The Impact of the Internet on Social Capital
In this paper I explore the impact of the Internet on social capital. I measure social capital in two ways: membership in social groups and trust in the news. To reveal the causal relation between the Internet and social capital, I introduce the natural log of the distance between every individual and the nearest cellular tower as an instrumental variable. I find that the more types of devices a person owns, the more time she will spend on surfing the Internet. More online time leads to less social capital. The Internet has a more negative effect on males than on females.
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