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E-participation: social capital and the Internet

Fabio Sabatini () and Francesco Sarracino

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: We add to the literature by conducting the first empirical assessment of how online networking affects two economically relevant aspects of social capital, i.e. trust and sociability, in a large and representative sample. We address endogeneity in online networking by exploiting technological characteristics of the pre-existing voice telecommunication infrastructures that exogenously determined the availability of broadband for high-speed Internet. We find that participation in SNSs such as Facebook and Twitter has a positive effect on face-to-face interactions. However, social trust decreases with online interactions. We argue that the rising practice of hate speech may play a crucial role in the destruction of trust.

Keywords: social participation; online networks; Facebook; social trust; social capital; broadband; digital divide; hate speech (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C36 D85 O33 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ict, nep-net and nep-soc
Date: 2014-05-04
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Working Paper: E-participation: Social Capital and the Internet (2014) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:55722

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