The Relationship between Stress and Social Capital among Police Officers

QUT Working/Discussion Paper No. 250

Posted: 13 Nov 2009

See all articles by Martin Gächter

Martin Gächter

University of Innsbruck - Department of Economics & Statistics; Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB), Foreign Research Division

David A. Savage

Queensland University of Technology; QuBE; CEDM

Benno Torgler

Queensland University of Technology; CREMA; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Date Written: September 2, 2009

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effectiveness of social capital in reducing the negative externalities associated with stress, as well as the physical and psychological indicators of stress among police officers. Despite the fact that there is a large multidisciplinary literature on stress or on social capital, the link between both factors is still underexplored. In this empirical paper we therefore aim at reducing such a shortcoming. We focus on a strategically important work environment, namely law enforcement agents, that is not only characterized as physically and emotionally demanding, but also as an essential part for a well-functioning society due to the fact that inefficiencies in the police force can induce large negative externalities. Using a multivariate regression analysis focusing on nine different proxies for stress and two proxies for social capital and conducting several robustness checks, we find strong evidence that an increased level of social capital is correlated with a lower level of stress. From a policy perspective, our findings suggest that stress reduction programs should actively engage employees to build stronger social networks.

Keywords: Social Capital, Trust, Stress, Police Officers

JEL Classification: I1, I310, J24, J81, Z130

Suggested Citation

Gächter, Martin and Savage, David A. and Torgler, Benno, The Relationship between Stress and Social Capital among Police Officers (September 2, 2009). QUT Working/Discussion Paper No. 250. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1498194 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1498194

Martin Gächter

University of Innsbruck - Department of Economics & Statistics ( email )

Universitaetsstrasse 15/4
Innsbruck, 6020
Austria
+43 512 507 7164 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uibk.ac.at

Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB), Foreign Research Division ( email )

Otto-Wagner-Platz 3
1090 Vienna
Austria

David A. Savage (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

GPO Box 2434
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

QuBE ( email )

2 George Street
GPO Box 2434
Brisbane, 4510
Australia

CEDM ( email )

Brisbane, 4001
Australia

Benno Torgler

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

GPO Box 2434
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

CREMA

Gellertstrasse 18
Basel
Zurich, CH 8006
Switzerland

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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