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Social capital and access to primary health care in developing countries: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

Guillaume Hollard and Omar Sene ()

Journal of Health Economics, 2016, vol. 45, issue C, 1-11

Abstract: We test for a causal role of social capital, as measured by self-reported trust, in determining access to basic health facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa. To skirt the reverse-causality problems between social capital and basic health, we rely on instrumental-variable (IV) estimates. A one standard-deviation increase in trust is predicted to lead to a 0.22 standard-deviation fall in doctor absenteeism, a 0.31 standard-deviation fall in waiting time and a 0.30 standard-deviation fall in bribes. As a robustness check, we also use a different database regarding a different health issue, access to clean water. We find that a one standard-deviation rise in trust leads to a 0.33 standard-deviation rise in access to clean water. The variety of public goods considered provides insights about the possible channels through which social capital is converted into health improvements.

Keywords: Social capital; Health; Africa; Causality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D7 H4 I1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2015.10.004

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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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