The role of social capital in subjective quality of life

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This paper investigates the role of social capital (SC) in subjective quality of life to address the limitations of existing observable indicators as evidence for public policy. We use a large-scale survey of 100,956 respondents across 37 countries, including both developed and less developed countries. The empirical results suggest that higher SC is more strongly associated with better subjective health and higher satisfaction in low-income countries than in high-income countries. Moreover, while low-income countries show a lower level of perceived economic inequality at the community level with higher SC, high-income countries present a higher level. We further find that higher levels of educational attainment increase the perception of economic inequality and that this impact decreases with SC. Enhancing SC may lead to improved quality of life in most low-income countries, and lifestyle and cultural factors also play a crucial role. These findings indicate that noneconomic factors underpin better lives, and further research is needed to address the social aspects of life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Economics,Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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