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Guriev, S., Melnikov, N. (2016). War, Inflation, and Social Capital. American Economic Review Papers & Proceedings 106(5): 230-35.

We use weekly data from 79 Russian regions to measure the impact of economic shocks and proximity to war in Ukraine on social capital in Russian regions. We proxy social capital by the relative intensity of internet searches for the most salient dimensions of pro-social behavior such as "donate blood", "charity", "adopt a child" etc. This measure of social capital is correlated with a survey-based measure of generalized social trust. Our search-based measure of social capital responds negatively to the spikes of inflation and positively to the intensity of the conflict in Ukraine (controlling for region and week fixed effects).


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