Skip to content

Research Paper IZA Discussion Papers 11855

Broadband Internet and social capital

Authors

Publication date

Sep 2018

Summary

We study how the diffusion of broadband Internet affects social capital using two data sets from the UK. Our empirical strategy exploits the fact that broadband access has long depended on customers’ position in the voice telecommunication infrastructure that was designed in the 1930s. The actual speed of an Internet connection, in fact, rapidly decays with the distance of the dwelling from the specific node of the network serving its area. Merging unique information about the topology of the voice network with geocoded longitudinal data about individual social capital, we show that access to broadband Internet caused a significant decline in forms of offline interaction and civic engagement. Overall, our results suggest that broadband penetration substantially crowded out several aspects of social capital.

Subjects

Information And Communication Technologies, Geography, Social Change, Social Capital, Arts, and Social Behaviour

Links

http://ftp.iza.org/dp11855.pdf


Related publications

  1. Broadband access reduced UK cinema visits and civic engagement

    Andrea Geraci, Mattia Nardotto, Tommaso Reggiani, et al.

#525314


Research home

Research home

News

Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author

Podcasts

Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society

Projects

Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs

Events

Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report

Themes

Key research themes and areas of interest