nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2005‒12‒09
28 papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universitá degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. Surviving Andersonville: The Benefits of Social Networks in POW Camps By Dora L. Costa; Matthew E. Kahn
  2. Well-Being, Social Capital and Public Policy: What%u2019s New? By John Helliwell
  3. The Formation of Risk Sharing Networks By Marcel Fafchamps; Flore Gubert
  4. Trust and Reciprocity in Incentive Contracting By Mary Rigdon
  5. Who’s Who in Networks. Wanted: The Key Player By Ballester, Coralio; Calvó-Armengol, Antoni; Zenou, Yves
  6. Coordination in Networks Formation: Experimental Evidence on Learning and Salience By Matteo Galizzi; Michele Bernasconi
  7. Job Insecurity and Youth Emancipation: A Theoretical Approach By Becker, Sascha O.; Bentolila, Samuel; Fernandes, Ana; Ichino, Andrea
  8. Crime and Conformism By Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves
  9. Institutions, Institutional Change, Language, and Searle By Dolfsma, W.; McMaster, R.; Finch, J.
  10. Trust-Based Trade By Luis Araujo; Emanuel Ornelas
  11. Cooperation and Network Formation By Felipe Balmaceda
  12. Reflexivity in Teams: A Measure and Correlates By Schippers, M.; Hartog, D.N. den; Koopman, P.L.
  13. Racial Sorting and Neighborhood Quality By Patrick Bayer; Robert McMillan
  14. Insurer-Provider Networks in the Medical Care Market By Katherine Ho
  15. Income and Democracy By Acemoglu, Daron; Johnson, Simon; Robinson, James A; Yared, Pierre
  16. Oppositional Identities and the Labor Market By Harminder Battu; McDonald Mwale; Yves Zenou
  17. Segregation in Networks By Giorgio Fagiolo; Marco Valente; Nicolaas J. Vriend
  18. Who is Willing to Let Ethics Guide His Economic Decision-Making? Evidence from Individual Investments in Ethical Funds By Säve-Söderbergh, Jenny
  19. The relationship between altruism and equal sharing. Evidence from inter vivos transfer behavior By Elin Halvorsen and Thor O. Thoresen
  20. Policy Innovation in Local Jurisdictions: Testing the Neighborhood Influence Against the Free-Riding Hypothesis By Johannes Rincke
  21. Corruption Clubs: Endogenous Thresholds in Corruption and Development By M E Haque; R Kneller
  22. Developing Rotten Institutions By Kelly, Morgan
  23. Why ?They? never can be as good as ?Us?: How other organizations must be worse off on essential features By Rekom, J. van; Nierop, A.E. van
  24. Two Faces of the ICT Revolution: Desegregation and Minority-Majority Earnings Inequality By Martin Kahanec
  25. The Evolution of Cooperative Norms: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment By Bandiera, Oriana; Barankay, Iwan; Rasul, Imran
  26. The Sociology of Groups and the Economics of Incentives: Theory and Evidence on Compensation Systems By William E. Encinosa III; Martin Gaynor; James B. Rebitzer
  27. Rättspositivism och äganderätt By Berggren, Niclas
  28. Äganderättens tre grundläggande dimensioner By Karlson, Nils

  1. By: Dora L. Costa; Matthew E. Kahn
    Abstract: Twenty-seven percent of the Union Army prisoners captured July 1863 or later died in captivity. At Andersonville the death rate may have been as high as 40 percent. How did men survive such horrific conditions? Using two independent data sets we find that friends had a statistically significant positive effect on survival probabilities and that the closer the ties between friends as measured by such identifiers as ethnicity, kinship, and the same hometown the bigger the impact of friends on survival probabilities.
    JEL: I12 Z13
    Date: 2005–12
  2. By: John Helliwell
    Abstract: This paper summarizes recent empirical research on the determinants of subjective well-being. Results from national and international samples suggest that measures of social capital, including especially the corollary measures of specific and general trust, have substantial effects on well-being beyond those flowing through economic channels. Cross-national samples (supported by parallel analysis of suicide data) show large well-being effects from social capital and from the quality of government. Finally, Canadian life-satisfaction data show that several non-financial job characteristics, and especially the climate of workplace trust, have very large income-equivalent effects.
    JEL: I31 Z13 P52
    Date: 2005–12
  3. By: Marcel Fafchamps (Centre for the Studies of African Economies, University of Oxford); Flore Gubert (DIAL, IRD, Paris)
    Abstract: (English) This paper examines the endogenous formation of risk sharing networks in the rural Philippines. We show that geographic proximity is a major determinant of interpersonal relationships. We find little evidence that people form relationships to pool income risk. The existence of a pre-existing relationship between two individuals is a major determinant of subsequent gifts and informal loans between them, controlling for other proximity factors. From this we conclude that these transfers and informal loans are embedded in interpersonal relationships. These relationships are largely determined by proximity factors and are only weakly the result of purposeful diversification of income risk. There is, however, some evidence that the formation of risk sharing links is aimed at pooling health risk. The paper also makes a methodological contribution to the estimation of dyadic models. _________________________________ (français) Cet article examine la façon dont se forment les réseaux informels de partage des risques à partir de données collectées aux Philippines. Nous trouvons que les ménages enquêtés choisissent des partenaires potentiels d'entraide géographiquement proches d'eux mais non économiquement distants d'eux. Nous trouvons également que l'existence d'un lien ex ante est un déterminant important des dons et prêts informels observés entre ménages. Nous concluons de ces résultats empiriques que les transactions observées entre ménages s'inscrivent dans le cadre de relations de voisinage dont l'objectif premier n'est pas la diversification des risques de revenu. En revanche, un partage des risques liés à la santé semble être à l'oeuvre. L'article fait une contribution méthodologique à travers l'estimation de modèles dyadiques.
    Keywords: Network, risk-sharing, dyadic model, Philippines,réseau, partage du risque, modèle dyadique
    JEL: D85 O12 C49
    Date: 2005–11
  4. By: Mary Rigdon (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: Principals can attempt to get agents to perform certain actions preferable to the principal by using ex post}punishments and rewards to align incentives. Field data is mixed on whether, and to what extent, such informal incentive contracting (paradoxically) crowds out efficient solutions to the agency problem. This paper explores, via a novel set of laboratory experiments, the impact of ex post incentives on informal contracts between principals and agents in bargaining environments in which there are gains from exchange and when there is an opportunity for the principal to relay a no-cost demand of the division of those gains. Incentive contracting in these environments does not crowd-out off- equilibrium cooperation, and at high incentive levels cooperation is crowded in.
    Keywords: incentives, principal-agent, bargaining, trust, cooperation, punishment, reward
    JEL: C70 C91 D63 D81
    Date: 2005–11–30
  5. By: Ballester, Coralio; Calvó-Armengol, Antoni; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: Finite population non-cooperative games with linear-quadratic utilities, where each player decides how much action she exerts, can be interpreted as a network game with local payoff complementarities, together with a globally uniform payoff substitutability component and an own concavity effect. For these games, the Nash equilibrium action of each player is proportional to her Bonacich centrality in the network of local complementarities, thus establishing a bridge with the sociology literature on social networks. This Bonacich-Nash linkage implies that aggregate equilibrium increases with network size and density. We then analyze a policy that consists in targeting the key player, that is, the player who, once removed, leads to the optimal change in aggregate activity. We provide a geometric characterization of the key player identified with an inter-centrality measure, which takes into account both a player’s centrality and her contribution to the centrality of the others.
    Keywords: centrality measures; peer effects; policies; social networks
    JEL: A14 C72 L14
    Date: 2005–11
  6. By: Matteo Galizzi (Università di Brescia); Michele Bernasconi (Università dell’Insubria)
    Abstract: We present experiments on repeated non-cooperative network formation games, based on Bala and Goyal (2000). We treat the one-way and the two-ways flow models, each for high and low link costs. The models show both multiple equilibria and coordination problems. We conduct experiments under various conditions which control for salient labeling and learning dynamics. Contrary to previous experiments, we find that coordination on non-empty Strict Nash equilibria is not an easy task for subjects to achieve, even in the mono-directional model where the Strict Nash equilibria is a wheel. We find that salience significantly helps coordination, but only when subjects are pre-instructed to think of the wheel network as a reasonable way to play the networking game. Evidence on learning behavior provides support for subjects choosing strategies consistent with various learning rules, which include as the main ones Reinforcement and Fictitious Play.
    Keywords: Experiments, Networks, Behavioral game theory, Salience, Learning dynamics
    JEL: C92 C72 D83
    Date: 2005–09
  7. By: Becker, Sascha O.; Bentolila, Samuel; Fernandes, Ana; Ichino, Andrea
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose a theoretical model to study the effect of income insecurity of parents and offspring on the child's residential choice. Parents are partially altruistic toward their children and will provide financial help to an independent child when her income is low relative to the parents'. We show that first-order stochastic dominance (FOSD) shifts in the distribution of the child's future income (or her parents') will have ambiguous effects on the child’s residential choice. The analysis identifies altruism as the source of ambiguity in the results. If parents are selfish or the joint income distribution of parents and child places no mass on the region where transfers are provided, a FOSD shift in the distribution of the child’s (parents’) future income will reduce (raise) the child’s current income threshold for independence.
    Keywords: emancipation; job security; option value
    JEL: D1 J1 J2
    Date: 2005–11
  8. By: Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: We propose a simple conformism model that explains how parental education and peer pressure impact on criminal activities. We then test the model using the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (AddHealth), which contains unique information on friendship relationships among delinquent teenagers. We find that conformity is very strong within groups of delinquents and that the higher the taste for conformity of an individual, the lower the deviation from the norm's group. These results suggest that, for teenagers, the decision to commit crimes is not a simple choice based primarily on individual considerations but is strongly affected by their environment and peers.
    Keywords: conformism; juvenile crime; norms; parents' education
    JEL: A14 I21 K42
    Date: 2005–11
  9. By: Dolfsma, W.; McMaster, R.; Finch, J. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: This paper endeavours to contribute to the growing institutionalist literature on the conception of the institution. We draw from John Davis? (2003) analysis of the individual in posing the questions: what differentiates institutions, and how can changing institutions be identified through time and space? Our analysis develops Searle?s (2005) argument that language is the fundamental institution. Searle?s argument is rather functionalist, however, and does not convey the ambiguity of language. Moreover, language and understanding, surely when related to most institutions in real life, delineate and circumscribe a community. A community cannot function without a common language, as Searle argued, but language also constitutes a community?s boundaries, and excludes unsavoury outsiders or alien topics for discussion. This is how institutions both constrain and enable. By drawing upon Luhmann?s (1995) systems analysis and notions of discourse, communication, and text we aim to augment the existing analytical role ascribed to habit in institutional analysis. Thus, we submit, understanding institutional change and thus durability may progress.
    Keywords: Institutions;Institutional Change;Language;Discourse Re-Indentification;
    Date: 2005–11–29
  10. By: Luis Araujo (Michigan State University and Fucape); Emanuel Ornelas (University of Georgia and IBMEC Business School - Rio de Janeiro)
    Abstract: There is substantially more trade within national borders than across borders. An important explanation for this fact is the weak enforcement of international contracts. We develop a model in which agents build reputations to overcome this institutional failure. The model describes the interplay between institutional quality, reputations and the dynamics of international trade. It also rationalizes several empirical regularities. We find that history matters for trade volumes, but that its effects vary with the institutional setting of the country. The same is true for the efficacy of trade liberalization programs. Moreover, while stricter enforcement of contracts enhances trade in the short run, it makes it harder for individual traders to develop good reputations. We show that this indirect negative effect may produce an "institutional trap": for sufficiently low initial levels of contract enforcement, a small tightening in enforcement reduces future trade flows. We find also that search frictions aggravate the problems created by weak enforceability of contracts, even if they impose no direct cost on agents, but that trade liberalization can mitigate these negative effects.
    Keywords: International trade, Export dynamics, Contract enforcement, Reputation
    JEL: F10 F23 D83 L14
    Date: 2005–11–30
  11. By: Felipe Balmaceda
    Abstract: The present paper proposes a simple model for studying the interplay between self-enforcing cooperation and network formation. In particular, the model provides an answer to the ancient question of how cooperative behavior emerges in different communities and how the possibility of behaving cooperatively shapes the social structure of a community. In a sense, I provide an explanation of how trust, by which I mean the existence of self-sustainable cooperation, can emerge in a society and how the society is shaped by third-party enforcement.
    Date: 2005
  12. By: Schippers, M.; Hartog, D.N. den; Koopman, P.L. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Reflexivity -the extent to which teams reflect upon and modify their functioning- has been identified as a possible key factor in the effectiveness of work teams. The aim of the present study was to develop a questionnaire to measure (aspects of) reflexivity, with a focus on team reflection. The questionnaire was tested in two different samples, namely a first sample of 59 teams from fourteen different organizations (Study 1) and a confirmation sample of 59 school management teams (Study 2). In both samples, two factors of reflection were identified. These were labeled evaluation/learning and discussing processes/principles. Scale statistics showed good psychometric properties for the scales in both studies. We conclude that the scales form a parsimonious and valid instrument to assess reflexivity in teams.
    Keywords: Teams;Reflexivity;Team Learning;Questionnaire;
    Date: 2005–11–29
  13. By: Patrick Bayer; Robert McMillan
    Abstract: In cities throughout the United States, blacks tend to live in significantly poorer and lower-amenity neighborhoods than whites. An obvious first-order explanation for this is that an individual’’s race is strongly correlated with socioeconomic status (SES), and poorer households can only afford lower quality neighborhoods. This paper conjectures that another explanation may be as important. The limited supply of high-SES black neighborhoods in most U.S. metropolitan areas means that neighborhood race and neighborhood quality are explicitly bundled together. In the presence of any form of segregating preferences, this bundling raises the implicit price of neighborhood amenities for blacks relative to whites, prompting our conjecture -- that racial differences in the consumption of neighborhood amenities are significantly exacerbated by sorting on the basis of race, given the small numbers of blacks and especially high-SES blacks in many cities. To provide evidence on this conjecture, we estimate an equilibrium sorting model with detailed restricted Census microdata and use it to carry out informative counterfactual simulations. Results from these indicate that racial sorting explains a substantial portion of the gap between whites and blacks in the consumption of a wide range of neighborhood amenities -- in fact, as much as underlying socioeconomic differences across race. We also show that the adverse effects of racial sorting for blacks are fundamentally related to the small proportion of blacks in the U.S. metropolitan population. These results emphasize the significant role of racial sorting in the inter-generational persistence of racial differences in education, income, and wealth.
    JEL: H0 J7 R0 R2
    Date: 2005–12
  14. By: Katherine Ho
    Abstract: Managed care health insurers in the US restrict their enrollees' choice of hospitals to specific networks. This paper investigates the causes and welfare effects of the observed hospital networks. A simple profit maximization model explains roughly 63 per cent of the observed contracts between insurers and hospitals. I estimate a model that includes an additional effect: hospitals that do not need to contract with all insurance plans to secure demand (for example, providers that are capacity constrained under a limited or selective network) may demand high prices that not all insurers are willing to pay. Hospitals can merge to form "systems" which may also affect bargaining between hospitals and insurance plans. The analysis estimates the expected division of profits between insurance plans and different types of hospitals using data on insurers' choices of network. Hospitals in systems are found to capture markups of approximately 19 per cent of revenues, in contrast to non-system, non-capacity constrained providers, whose markups are assumed to be about zero. System members also impose high penalties on plans that exclude their partners. Providers that are expected to be capacity constrained capture markups of about 14 per cent of revenues. I show that these high markups imply an incentive for hospitals to under-invest in capacity despite a median benefit to consumers of over $330,000 per new bed per year.
    JEL: I0
    Date: 2005–12
  15. By: Acemoglu, Daron; Johnson, Simon; Robinson, James A; Yared, Pierre
    Abstract: We revisit one of the central empirical findings of the political economy literature that higher income per capita causes democracy. Existing studies establish a strong cross-country correlation between income and democracy, but do not typically control for factors that simultaneously affect both variables. We show that controlling for such factors by including country fixed effects removes the statistical association between income per capita and various measures of democracy. We also present instrumental-variables estimates using two different strategies. These estimates also show no causal effect of income on democracy. Furthermore, we reconcile the positive cross-country correlation between income and democracy with the absence of a causal effect of income on democracy by showing that the long-run evolution of income and democracy is related to historical factors. Consistent with this, the positive correlation between income and democracy disappears, even without fixed effects, when we control for the historical determinants of economic and political development in a sample of former European colonies.
    Keywords: democracy; economic growth; institutions; political development
    JEL: O10 P16
    Date: 2005–10
  16. By: Harminder Battu (University of Aberdeen); McDonald Mwale (University of Aberdeen); Yves Zenou (IUI, GAINS and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: We develop a model in which non-white individuals are defined with respect to their social environment (family, friends, neighbors) and their attachments to their culture of origin (religion, language), and in which jobs are mainly found through social networks. We find that, depending on how strong peer pressures are, nonwhites choose to adopt "oppositional" identities since some individuals may identify with the dominant culture and others may reject that culture, even if it implies adverse labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: ethnic minorities, identity, social networks, white’s norm, multiple equilibria
    JEL: A14 J15
    Date: 2005–11
  17. By: Giorgio Fagiolo (University of Verona, and Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa); Marco Valente (University of L’Aquila); Nicolaas J. Vriend (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: Schelling (1969, 1971, 1971, 1978) considered a simple model with individual agents who only care about the types of people living in their own local neighborhood. The spatial structure was represented by a one- or two-dimensional lattice. Schelling showed that an integrated society will generally unravel into a rather segregated one even though no individual agent strictly prefers this. We make a first step to generalize the spatial proximity model to a proximity model of segregation. That is, we examine models with individual agents who interact 'locally' in a range of network structures with topological properties that are different from those of regular lattices. Assuming mild preferences about with whom they interact, we study best-response dynamics in random and regular non-directed graphs as well as in small-world and scale-free networks. Our main result is that the system attains levels of segregation that are in line with those reached in the lattice-based spatial proximity model. In other words, mild proximity preferences can explain segregation not just in regular spatial networks but also in more general social networks. Furthermore, segregation levels do not dramatically vary across different network structures. That is, Schelling's original results seem to be robust also to the structural properties of the network.
    Keywords: Spatial proximity model, Social segregation, Schelling, Proximity preferences, Social networks, Undirected graphs, Best-response dynamics
    JEL: C72 C73 D62
    Date: 2005–11
  18. By: Säve-Söderbergh, Jenny (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Recent economics literature has devoted attention towards motives beyond the typical selfish norm for economic decision-making. Yet, it still remains a puzzle who allows such considerations to govern their behavior. This paper contributes by empirically identifying some features which differentiate individuals who choose to bear the cost of ethically guided economic decision-making from others. Using unique Swedish data on individual pension portfolio choices, we find that education, the choice of an occupation that is committed to taking care of others, actively joining a group working for a common cause, clearly predict the choice of an ethical screen for individual investments.In contrast to previous findings on altruism, income, financial wealth and age do not govern the decision. The results therefore suggest that investing ethically is typically a choice of principles.
    Keywords: Socially Responsible Investing; Altruism; Individual Financial Investments; Individual Decision-Making; Ethics and Norms
    JEL: A13 C24 D80 Z13
    Date: 2005–11–24
  19. By: Elin Halvorsen and Thor O. Thoresen (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Several studies reject the implications of the altruism model. In this study it is argued that parents who transfer resources to their children both are altruistic and influenced by an equal division fairness norm. Under such motives, the degree of income compensation should be stronger in one-child families and we expect the altruism motive to dominate the fairness norm when income differences between siblings are large. The results suggest that equal divisions are intentional and weighted against altruistic motives.
    Keywords: inter vivos gifts; altruism; equal sharing; compensatory transfer
    JEL: D19 D64 H21
    Date: 2005–11
  20. By: Johannes Rincke (Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung)
    Abstract: Before making di±cult decisions, individuals tend to collect information on decision makers in reference groups. With respect to policy innovations in a decentralized public sector, this may give rise to positive neighborhood influence on adoption decisions. On the other hand, due to learning externalities, an incentive exists to free-ride on policy experiments of others. In this paper, U.S. data on school district policies are used to show that with respect to policy experiments, decision makers indeed are heavily affected by decision makers in reference groups. The results suggest that if a given district's neighbors' expected benefits from adopting a new policy increase, this substantially increases the original district's probability of adoption. The paper thus rejects the free-riding hypothesis and supports the view that in federal systems the discusion of policy innovations is stimulated by horizontal interactions between jurisdictions.
    JEL: D6 D7 H
    Date: 2005–11–23
  21. By: M E Haque; R Kneller
    Abstract: The relationship between corruption and economic development is characterised by three stylised facts: (i) a strong negative correlation between corruption and development (ii) countries can remain trapped in high corruption-low development or low corruption-high development equilibria (iii) amongst intermediate levels of development corruption levels are more variable, some countries have high corruption and others low corruption. This paper argues that existing models are consistent with the first two only and demonstrates how these models might be extended to capture all three. The paper searches for the location of corruption clubs within the data and provides some explanation of their cause.
    Date: 2005
  22. By: Kelly, Morgan
    Abstract: This paper models corruption as optimal parasitism in organizations where teams of agents are weakly restrained by principals. Each agent takes on part of the role of principal, choosing how much to invest in policing to repress corruption in others and how rapaciously to act when unpoliced opportunities arise. This simple model can incorporate many factors stressed in empirical analyses of corruption, and gives rise to a wide variety of equilibria. Allowing income to co-evolve with corruption, we show how adding corruption to a textbook exogenous growth model leads to a Lucas paradox. When income and corruption affect each other sufficiently strongly, economies converge to two corner equilibria despite diminishing returns to capital: a rich, clean corner and a poor, corrupt one; a pattern that appears to characterize international data.
    Keywords: corruption; growth
    JEL: O17 O40
    Date: 2005–10
  23. By: Rekom, J. van; Nierop, A.E. van (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Being different from competitors, in a positive sense, is an important asset to organizations. Well-chosen emphasis on distinctive organizational features is very helpful in achieving a superior position relative to rival organizations. However, organizations often claim to be distinctive on features where they appear be at best only moderately distinctive. Systematic bias seems to arise because what members see as distinctive about their organization is so closely interwoven with how they see its identity. In this study, organization members rated competitors systematically lower on a feature to the extent that they considered that feature to make up the essence of the identity of their own organization. The results point to a serious tendency to underestimate comparable competitors as a consequence of the social comparison heuristics. Managerially, this implies an important caution when designing corporate strategy and positioning.
    Keywords: Social Comparison;Organizational Identity;Distinctiveness;Essence;
    Date: 2005–11–29
  24. By: Martin Kahanec (IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Social interaction is the primary vehicle through which advancement of information and communication technologies (ICT) affects socio-economic outcomes. In the context of minority-majority relations, social distances and segregation determine the benefits individuals gain from social interaction and from improvement of its efficiency. In the general equilibrium framework, this paper argues that ICT advancement disproportionately increases the efficiency of social interaction in ethnically integrated social networks and that of majority individuals, thereby causing desegregation and increasing interethnic earnings inequality at the same time. The argument thus explains the concurrence of two seemingly contradicting developments in the lives of Black and White Americans since the late 1970s - rising interethnic earnings inequality and desegregation of Blacks. Furthermore, I establish that there is a threshold level of ICT below which all minority individuals prefer segregated neighborhoods and above which some minority individuals choose to integrate, thereby reaping the efficiency benefits of social interaction with the larger society. I interpret the reversal of the segregation trend that occurred in the late 1970s as a consequence of advancement of ICT beyond this threshold level. Finally, I suggest an explanation of why typically no desegregation occurred in extraordinarily segregated areas and in the case of recent immigrants.
    Keywords: segregation, earnings inequality, minority, social interaction, ICT revolution, migration
    JEL: J15 J71 O15 O33
    Date: 2005–12
  25. By: Bandiera, Oriana; Barankay, Iwan; Rasul, Imran
    Abstract: We document the establishment and evolution of a cooperative norm among workers using evidence from a natural field experiment on a leading UK farm. Workers are paid according to a relative incentive scheme under which increasing individual effort raises a worker's own pay but imposes a negative externality on the pay of all co-workers, thus creating a rationale for cooperation. As a counterfactual, we analyse worker behaviour when workers are paid piece rates and thus have no incentive to cooperate. We find that workers cooperate more as their exposure to the relative incentive scheme increases. We also find that individual and group exposure are substitutes, namely workers who work alongside colleagues with higher exposure cooperate more. Shocks to the workforce in the form of new worker arrivals disrupt cooperation in the short term but are then quickly integrated into the norm. Individual exposure, group exposure, and the arrival of new workers have no effect on productivity when workers and paid piece rates and there is no incentive to cooperate.
    Keywords: cooperation; group exercise; individual exposure
    JEL: C93 M52
    Date: 2005–11
  26. By: William E. Encinosa III (Agency for Health Care Research and Quality); Martin Gaynor (Carnegie Mellon University, NBER and Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation); James B. Rebitzer (Case Western Reserve University, NBER, Levy Institute and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: When working together, people engage in non-contractual and informal interactions that constitute the sociology of the group. We use behavioral models and a unique survey of medical groups to analyze how group sociology influences physician incentive pay and behavior. We conclude that informal interactions among group members influence pay practices and behaviors, but the relationship is complex. No single aspect of group sociology is entirely consistent with all the patterns in the data. Factors emphasized in the economic theory of agency, notably risk aversion, also shape pay policies but these factors cannot account for all the observed empirical relationships.
    Keywords: incentives, social norms, physicians
    JEL: D21 J40 J41
    Date: 2005–11
  27. By: Berggren, Niclas (Ratio)
    Abstract: Uppsatsen behandlar påståendet att rättspositivismen, en av Uppsalaskolans centrala läror, ligger bakom en urholkad äganderätt och, rent allmänt, ett svagt rättighetsskydd, en underminering av marknadsekonomin, höga skatter och en expansion av staten. Denna slutsats är inte självklar. För det första är rättspositivismen förenlig med ett stöd för en stark äganderätt. För det andra analyseras här det kausala samband som kan förväntas mellan rättspositivism och inställningen till äganderätten. Analysen ger vid handen att ett negativt samband kan föreligga, antingen på grund av rena missuppfattningar om vad rättspositivismen innebär eller på grund av att rättspositivismen kan underminera idéer som utgör grund för en stark äganderätt. En viktig slutsats är dock att rättspositivismens effekter härvidlag kan påverkas, dels med sakupplysning om att rättspositivismen är förenlig med en stark äganderätt och dels med fakta om äganderättens konsekvenser. Denna typ av försök till påverkan bedöms mer fruktbar för äganderättens vänner än angrepp på Uppsalaskolan.
    Keywords: äganderätt; rättspositivism; konstitutionalism; Uppsalaskolan
    JEL: K11 O17 P14
    Date: 2005–11–23
  28. By: Karlson, Nils (Ratio)
    Abstract: Uppsatsen analyserar äganderättsbegreppet och definierar äganderätt som ett knippe av rättigheter där de viktigaste ingående rättigheterna är följande: användarfrihet – rätt att fritt nyttja och besluta över egendomen efter eget gottfinnande, inklusive rätt till den avkastning som egendomen genererar; avtalsfrihet – rätt att fritt överföra rättigheter, helt eller delvis, exempelvis genom köp eller hyra; samt rätt till säkerhet – rätt till skydd mot stöld, intrång, skadegörelse, konfiskation, etc. Dessutom diskuteras äganderättens viktigaste konsekvenser, nämligen marknadsekonomin och den ekonomiska utveckling som denna åstadkommer, samt följderna av att begränsa äganderätten.
    Keywords: äganderätt; avtalsfrihet; användarfrihet; Coase
    JEL: K11 O17 P14
    Date: 2005–11–23

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