., & Walker, S. (2014). Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. arXiv preprint arXiv:1406.5823.
  5. Bates, D., Maechler, M., Bolker, B. M., Walker, S., Christensen, R. H. B., Singmann, H., et al. (2015). Linear mixed-effects models using “Eigen” and S4, R package version 1.1-8.Google Scholar
  6. Becchetti, L., Pelloni, A., & Rossetti, F. (2008). Relational goods, sociability, and happiness. Kyklos,61(3), 343–363.Google Scholar
  7. Binder, M., & Coad, A. (2011). From Average Joe’s happiness to Miserable Jane and Cheerful John: Using quantile regressions to analyze the full subjective well-being distribution. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,79(3), 275–290.Google Scholar
  8. Binder, M., & Coad, A. (2015). Heterogeneity in the relationship between unemployment and subjective wellbeing: A quantile approach. Economica,82(328), 865–891.Google Scholar
  9. Binder, M., & Freytag, A. (2013). Volunteering, subjective well-being and public policy. Journal of Economic Psychology,34, 97–119.Google Scholar
  10. Bjørnskov, C. (2006). The multiple facets of social capital. European Journal of Political Economy, 22(1), 22–40.Google Scholar
  11. Bjørnskov, C. (2008). Social trust and fractionalization: A possible reinterpretation. European Sociological Review,24(3), 271–283.Google Scholar
  12. Bjørnskov, C. (2014). Do economic reforms alleviate subjective well-being losses of economic crises? Journal of Happiness Studies,15(1), 163–182.Google Scholar
  13. Bjørnskov, C., & Sønderskov, K. M. (2013). Is social capital a good concept? Social Indicators Research,114(3), 1225–1242.Google Scholar
  14. Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). Westport, CT: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  15. Bruni, L., & Stanca, L. (2008). Watching alone: Relational goods, television and happiness. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,65(3–4), 506–528.Google Scholar
  16. Clark, A. E., & Oswald, A. J. (1994). Unhappiness and unemployment. The Economic Journal,104(424), 648.Google Scholar
  17. Coleman, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human-capital. American Journal of Sociology,94, 95–120.Google Scholar
  18. De Neve, J. E., Christakis, N. A., Fowler, J. H., & Frey, B. S. (2012). Genes, economics, and happiness. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics,5(4), 193–211.Google Scholar
  19. Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2003). Personality, culture, and subjective well-being: Emotional and cognitive evaluations of life. Annual Review of Psychology,54(1), 403–425.Google Scholar
  20. Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Very happy people. Psychological Science,13(1), 81–84.Google Scholar
  21. Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 276.Google Scholar
  22. Digman, J. M. (1990). Personality structure: emergence of the five factor model. Annual Review of Psychology,41, 417–440.Google Scholar
  23. Dolan, P., Peasgood, T., & White, M. (2008). Do we really know what makes us happy? A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being. Journal of Economic Psychology,29(1), 94–122.Google Scholar
  24. Easterlin, R. (1974). Does economic growth improve the human lot? Some empirical evidence. Nations and Households in Economic Growth,89(2), 89–125.Google Scholar
  25. Easterlin, R. A. (2001). Income and happiness: Towards a unified theory. The Economic Journal,111(473), 465–484.Google Scholar
  26. ESS Round 7: European Social Survey Round 7 Data. (2014). NSD—Norwegian Centre for Research Data, Norway—Data Archive and distributor of ESS data for ESS ERIC.Google Scholar
  27. Fang, Z., & Sakellariou, C. (2016). Social insurance, income and subjective well-being of rural migrants in China—An application of unconditional quantile regression. Journal of Happiness Studies,17(4), 1635–1657.Google Scholar
  28. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., & Frijters, P. (2004). How important is methodology for the estimates of the determinants of happiness? Economic Journal,114(497), 641–659.Google Scholar
  29. Fine, B. (2010). Theories of social capital. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  30. Frey, B. S., & Stutzer, A. (2002). What can economists learn from happiness research? Journal of Economic Literature,40(2), 402–435.Google Scholar
  31. Geraci, M., & Bottai, M. (2014). Linear quantile mixed models. Statistics and Computing, 24(3), 461–479.Google Scholar
  32. Grootaert, C., & van Bastelaer, T. (2001). Understanding and measuring social capital: A synthesis of findings and recommendation from the social capital initiative. Word Bank Working Paper No. 24.Google Scholar
  33. Helliwell, J. F. (2006). Well-being, social capital, and public policy: What’s new? Economic Journal,116(510), 34–45.Google Scholar
  34. Helliwell, J. F., & Putnam, R. D. (2004). The social context of well-being. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,359(1449), 1435–1446.Google Scholar
  35. Hudson, J. (2006). Institutional trust and subjective well-being across the EU. Kyklos,59(1), 43–62.Google Scholar
  36. John, O. P., & Srivastava, S. (1999). The Big Five trait taxonomy: History, measurement, and theoretical perspectives. Handbook of personality: Theory and research (2nd ed., pp. 102–138). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  37. Khodyakov, D. (2007). Trust as a process: A three-dimensional approach. Sociology,41(1), 115–132.Google Scholar
  38. Klein, C. (2013). Social capital or social cohesion: What matters for subjective well-being. Social Indicators Research,110(3), 891–911.Google Scholar
  39. Koenker, R., & Bassett, G. (1978). Regression Quantiles. Econometrica,46(1), 33–50.Google Scholar
  40. Layard, R. (2005). Happiness: Lessons from a new science. London: Penguin Books. Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  41. Leifeld, P. (2013). texreg: Conversion of statistical model output in R to LATEX and HTML tables. Journal of Statistical Software,55(8), 1–24.Google Scholar
  42. Lykken, D., & Tellegen, A. (1996). Happiness is a stochastic phenomenon. Psychological Science,7(3), 186–189.Google Scholar
  43. Manisera, M., Van der Kooij, A. J., & Dusseldorp, E. (2010). Identifying the component structure of satisfaction scales by nonlinear principal components analysis. Quality Technology & Quantitative Management,7(2), 97–115.Google Scholar
  44. Neira, I., Bruna, F., Portela, M., & García-Aracil, A. (2018). Individual well-being, geographical heterogeneity and social capital. Journal of Happiness Studies,19(4), 1067–1090.Google Scholar
  45. OECD. (2001). The well-being of nations: The role of human and social capital. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  46. OECD. (2013). How’s life? 2013: Measuring well-being. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  47. Oorschot, W. van, & Arts, W. (2005). The social capital of european welfare states: The crowding out hypothesis revisited. Journal of European Social Policy, 15(1), 5–26.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0958928705049159.Google Scholar
  48. Pittau, M. G., Zelli, R., & Gelman, A. (2010). Economic disparities and life satisfaction in European regions. Social Indicators Research,96(2), 339–361.Google Scholar
  49. Portela, M., Neira, I., & Salinas-Jiménez, M. M. (2013). Social capital and subjective wellbeing in Europe: A new approach on social capital. Social Indicators Research,114(2), 493–511.Google Scholar
  50. Puntscher, S., Hauser, C., Walde, J., & Tappeiner, G. (2015). The impact of social capital on subjective well-being: A regional perspective. Journal of Happiness Studies,16(5), 1231–1246.Google Scholar
  51. Putnam, R. D., Feldstein, L., & Cohen, D. (2003). Better together: Restoring the american community. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  52. Putnam, R. D., Leonardi, R., & Nanetti, R. (1993). Making democracy work: Civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Rodríguez-Pose, A., & von Berlepsch, V. (2014). Social capital and individual happiness in Europe. Journal of Happiness Studies,15(2), 357–386.Google Scholar
  54. Rothstein, B., & Eek, D. (2001). The causal mechanism between trust in authorities and trust in others: An experimental approach. Research Proposal to the Swedish Science Council (ronéo).Google Scholar
  55. Sarracino, F. (2010). Social capital and subjective well-being trends: Comparing 11 western European countries. Journal of Socio-Economics,39(4), 482–517.Google Scholar
  56. Scrivens, K., & Smith, C. (2013). Four interpretations of social capital: An agenda for measurement. OECD Statistics Working Papers, 2013/06, 71.Google Scholar
  57. Stanca, L. (2010). The geography of economics and happiness: Spatial patterns in the effects of economic conditions on well-being. Social Indicators Research,99(1), 115–133.Google Scholar
  58. Stutzer, A., & Frey, B. S. (2006). Political participation and procedural utility: An empirical study. European Journal of Political Research,45(3), 391–418.Google Scholar
  59. Veenhoven, R. (1995). World database of happiness. Social Indicators Research,34(3), 299–313.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01078689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Weitz-Shapiro, R., & Winters, M. S. (2011). The link between voting and life satisfaction in Latin America. Latin American Politics and Society,53(4), 101–126.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations