Elgar Companion to Social Capital and Health
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Elgar Companion to Social Capital and Health

Edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg

Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg present the cutting edge of research covering the ever-expanding social capital field. With excellent contributions from leading academics, the Elgar Companion to Social Capital and Health offers a developed examination of new research across sociology, epidemiology, economics, psychology, and political science.
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Chapter 10: Social capital and risk-taking behavior

Sherman Folland


This chapter presents a mathematical model of social capital in which one’s utility increases when there is a gain in social capital. Risk-taking behavior becomes less attractive when the person has “more to lose”. A graphical extension to the model adds money and resources so that the risk of loss affects the trade-off between money and the “bad”, which is now less desirable. The review of recent empirical evidence for cigarette smoking, illegal drugs and alcohol offers support to the results from this model.

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