Media and Social Capital
28 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2021 Last revised: 15 May 2022
Date Written: September 2021
We survey the empirical literature in economics on the impact of media technologies on social capital. Motivated by a simple model of information and collective action, we cover a range of different outcomes related to social capital, from social and political participation to interpersonal trust, in its benign and destructive manifestations. The impact of media technologies hinges on their content ("information" vs "entertainment"), their effectiveness in fostering coordination, and the networks they create, as well as individual characteristics and media consumption choices.
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