nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2006‒05‒06
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. Participation in Environmental Organizations: Political Interest and State Capacity By Benno Torgler; Maria A. Garcia-Valiñas
  2. Environmental Morale and Motivation By Bruno S. Frey; Alois Stutzer
  3. Cooperation and Reciprocity: a Theoretical Approach By Marcello Basili; Maurizio Franzini
  4. Network Size and Network Capture By Gerard Llobet; Michael Manove
  5. On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict By Caselli, Francesco; Coleman II, Wilbur John
  6. Tax Morale and Conditional Cooperation By Bruno S. Frey; Benno Torgler
  7. School and Residential Ethnic Segregation:An Analysis of Variations across England’s Local Education Authorities By Ron Johnston; Deborah Wilson; Simon Burgess; Richard Harris
  8. Blood and Ink! The Common-Interest-GameBetween Terrorists and the Media By Bruno S. Frey; Dominik Rohner
  9. Child Labor and Resistance to Change. By G. Bellettini; C. Berti Ceroni; G. Ottaviano

  1. By: Benno Torgler; Maria A. Garcia-Valiñas
    Abstract: The literature on volunteering has strongly increased in the last few years. However, there is still a lack of substantial empirical evidence about the determinants of environmental participation. This empirical study analyses a cross-section of individuals using micro-data of the World Values Survey wave III (1995-1997), covering 38 countries, to investigate this question. The results suggest that not only socio-demographic and socio-economic factors have an impact on individuals’ active participation in environmental organizations, but also political attitudes. Furthermore, we observe regional differences. Interestingly, there is the tendency that environmental participation is a stronger channel for action in developing countries, where weak and dysfunctional states lead people to pursue their goals through non-governmental sector activities. We also find that a higher level of perceived corruption leads to a stronger participation in environmental organizations, which shows that individuals take action when they perceive that the government is corrupt.
    Keywords: Environment; Environmental Participation; International Perspective; Political Interest; Social Capital
    JEL: Q26 R22 Z13 I21
    Date: 2006–04
  2. By: Bruno S. Frey; Alois Stutzer
    Abstract: This chapter discusses the role of environmental morale and environmental motivation in individual behavior from the point of view of economics and psychology. It deals with the fundamental public good problem, and presents empirical (laboratory and field) evidence on how the cooperation problem can be overcome. Four different theoretical approaches are distinguished according to how individuals’ underlying environmental motivation is modeled. Specifically, we look at the interaction between environmental policy and environmental morale through the lens of cognitive evaluation theory (also known as crowding theory).
    Keywords: environmental morale; environmental policy; motivation crowding; pro-social preferences; public good problem
    JEL: D64 H41 Q50 Z13
    Date: 2006–04
  3. By: Marcello Basili; Maurizio Franzini
    Abstract: Cooperation among genetically unrelated agents occurs in many situations where economic theory would not expect it. A too narrow conception of self-interest is widely considered the culprit. In particular, relying on experimental evidence in plenty, we consider strong reciprocity rules of behaviour, according to which it is worth bearing the cost of punishing those who defect, and we give analytical foundation to such behaviour – and more generally to cooperation-proneness. The basic idea is that most agents may include self-esteem in their utility function and actually produce or destroy self-esteem through their effective behaviour. The latter amounts to introducing a moral system in individual behaviour in such a way to make it amenable to rational maximization. We also show how the presence of cooperation-prone agents may impact on the best contract in Principal-Agents situations by altering the convenience of gift giving and trust.
    Keywords: agency, altruism, self-interest, punishment, reciprocity
    JEL: J41 D64
    Date: 2005–11
  4. By: Gerard Llobet (CEMFI); Michael Manove (Boston University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Most types of networks, over time, spawn the creation of complementary stocks that enhance network value. Computer operating systems, for example, induce the development of the comple- mentary stock of software applications that increase the value of the operating system. In this paper, we challenge the conventional wisdom that a large network, which induces the creation of large complementary stocks, serves as a barrier to entry that protects the incumbent from competi- tion or network capture. We show that a larger network may either deter or attract entry depending on the relation between the network quality and the cost of an innovator?s network product. The probability of entry also depends on the level of compatibility between the potential entrant?s technology and existing complementary stocks, which in turn is in?uenced by the strength of the intellectual-property-rights environment. Intellectual property rights and the associated threat of entry may a¤ect an incumbent?s choice of network size in counterintuitive ways.
    JEL: L41 O34
    Date: 2002–12
  5. By: Caselli, Francesco; Coleman II, Wilbur John
    Abstract: We present a theory of ethnic conflict in which coalitions formed along ethnic lines compete for the economy's resources. The role of ethnicity is to enforce coalition membership: in ethnically homogeneous societies members of the losing coalition can defect to the winners at low cost, and this rules out conflict as an equilibrium outcome. We derive a number of implications of the model relating social, political, and economic indicators such as the incidence of conflict, the distance among ethnic groups, group sizes, income inequality, and expropriable resources.
    Keywords: ethnic distance; exploitation
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2006–04
  6. By: Bruno S. Frey; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Why so many people pay their taxes, although fines and audit probability are low, has become a central question in the tax compliance literature. A homo economicus, with a more refined motivation structure, helps us to shed light on this puzzle. This paper provides empirical evidence for the relevance of conditional cooperation, using survey data from 30 West and East European countries. We find a high correlation between perceived tax evasion and tax morale. The results remain robust after exploiting endogeneity and conducting several robustness tests. We also observe a strong positive correlation between institutional quality and tax morale.
    Keywords: tax morale; tax compliance; tax evasion; pro-social behavior; institutions
    JEL: H26 H73 D64
    Date: 2006–04
  7. By: Ron Johnston; Deborah Wilson; Simon Burgess; Richard Harris
    Abstract: Schools are central to the goals of a multi-cultural society, but their ability to act as arenas within which meaningful inter-cultural interactions take place depends on the degree to which students from various cultural backgrounds meet there. Using recently-released data on the ethnic composition of both schools and small residential areas, this paper explores not only the extent of ethnic segregation in England’s schools but also whether that segregation is greater than the underpinning segregation in the country’s residential areas. The results show greater segregation in schools – considerably so for primary schools and more so for some ethnic groups relative to others – than in neighbourhoods, patterns which have considerable implications for educational policy.
    Keywords: ethnic segregation, neighbourhoods, schools
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2006–04
  8. By: Bruno S. Frey; Dominik Rohner
    Abstract: It has often been pointed out in the literature that a symbiotic relationship exists between terrorist groups and the media. As yet, however, no formal model has been built based on this issue and only very little empirical research has been done in this field. The present contribution builds a simple game theoretic model, focussing on the social interactions between terrorists and the media. The model has features of a common-interest-game and results in multiple equilibria. After a discussion of the policy implications of the model, an empirical analysis is performed. Using newspaper coverage, terror incidents and terror fatalities data, it is shown that media attention and terrorism do mutually Granger cause each other, as predicted by the model. Moreover, it is explained why terror attacks tend to be “bloodier” in developing countries than in Europe and the United States.
    Keywords: Terrorism, media, common-interest-game, coordination, conflict
    JEL: C72 D74 H52 H77 J22
    Date: 2006–04
  9. By: G. Bellettini; C. Berti Ceroni; G. Ottaviano

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