DP14866 Social capital and the spread of Covid-19: Insights from European countries
|Author(s):||Alina Bartscher, Sebastian Seitz, Sebastian Siegloch, Michaela Slotwinski, Nils Wehrhöfer|
|Publication Date:||June 2020|
|Keyword(s):||collective action, COVID-19, Europe, health costs, social capital|
|JEL(s):||A13, D04, D91, H11, H12, I10, I18|
|Programme Areas:||Labour Economics, Public Economics|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14866|
We explore the role of social capital in the spread of the recent Covid-19 pandemic in independent analyses for Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Exploiting within-country variation, we show that a one standard deviation increase in social capital leads to 12% and 32% fewer Covid-19 cases per capita accumulated from mid-March until mid-May. Using Italy as a case study, we find that high-social-capital areas exhibit lower excess mortality and a decline in mobility. Our results have important implications for the design of local containment policies in future waves of the pandemic.