EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Alone and Lonely. The economic cost of solitude for regions in Europe

Chiara Burlina and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose ()

No 2133, Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) from Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography

Abstract: Solitude is a rising phenomenon in the western world. The number of people affected by solitude has been rising for some time and the Covid-19 pandemic has brought this trend to the fore. Yet, we know next to nothing about the aggregate subnational economic consequences of the rise in solitude. In this paper we analyse the consequences of solitude on regional economic performance across Europe, distinguishing between two of its key dimensions: alone living, proxied by the regional share of the population in one-person households; and loneliness, proxied by the aggregate share of social interactions. We find that solitude has important implications for economic development, but that these go in different directions. While alone living is a substantial driver of economic growth across European regions, high shares of lonely people undermine it. The connection of loneliness with economic growth is, however, dependent on the frequency of in-person meetings, with large shares of the population meeting others on a weekly basis yielding the best economic returns.

Keywords: solitude; alone living; loneliness; growth; GDP per capita; regions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 P48 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-10, Revised 2021-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-geo, nep-gro, nep-soc and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg2133.pdf Version October 2021 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Alone and Lonely. The economic cost of solitude for regions in Europe (2021) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:egu:wpaper:2133

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) from Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ( this e-mail address is bad, please contact ).

 
Page updated 2022-10-01
Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:2133