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Broadband Internet and Social Capital

Andrea Geraci, Mattia Nardotto, Tommaso Reggiani () and Fabio Sabatini ()

No E2021/32, Cardiff Economics Working Papers from Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section

Abstract: 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 userÕs line from the networkÕs 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.

Keywords: ICT; broadband infrastructure; networks; Internet; social capital; civic capital. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 L82 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 50 pages
Date: 2021-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-ict, nep-reg, nep-soc, nep-tid and nep-ure
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Related works:
Journal Article: Broadband Internet and social capital (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: Broadband Internet and Social Capital (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Broadband Internet and Social Capital (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Broadband Internet and Social Capital (2018) Downloads
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