Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/107723
Authors: 
Sabatini, Fabio
Sarracino, Francesco
Year of Publication: 
2014
Series/Report no.: 
Nota di Lavoro, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 81.2014
Abstract: 
Studies in the social capital literature have documented two stylised facts: first, a decline in measures of social participation has occurred in many OECD countries. Second, and more recently, the success of social networking sites (SNSs) has resulted in a steep rise in online social participation. Our study adds to this body of research by conducting the first empirical assessment of how online networking affects two economically relevant aspects of social capital, i.e. trust and sociability. 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
Subjects: 
Social Participation
Online Networks
Facebook
Social Trust
Social Capital
Broadband
Digital Divide
Hate Speech
JEL: 
C36
D85
O33
Z1
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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