Individual social capital and extreme poverty: When is it good or bad capital for women’s health?

David Lawson, Md Moslah Uddin

Research output: Working paper


Social capital is extremely important in determining the wellbeing, and particularly
health outcomes, of the poorest women in society. Yet the impact of different
types of social capital on health can vary significantly and according to different
situations. Despite this, relatively little is known about such effects and how
different types of individual social capital affect the health outcomes of the poorest
women. Using experimental data, we identify how social capital effects vary among
treatment and control groups in Bangladesh, capturing the effects of four different
social capital measures and investigating their impact on women’s health. The
findings of the study show a positive association between social capital and selfreported health among the treatment group but negative for those in the control
group. These results indicate that increased social capital is not always good for
the health outcomes of extremely poor women. The effect of social capital on
health outcomes may vary depending on the efforts required and the cost
implications associated with creating and maintaining social networks. Our
findings also highlight the fact that the quality of social capital, rather than the
quantity of it, is more important for creating better health outcomes among
women living in extreme poverty.
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Electronic) 978-1-912607-32-7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Social capital
  • health
  • extreme poverty
  • women
  • Bangladesh

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities


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