Social capital and the spread of covid-19: Insights from european countries

Sebastian Seitz, Sebastian Siegloch, Alina Kristin Bartscher, Nils Wehrhöfer, Michaela Slotwinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the effect of social capital on health outcomes during the Covid-19 pandemic in independent analyses for Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. Exploiting detailed geographical variation within countries, we show that a one-standard-deviation increase in social capital leads to between 14% and 34% fewer Covid-19 cases per capita accumulated from mid-March until end of June 2020, as well as between 6% and 35% fewer excess deaths per capita. Our results highlight the positive health returns of strengthening social capital.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102531
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Collective action
  • Covid-19
  • Europe
  • Health costs
  • Social capital


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