Article on social capital and health

I’ve published an article on the interrelation of social capital, social inequality and health in Germany using GSOEP data. It will appear in march in the pear reviewed journal „Das Gesundheitswesen„.


The concept of social capital has been intensively discussed in public health during the last years. But there is only little empirical evidence regarding its association with health in Germany up to now. We’re using data of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) out of 2003 to analyze the health utility of social capital. The results suggest a clear positive association among different forms of social capital (trust, norms of reciprocity, participation, social integration) and subjective health. Men and women who are poorly socially integrated regard their own health comparably often as limited. In contrast to them men and women who hold any form of social capital rate their own health status noticeable better. In multivariate analysis socio-economic differences in subjective health could be traced back partly to the stock of social capital. In addition to its health utility, social capital may therefore make a contribution to understand the emergence of social inequalities in health. All in all results suggest that the concept of social capital should be considered even more in public health. Due to the present lack of empirical evidence social capital has to be incorporated into more studies in Germany.


Social capital, social inequality, subjective health status, GSOEP


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