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Broadband internet and social capital

Geraci, Andrea, Nardotto, Mattia, Reggiani, Tommaso ORCID: and Sabatini, Fabio 2022. Broadband internet and social capital. Journal of Public Economics 206 , 104578. 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2021.104578

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We study the impact of broadband penetration on social capital in the UK. Our empirical strategy exploits a technological feature of the telecommunication infrastructure that generated substantial variation in the quality of Internet access across households. The speed of a domestic connection rapidly decays with the distance of a user’s line from the network’s node serving the area. Merging information on the topology of the network with geocoded longitudinal data about individual social capital from 1997 to 2017, we show that access to fast Internet caused a significant decline in civic and political engagement. Overall, our results suggest that broadband penetration crowded out several dimensions of social capital.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0047-2727
Funders: MUNI/G/0985/2017
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 January 2022
Date of Acceptance: 8 December 2021
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2024 11:24

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