Social Capital and the Spread of Covid-19: Insights from European Countries

56 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2020

See all articles by Alina K. Bartscher

Alina K. Bartscher

University of Bonn

Sebastian Seitz

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Michaela Slotwinski

Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Basel; ZEW Mannheim; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Sebastian Siegloch

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; University of Mannheim - Department of Economics; ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research - Corporate Taxation and Public Finance Research; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Nils Wehrhöfer

Deutsche Bundesbank

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

We explore the role of social capital in the spread of the recent Covid-19 pandemic in independent analyses for Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Exploiting within-country variation, we show that a one standard deviation increase in social capital leads to 12% and 32% fewer Covid-19 cases per capita accumulated from mid-March until mid-May. Using Italy as a case study, we find that high-social-capital areas exhibit lower excess mortality and a decline in mobility. Our results have important implications for the design of local containment policies in future waves of the pandemic.

JEL Classification: D040, A130, D910, H110, H120, I100, I180

Suggested Citation

Bartscher, Alina K. and Seitz, Sebastian and Slotwinski, Michaela and Siegloch, Sebastian and Siegloch, Sebastian and Wehrhöfer, Nils, Social Capital and the Spread of Covid-19: Insights from European Countries ( 2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8346, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3623681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3623681

Alina K. Bartscher (Contact Author)

University of Bonn ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Sebastian Seitz

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Michaela Slotwinski

Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Basel ( email )

ZEW Mannheim ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Sebastian Siegloch

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research - Corporate Taxation and Public Finance Research ( email )

United States

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Nils Wehrhöfer

Deutsche Bundesbank ( email )

Wilhelm-Epstein-Str. 14
Frankfurt/Main, 60431
Germany

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