Individual Social Capital and Subjective Wellbeing: The Relational Goods

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the non-instrumental dimension of social capital and its effects on subjective well-being. In the first part, we define the characteristics of production and consumption of relational goods. The second section analyses the influence of the different expressions of relational goods and social capital on individual subjective well-being. In the third, we test the explanatory power of this variable on the Easterlin’s paradox using the results of a survey on individual social capital in Spain. The main findings from the empirical analysis for Spanish society allow us to strengthen the hypothesis. We found a weak explanatory capacity of income or educational level or instrumental dimensions of social capital (expert mobilization) while a strong link between expressions of relational goods (domestic mobilization, household stability, partnership, trust and security in the environment) was found.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    On this complexity and the conceptual problems see Pena and Sánchez-Santos (2006).

  2. 2.

    The survey was conducted by a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI system). The households were selected randomly from telephone listings with a selection of interviewees from random tables between members of each household. We opted for stratified sampling with mixed affixation: 1700 interviews by simple affixation to ensure a minimum of 100 interviews by region and 1700 interviews by proportional affixation to the size of each region. In each Community, there was a proportional distribution of the interviews according to the size of municipality. A weighting of the questionnaires was also made according to sex, age and the size of region.

  3. 3.

    This is especially important for logistic regression because the model should be fitted correctly, that is, neither over fitting nor under fitting should occur.

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Correspondence to José Manuel Sánchez-Santos.

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Pena-López, J.A., Sánchez-Santos, J.M. & Membiela-Pollán, M. Individual Social Capital and Subjective Wellbeing: The Relational Goods. J Happiness Stud 18, 881–901 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-016-9753-x

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Keywords

  • Individual social capital
  • Social capital
  • Relational goods
  • Easterlin’s paradox