Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Impact of Social Isolation on Subjective Health: An Instrumental Variable Approach

Version 1 : Received: 25 February 2018 / Approved: 26 February 2018 / Online: 26 February 2018 (11:32:20 CET)

How to cite: Sironi, E.; Wolff, A.N. The Impact of Social Isolation on Subjective Health: An Instrumental Variable Approach. Preprints 2018, 2018020164 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201802.0164.v1). Sironi, E.; Wolff, A.N. The Impact of Social Isolation on Subjective Health: An Instrumental Variable Approach. Preprints 2018, 2018020164 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201802.0164.v1).

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between social isolation and subjective health, considering that this relationship is potentially affected by endogeneity due to the presence of self-reported measures. Thus, if an increase in social isolation may impact the perception on health, alternative paths of causality may also be hypothesized. Using data from round 7 of the European Social Survey, we estimate an instrumental variable model in which isolation is explained as being a member of an ethnic minority and having experienced some serious family conflicts in the past. Our results confirm that changes in social isolation influence subjective general health. In particular, greater isolation produces a strong and significant deterioration of the perceived health status. With respect to the literature on social isolation and health, we try to advance it by supporting a path of causality running from social isolation to subjective health.

Subject Areas

social isolation; subjective health; instrumental variables

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