The Variety of Influence of Social Capital on Health in Welfare State Regimes
Recently, studies in sociology, political science, economics, and social epidemiology have addressed the relationship between social capital and health. Large number of studies have found that social capital improve health.
However, the influence of social capital on health may differ in welfare state regimes, because there is a possibility that absence of state support is compensated by social capital. Therefore, we need research to identify the differences in the importance and meaning of social capital in welfare state regimes. This study examines whether the influence of formal and informal social capital on health varies among welfare state regimes through international comparative analysis of a multilevel model.
Using data from the 2007 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), we analyze the individual-level data which have been linked with national-level data. And we use the random slope model to examine differences in the influence of formal and informal social capital on health among different regime types. Dependent variable is self-rated health, and independent variables as social capital are civic participation, generalized trust, informal social contact with family and friends.
The analysis produced two main results. (1) Informal contact with family has a stronger positive effect in the familialistic regime. (2) Informal contact with friends has a stronger positive effect in the post-socialist regime. These results demonstrate that there are the differences of the importance and meaning of social capital in welfare state regimes. Therefore, we need further research to clarify the differences of the mechanisms by which social capital compensates for the lack of welfare.