Endogenous social capital and self-rated health : Cross-sectional data from rural areas of Madagascar

Endogenous social capital and self-rated health : Cross-sectional data from rural areas of Madagascar

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Sirven, Nicolas, 2006. « Endogenous social capital and self-rated health: Cross-sectional data from rural areas of Madagascar, » Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 1489-1502, September.

The aim of this study is to analyse the pathways between income and self-rated health through the mediating role of social capital. Taking up recent criticisms on statistical approaches to social capital, we propose to endogenize this concept as an outcome of households’ economic status and personal characteristics. In this way it becomes possible to analyse both the compositional effect of social capital and its mediating role in the income-health causal pattern. The originality of this work rests on the production of two kinds of variables of social capital: the probability a household gets involved in social activities according to its characteristics; and a residual variable of social capital that is not predicated by household characteristics. Based on cross-sectional data from five rural areas of Antsirabe (Madagsacar) in 2001, this work suggests that a high level of social capital–especially in collective actions and social networks–leads to better self-rated health.

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