Vincenzo Alfano, Salvatore Ercolano

Bonding and Bridging Social Capital and Lockdown. An Analysis of the Italian Regions

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Social Capital; Lockdown; COVID-19; Social Behaviours.

The recent lockdown in Italy, aimed to slow down the COVID-19 pandemic, is also an interesting opportunity to measure the population’s compliance with this policy. The different efficacy of lockdown is also due to the different characteristics of the population of the Italian regions. One of the most interesting discontinuities that may play a role in this respect, is the one related to social capital. A long academic discussion has seen this concept to be operationalized in different ways, since the original Putnam proposal. Today, the mainstream literature distinguishes two main kinds of social capital: bridging social capital, that connects people among them and to institutions, raising the trust, and bonding social capital, which instead investigates the links between families and makes people skeptical towards people not belonging to the family. In this article, we analyze the impact of the two different kinds of social capital on the effectiveness of lockdown, under the hypotheses that both may help, through a different mechanism, to favor the efficacy of the policy. The results of quantitative analysis through F-GLS estimator show that bridging social capital is related to worse performances of lockdown; on the other hand, bonding social capital is stronger in the Italian regions that performed better under lockdown. Unlike what the literature suggests on the topic, our results seem to rehabilitate the role of this ‘familistic’ declination of the social capital, highlighting at least a positive role in directing individual behaviours toward greater respect of the policy if the family unit becomes a direct recipient.

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