Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Globalization and social networks

Fischer, Justina A.V. (2012): Globalization and social networks.

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Globalization is a universal phenomenon that not only makes domestic economies restructure, but also may impact other areas of local societies. This paper studies the effect of globalization on human relations, in particular on the formation of social networks, both bonding and bridging: I postulate that globalization induces labor market and workplace dynamics that would be destructive. Data come from the European and World Values Survey (1981-2008) on about 320’000 people’s values and attitudes, in this study spanning up to 22 years in about 80 countries, which have been matched with an index of economic globalization. In this pseudo micro panel I find robust evidence for a diminishing effect of globalization for bridging social networks with friends, but an enforcing one for bonding social networks among relatives. These results do not appear to be driven by a change in individuals’ preferences with respect to consuming and forming social ties. My findings are consistent with theories that claim growing physical distance and stronger reliance on family resources to lower the level of bridging social networks in society.

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