Internet Use and Health. Exploring the Role of Social Capital

Nicoletta Balbo, Bocconi University
Valentina Rotondi, Bocconi University
Luca Stella, Bocconi University

This paper studies the effect of high-speed Internet on an individual's health, focusing on the role of social capital as a potential mechanism through which Internet access affects health. We find that individuals with DSL access are more likely to be in poor health compared to their counterparts without DSL Internet, to declare mental health problems, and to report higher levels of BMI. Our models suggest that social capital is indeed a key factor underlying the relationship between Internet use and health.

Presented in Session 109: Big Data and Data Analysis