nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2006‒04‒01
eight papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. Optimal Policy Towards Families with Di¤erent Amounts of Social Capital, in the Presence of Asymmetric Information and Stochastic Fertility By Alessandro Cigno; Annalisa Luporini
  2. Corporate social responsibility: domestic and international private equity institutional investment By Cumming,Douglas; Johan,Sofia
  3. Patterns of Discovery By Mauro Caminati; Serena Sordi; Arsenio Stabile
  4. Stability, specialization and social recognition By Gilles,Robert P.; Lazarova,Emiliya A.; Ruys,Pieter H.M.
  5. Classroom Peer Effects and Student Achievement By Mary A. Burke; Tim R. Sass
  6. A survey of economic theories and field evidence on pro-social behavior By Stephan Meier
  7. Trust and Universities: Management of Research and Education under Changing Knowledge Regimes By Sörlin, Sverker
  8. "Sick of Local Government Corruption? Vote Islamic" By J. Vernon Henderson; Ari Kuncoro

  1. By: Alessandro Cigno; Annalisa Luporini
    Abstract: We examine the effects of di¤erences in social capital on first and second best transfers to families with children, in an asym- metric information context where the number of births, and the future earning capacity of each child that is born, are random variables. The probability that a couple has children is con- ditional on the level of reproductive activity undertaken. The probability that a child will have high earning ability is positively conditioned not only by the level of educational investment un- dertaken by the child's parents, but also by the social capital of the latter. The optimal policy includes two transfers, one con- ditional on number of births, the other on the children's earning ability.
    Keywords: education, stochastic fertility, child benefits, pensions, scholarships, social capital, asymmetric information, multi-agency
    JEL: D13 D78 D82 H31 J13
    Date: 2006–01
  2. By: Cumming,Douglas; Johan,Sofia (TILEC (Tilburg Law and Economics Center))
    Abstract: This paper studies institutional investor allocations in socially responsible private equity. The data show that socially responsible investment (SRI) is more common among institutional investors with a greater international investment focus, and among institutions that place greater importance on the International Financial Reporting Standards. The data further indicate SRI is more common when the decision to implement such an investment plan is centralised with a single Chief Investment Officer, and less common among fund-of-fund investments
    Keywords: corporate social responsibility;international institutional investment; private equity
    JEL: G20 G30
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Mauro Caminati; Serena Sordi; Arsenio Stabile
    Abstract: From a given directed weighted network of knowledge links between technology fields, the paper develops a multisector dynamic model of incremental innovation and R&D activity in these fields. The model is focused on the equilibrium share distribution of these variables, which is proved to be locally stable, with reference to a simple low dimensional case. Simulation methods suggest that local, and also global, stability extend to any model dimension. It is also shown how different network structures map to different asymptotic share distributions. Using the NBER patents and patent citation data files, the analytical framework is then used to analyse some general features of the pattern of knowledge creation and transfer in the period 1975-1999. From a descriptive viewpoint, the changes in the share distribution of innovation activity predicted by the model match reasonably well the actual changes in the period
    Keywords: directed weighted network, knowledge spillovers, share distribution, incremental innovation and R&D dynamics, local stability, simulation, patents and patent citations
    JEL: O30 C61
    Date: 2006–02
  4. By: Gilles,Robert P.; Lazarova,Emiliya A.; Ruys,Pieter H.M. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Yang s theory of economic specialization under increasing returns to scale (Yang 2001) is a formal development of the fundamental Smith-Young theorem on the extent of the market and the social division of labor. In this theory specialization and, thus, the social division of labor is firmly embedded within a system of perfectly competitive markets. This leaves unresolved whether and how such development processes are possible in economies based on more primitive, nonmarket organizations. In this paper we introduce a general relational model of economic interaction. Within this non-market environment we discuss the emergence of economic specialization and ultimately of economic trade and a social division of labor. We base our approach on three stages in organizational development: the presence of a stable relational structure; the presence of relational trust and subjective specialization; and, finally, the emergence of objective specialization through the social recognition of subjectively defined economic roles
    Keywords: networks;stability;social division of labor;specialization
    JEL: C78 D85
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Mary A. Burke (Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston); Tim R. Sass (Department of Economics, Florida State University)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze a unique micro-level panel data set encompassing all publicschool students in grades 3-10 in the state of Florida for each of the years 1999/2000-2003/2004.We are able to directly link each student and teacher to a specific classroom and can thus identifyeach member of a student’s classroom peer group. The ability to track individual studentsthrough multiple classrooms over time and multiple classes for each teacher enables us to controlfor many sources of spurious peer effects such as fixed individual student characteristics andfixed teacher inputs, as well as to compare the strength of peer effects across different groupingsof peers, across grade levels, and to compare the effects of fixed versus time-varying peercharacteristics. We find mixed results on the importance of peers in the linear-in-means model,and resolve some of these apparent conflicts by considering non-linear specifications of peereffects. The results suggest that some grouping by ability may create Pareto improvements overuniformly mixed classrooms. In general we find that contemporaneous behavior wields strongerinfluence than peers’ fixed characteristics.
    Keywords: Peer Effects, Student Achievement
    JEL: I2 Z13
    Date: 2006–02
  6. By: Stephan Meier
    Abstract: In recent years, a large number of economic theories have evolved to explain people’s pro-social behavior and the variation in their respective behavior. This paper surveys economic theories on pro-social behavior and presents evidence — mainly from the field — testing these theories. In addition, the survey emphasizes that institutional environment might significantly interact with pro-social preferences and explain some of the variation in observed pro-social behavior.
    Keywords: Human behavior ; Interpersonal relations
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Sörlin, Sverker (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: More explicitly than before, universities have become instruments of industrial and economic growth policies. This has led to an increase in accountability regimes and in the application of the so called New Public Management on universities hitherto governed by a Humboldtian, Weberian, or Mertonian norms and a high degree of internal freedom and autonomy. This paper reviews some of the literature on these phenomena and analyzes critically some of the positions taken. It is concluded that while there is arguably a considerable change in governance going on in Western university systems, the change is far from altering the academic ethos. Still, it is argued, institutional norms should also be defended, which could be achieved through differentiation of higher education and among research performing institutions and organizations. An important virtue of the university remains to deliver social value precisely because it is an institution of credibility, criticism, and trust.
    Keywords: University Governance; University Management; Higher Education Policy; Higher Education; Research Policy; University Licensing.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2006–03–28
  8. By: J. Vernon Henderson; Ari Kuncoro
    Abstract: Indonesia has a tradition of corruption among local officials who harass and collect bribes from firms. Corruption flourished in the Suharto, pre-democracy era. This paper asks whether local democratization that occurred after Suharto reduced corruption and whether specific local politics, over and above the effects of local culture, affect corruption. We have a firm level data set for 2001 that benchmarks bribing activity and harassment at the time when Indonesia decentralized key responsibilities to local democratically elected governments. We have a second data set for 2004 on corruption at the end of the first democratic election cycle. We find that, overall, corruption declines between these time periods. But specific politics matter. Islamic parties in Indonesia are perceived as being anti-corruption. Our data show voting patterns reflect this belief and voters' perceptions have some degree of accuracy. In the first democratic election, localities that voted in legislatures dominated by secular parties, including Megawati's party, experienced significant relative increases in corruption, while the reverse was the case for those voting in Islamic parties. But in the second election in 2004, in those localities where corruption had increased under secular party rule, voters "threw the bums out of office" and voted in Islamic parties.
    JEL: H7 O1 P16 R5
    Date: 2006–03

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