Soc Sci Med 263 (-) 113386 [2020-10-00; online 2020-10-03]
Comment This study investigates associations between central aspects of social capital (social trust, group affiliations, civic engagement, confidence in state institutions), income inequality (Gini index for income), and COVID-19 mortality in 84 countries included in different time waves of the World Values Survey (WVS) (Elgar et al., 2020). Comments: First, infectious diseases are either patterned according to socioeconomic status (SES), determined by e.g. habitus, nutrition and crowded housing or clustering, or not according to SES. Second, the focus on economic inequality measured as income inequality (Gini index) should be complemented with measures of wealth inequality (Gini index for wealth), following the globalization process with tax exempted multinational companies. Third, the aspects of social capital were measured in different time waves of the World Values Survey (WVS) for different countries, which is a weakness because trust and other aspects of social capital vary over time and depend on specific events and social and economic trends.