The concept of social capital has attracted much attention from researchers and policy makers, largely due to links with positive social outcomes and philanthropic acts such as volunteering and donations. However, a rapid growth in Internet technologies and social media networks has fundamentally affected the formation of social capital, as well as the way in which it potentially associates with prosocial behaviors. This study uses unique data from a survey of online volunteers to explore the interrelationships between social capital and a mix of self-reported and observed philanthropic activities in both online and offline settings. Our results show that while social capital levels associate strongly with offline donations, there are key differences in the relationships between social capital and volunteering in online and offline settings. Using two-stage least squares (2SLS) regression analysis to control for endogeneity, we also infer a number of causal relationships between social capital and philanthropy.
- Social Capital