Social Indicators Research

, Volume 134, Issue 1, pp 153–166 | Cite as

The Effect of Social Capital on Health Among European Older Adults: An Instrumental Variable Approach

  • Maria Felice Arezzo
  • Cristina Giudici


One of the key policy question for an ageing population is the identifications of the factors which influence health. Very recently, an increasing interest on social capital has developed and, surprisingly, not much is known for the European population. This study analyzes the effect of structural social capital on health (measured as self-perceived health) of the individuals aged 60 or more residing in European countries. The sample comes from the fourth wave of the survey on health and retirement in Europe. We use an instrumental variables approach in order to account for the reverse causality between social capital and health. We found that structural social capital exerts a positive effect preventing people to suffer of a poor self-perceived effect. Results are robust to different estimation methods.


Health Older adults Social capital Instrumental variables Successful ageing 



This paper uses data from SHARE Wave 4. The SHARE data collection has been primarily funded by the European Commission through the FP5 (QLK6-CT-2001-00360), FP6 (SHARE-I3: RII-CT-2006-062193, COMPARE: CIT5-CT-2005-028857, SHARELIFE: CIT4-CT-2006-028812) and FP7 (SHARE-PREP: N211909, SHARE-LEAP: N227822, SHARE M4: N261982). Additional funding from the German Ministry of Education and Research, the U.S. National Institute on Aging (U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, R21 AG025169, Y1-AG-4553-01, IAG BSR06-11, OGHA 04-064) and from various national funding sources is gratefully acknowledged (see


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Methods and Models for Economics, Territory and Finance (MEMOTEF)Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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