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Differences of the effects of social capital on health status among residents: evidence from modern Japan.

Yamamura, Eiji (2009): Differences of the effects of social capital on health status among residents: evidence from modern Japan.

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Abstract

This paper aims to explore how social capital is related to self-rated health status in Japan and how this relationship depends on the extent to which a person is embedded into community. The study used data from 3 079 adult participants in the 2000 Social Policy and Social Consciousness (SPSC) survey. Controlling for unobserved city size- and area-specific fixed effects, I find through Ordered Probit estimation that social capital has a significantly positive effect on health status for long-time but not for short-time residents. Results also suggested that the experience of divorce is negatively associated with health status for long- time but not short-time residents. People can enjoy a social network that can be regarded as a kind of social capital if they are a member of a network; nevertheless, people appear to be negatively influenced if they are excluded from a network. Such positive and negative effects of social capital are more obvious when people are more deeply integrated into a community. An empirical study provided evidence that social capital and socio-economic effects on health status are significantly influenced by the extent to which respondents are integrated into a community.

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