From GDP to Well-Being. Economics on the Road to Sustainability location:Ancona (I) date:3-5 December 2009
The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of individual and contextual factors on social capital, measured by participation in voluntary associations. In the last decades, social capital and civic participation have widely been studied by scholars from all areas in social sciences.
For this study, we use the new Social Cohesion Indicators in Flanders survey of 2009, which is a cross sectional face-to-face survey. A total of 2,080 persons aged 18-85 answered the questionnaire (response rate 54%). A multilevel logistic regression design with individuals at the first level and communities at the second level was conducted to examine the effect of individual and municipal determinants on active engagement in voluntary associations.
Furthermore, multilevel poisson regression models were performed to analyse the number of memberships in traditional voluntary associations. The variance between municipalities was significant. The results of this study suggest that voluntary participation, as a component of social capital, is also affected by the contextual factors at the community level, especially by the mean income and unemployment rate in a community.