nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2005‒09‒17
eight papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universitá degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. Institutions, Social Capital, and Economic Development in Africa: An Empirical Study. By Mina Baliamoune-Lutz
  2. Markets, Trust, and a Culture of Responsibility: Implications for a Family-Friendly Health Care Policy. By Frederic J. Fransen
  3. Education, Neighbourhood Effects and Growth: An Agent Based Model Approach By Tanya Araújo; Miguel St. Aubyn
  4. Religious Affiliation and Participation as Determinants of Women’s Educational Attainment and Wages By Evelyn Lehrer
  5. Strategic Experimentation in Networks By Yann Bramoulle; Rachel Kranton
  6. Stable Networks and Convex Payoffs By Sudipta Sarangi; Robert P. Gilles
  7. The Determinants of Economic Well-being:An Application in the Indian States By Sudip Ranjan Basu
  8. Correlating Growth with Well-Being during Economic Reforms Evidence from India and China By Sudip Ranjan Basu

  1. By: Mina Baliamoune-Lutz
    Abstract: Using 1975-2000 panel data, this paper examines the effects of institutions and social capital, in the form of generalized trust (proxied by contract-intensive money), on economic development in 39 African countries. The results indicate that there is a robust positive influence of social capital on income. In addition, the interaction between social capital and institutional quality, and the interaction of social capital with human capital also have a positive influence on economic development. On the other hand, institutions do not seem to have an independent effect (or may even have a negative impact) on income. Overall, the empirical results suggest that social capital and institutions in Africa may be complements rather than substitutes.
    Date: 2005–07
  2. By: Frederic J. Fransen
    Abstract: This paper explores the way in which a family-centered community should approach markets and market interactions and the role of markets in promoting a culture of responsibility. After making a case for the compatibility of markets and families, the paper then looks at one particular family-centered community, the Amish. The Amish are a useful example not only because of their success in creating self-reliant, family-centered communities, but also because they provide a focal point for theoretical attacks on strong, independent families and communities by those proposing alternative regimes. In particular, this paper looks at the attack against the Amish in the political theory of students of John Rawls and demonstrates the incompatibility of family-centered societies and Rawlsian ideas. It then draws parallels to the thought of Habermas and the case of Germany. The paper concludes by drawing some implications for a health care policy designed to nurture a family-centered culture of responsibility.
    Keywords: Hayek, Rawls, Amish, Markets, Trust, Responsibility
    Date: 2005–05
  3. By: Tanya Araújo; Miguel St. Aubyn
    Abstract: Endogenous, ideas-led, growth theory and agent based modelling with neighbourhood effects literature are crossed. In an economic overlapping generations framework, it is shown how social interactions and neighbourhood effects are of vital importance in the endogenous determination of the long run number of skilled workers and therefore of the growth prospects of an economy. Neighbourhood effects interact with the initial distribution of educated agents across space and play a key role in the long run stabilisation of the number of educated individuals. Our model implies a tendency towards segregation, with a possibly positive influence on growth, if team effects operate. The long run growth rate is also shown to depend on the rate of time preference. Initial circumstances are of vital importance for long run outcomes. A poor initial education endowment will imply a long run reduced number of skilled workers and a mediocre growth rate, so there no economic convergence tendency. On the contrary, poor societies will grow less, or will even fall into a poverty trap, and will diverge continuously from richer ones.
    Keywords: agent modelling; economic growth; education; human capital; neighbourhood effects; poverty trap.
    JEL: I20 J24 R12
  4. By: Evelyn Lehrer (University of Illinois at Chicago and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Using a human capital model, this paper develops hypotheses about how religious affiliation and participation during childhood influence years of schooling completed and subsequent performance in the labor market as measured by wages. The hypotheses are tested using data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth, a large-scale survey addressed to a representative sample of women in the United States. Religious affiliation is found to have a significant impact on years of schooling completed, with the effects being particularly pronounced for Jews and conservative Protestants. The impact of religious affiliation on wages largely mirrors its influence on educational attainment, although evidence of additional effects operating through other channels is also uncovered. In addition, the results show that youth who attend religious services frequently during childhood go on to complete more years of schooling than their less observant counterparts.
    Keywords: religion, education, wages
    JEL: J24 J31
    Date: 2005–07
  5. By: Yann Bramoulle; Rachel Kranton
    Date: 2005–09–09
  6. By: Sudipta Sarangi; Robert P. Gilles
    Abstract: Recently a variety of link-based stability concepts have emerged in the literature on game theoretic models of social network formation. We investigate two basic formation properties that establish equivalence between some well known types of stable networks and their natural extensions. These properties can be identified as convexity conditions on the network payoff structures.
  7. By: Sudip Ranjan Basu (Graduate Institute of International Studies HEI , Geneva)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the determinants of economic well-being. We provide a methodology to compute well-being by aggregating different socio-economic dimensions with factor analysis technique. We also estimate quality of good governance (using latent variable approach) and a financial decentralisation index. Panel data is employed to explore if better quality of institutional arrangements (of governance and more financial decentralisation) lead to better outcome in the economic well-being index. The evidence shows a strong positive link ( from using data of 16 major Indian states over four points of time (1970s to 1997-latest)).
    Keywords: Economic Well-being, Governance, Decentralisation, Panel data, India
    JEL: O1 C10 C23 R11
    Date: 2005–09–08
  8. By: Sudip Ranjan Basu (Graduate Institute of International Studies HEI , Geneva)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the hypothesis that economic growth is critical in inducing well-being during economic reforms. The regional (16 Indian states and 28 Chinese provinces) level study of India and China show that the quality of growth has been essential for well-being. We estimate level of economic well-being by aggregating different socio- economic indicators through multivariate statistical method of factor analysis. We estimate economic growth (per capita income, real) along with their well-being level for four different sub-periods since 1978/80-2001 for all regions. Our empirical results confirm that differential level of well-being across regions is correlated with the quality of growth.
    Keywords: Growth, Well-being, Economic Reforms, Multivariate statistical method, India, China
    JEL: O C R11
    Date: 2005–09–08

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