There is huge news in a just-published statistical analysis that found a negative relationship between the strength of a county’s social capital — including especially stable families — and coronavirus infections.
That’s a good thing! Correlation is NOT causation, but the data showed there is a distinct correlation between more of one and less of the other, according to Professor Christos Makridis, a non-resident fellow of Baylor University’s Institute for Family Studies (IFS).
Makridis, who is Assistant Research Professor at Arizona State University, a Digital Fellow at the MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy and a non-resident fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Cyber Security Initiative, conducted the analysis with York University’s Cathy Wu.
Here’s the summary statement of their findings:
“Our paper provides quantitative evidence that higher levels of social capital across counties are negatively correlated with infections and the average weekly growth in infections.
“Specifically, moving a county from the 25th to the 75th percentile of the distribution of social capital would lead to a 20% decline in the number of coronavirus infections, as well as a 0.28 percentage point decline in the growth rate of the virus (or nearly 20% of the median growth rate), even after controlling for demographics (e.g., population density).”