nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2006‒07‒02
fourteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. Trust in International Organizations: An Empirical Investigation Focusing on the United Nations By Benno Torgler
  2. A Naturalistic Approach to the Theory of the Firm: The Role of Cooperation and Cultural Evolution By C. Cordes; P. J. Richerson; R. McElreath; P. Strimling
  3. An Analysis and Monetary Valuation of Formal and Informal Voluntary Work by Gender and Educational Attainment By Muriel Egerton; Killian Mullan
  4. Networks and Firm Location By José Pedro Pontes
  5. The missing lens in family firm governance theory: a self-other typology of parental altruism By Durand, Rodolphe; Lubatkin, Michael H.
  6. Deception and Misreporting in a Social Program By César Martinelli; Susan W. Parker
  7. The Evolution of Citizenship: Economic and Institutional Determinants By Graziella Bertocchi; Chiara Strozzi
  8. Institutional Change and Economic Transition: Market-Enhancing Governance, Chinese-Style By Joachim Ahrens; Philipp Mengeringhaus
  9. The effects of Fair Trade on marginalised producers: an impact analysis on Kenyan farmers By Leonardo Becchetti; Marco Costantino
  10. Santé, Inégalités et ruptures sociales à Antananarivo, Premiers résultats de l’enquête SIRS 2003 By Isabelle Parizot; Faly Rakotomanana; Mireille Razafindrakoto; François Roubaud; Jean-Michel Wachsberger
  11. Ségrégation résidentielle, accessibilité aux emplois et chômage : le cas de l'Ile-de-France By Laurent Gobillon; Harris Selod
  12. Temps parental, parentalité et « parentalisme » By Marie-Agnès Barrère-Maurisson; Sabine Rivier
  13. Skill Diffusion by Temporary Migration? Returns to Western European Working Experience in the EU Accession Countries By Anna Iara
  14. Social Change By Jeremy Greenwood; Nezih Guner

  1. By: Benno Torgler
    Abstract: The literature on social capital has strongly increased in the last two decades, but, there still is a lack of substantial empirical evidence about the determinants of trust. Most studies have focused on social or generalized trust, while those investigating international trust or trust in international organizations are rare. 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 trust in international organizations, specifically trust in the United Nations. The results suggest that not only socio-demographic and socio-economic factors have an impact on citizens’ trust in the UN, but also political factors. We also observe externalities. Political trust at the state level leads to a higher trust at the international level. On the other hand, if a state is perceived as dysfunctional, the level of trust declines.
    Keywords: International Organizations; United Nations; Trust Social Capital; International Perspective; Political Interest.
    JEL: Z13 D73 O19
    Date: 2006–06
  2. By: C. Cordes; P. J. Richerson; R. McElreath; P. Strimling
    Abstract: One reason why firms exist, this paper argues, is because they are suitable organizations within which cooperative production systems based on human social predispositions can evolve. In addition, we show how an entrepreneur – given these predispositions – can shape human behavior within a firm. To illustrate these processes, we will present a model that depicts how the biased transmission of cultural contents via social learning processes within the firm influence employees’ behavior and the performance of the firm. These biases can be traced back to evolved social predispositions. Humans lived in tribal scale social systems based on significant amounts of intra- and even intergroup cooperation for tens if not a few hundred thousand years before the first complex societies arose. Firms rest upon the social psychology originally evolved for tribal life. We also relate our conclusions to empirical evidence on the performance and size of different kinds of organizations. Modern organizations have functions rather different from ancient tribes, leading to friction between our social predispositions and organization goals. Firms that manage to reduce this friction will tend to function better.
    Keywords: Theory of the Firm, Cultural Evolution, Entrepreneurship, Firm Performance, Cooperation
    JEL: L25 D21 M13 M14 C61
    Date: 2006–06
  3. By: Muriel Egerton (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Killian Mullan (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper is set in the context of macrosocial/macroeconomic theories of the organization of both paid and unpaid work. The specific topic investigated is engagement in unpaid voluntary work, an activity which is thought to be important for social cohesion. Research on the sources of social cohesion has focussed on organisational membership and voluntary organisation activity. There has been little investigation of informal helping of non-resident kin, friends or acquaintances, an activity which is not measured in most social surveys but is available from time use surveys. Previous research shows that the highly educated are more likely to engage in formal voluntary organisations and data from the UK 2000 HETUS survey confirm that the highly educated spend more time on formally organised voluntary work. However, the less qualified, particularly women, spend more time on extra-household unpaid helping activities. Since voluntary work is partly dependent on available time, these findings are modelled adjusting for time allocated to paid work, study, family and personal care. The findings remain statistically significant and it is hypothesised that social networks may play an important role in mobilising both formal and informal helping. Drawing on work carried out by the Office for National Statistics, a monetary value is placed on the both types of unpaid helping work. Although the average wage rates for voluntary work are greater than those for informal helping, the latter is greater in frequency and duration and therefore more economically valuable from a population perspective.
    Keywords: education, gender, social capital, time use, volunteering
    Date: 2006–05
  4. By: José Pedro Pontes
    Abstract: This paper models the decision of vertically-linked firms to build either partitioned or connected networks of supply of an intermediate good. In each case, the locations of upstream and downstream firms are correlated. Input specificity is related both to variable costs (transport costs of the input) and fixed costs (learning costs of the use of the input). When both are low, a connected network emerges and a partitioned pattern arises in the opposite case. In the boundary region, there are multiple equilibria, either asymmetric (mixed network) or symmetric.
    Keywords: Vertically-linked industries; Intermediate goods; Networks; Input flexibility.
    JEL: R30 L13
  5. By: Durand, Rodolphe; Lubatkin, Michael H.
    Abstract: In this paper, the authors derive a typology of five parental altruistic archetypes that exhausts the possible altruistic influences in the governance at family firms. They argue that when taken in concert, these five types comprise a more balanced explanation of the cross-sectional variance in the governance efficiency of these firms and therefore can better explain why some family firms are more able than others to capitalize on the family governance's positive attributes.
    Keywords: family firms; parental altruism; governance
    JEL: D21 L21
    Date: 2006–02–18
  6. By: César Martinelli; Susan W. Parker
    Date: 2006–06–21
  7. By: Graziella Bertocchi (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, CEPR, CHILD and IZA); Chiara Strozzi (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)
    Abstract: We investigate the origin and evolution of the legal institution of citizenship. We compile a new data set on citizenship laws across countries of the world which documents how these institutions have evolved from the legal tradition of common and civil law established in the course of the 19th century. We show that in the postwar period citizenship laws have responded endogenously and systematically to economic and institutional determinants. Original citizenship laws tend to affect the current legislation persistently, with a particularly strong tendency for jus sanguinis to be preserved despite discontinuities in the transplanting process for former colonies. The presence of a large stock of migrants tends to limit the application of jus soli elements, although there is also evidence of a contrasting tendency for those jus sanguinis countries exposed to large immigration. The results hold after controlling for additional factors such as the degree of democracy, border stability, the welfare burden, demographics, and cultural characteristics.
    Keywords: citizenship laws, international migration, legal origins, democracy, borders
    JEL: P16 K40 F22 O15
    Date: 2006
  8. By: Joachim Ahrens; Philipp Mengeringhaus
    Abstract: This study introduces a coherent comparative concept of governance, applies it to China, and elaborates to what extent the Chinese institutional matrix exhibits characteristics of a market-enhancing governance structure (MEGS). It is argued that a subtle interplay of political and economic institutions created a stable and viable politico-institutional foundation which made China's unorthodox transition strategy politically feasible and economically effective. The paper concludes with an assessment of the quality of the overall Chinese governance structure and its expected implications for the future transition process.
    JEL: H70 H83 P26 P35
    Date: 2006–06–12
  9. By: Leonardo Becchetti (Economics Department, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”); Marco Costantino (FORMEZ, Rome)
    Abstract: We analyse the impact of Fair Trade (FT) affiliation on monetary and non monetary measures of well-being on a sample of Kenyan farmers. Our econometric findings document significant differences in terms of price satisfaction, monthly household food consumption, (self declared) income satisfaction, dietary quality and child mortality for Fair Trade and Meru Herbs (first level local producers organisation) affiliated with respect to a control sample. Methodological problems such as the FT vis à vis Meru Herbs relative contribution, control sample bias, FT and Meru Herb selection biases are discussed and addressed. After reconstructing the dynamics of human capital investment in the observed households we show that affiliation to the younger vintage FT project is associated to a significantly higher schooling investment.
    Keywords: impact analysis, child labour, fair trade, monetary and non monetary wellbeing
    JEL: O19 O22 D64
    Date: 2006
  10. By: Isabelle Parizot (INSERM U707); Faly Rakotomanana (INSTAT - DSM, Antananarivo); Mireille Razafindrakoto (DIAL, IRD, Paris); François Roubaud (DIAL, IRD, Paris); Jean-Michel Wachsberger (DIAL, Lasmas, Gracc)
    Abstract: The Health, Inequalities and Social Breakdown (SIRS) survey carried out in Antananarivo in April 2003 on a representative sample of 2,807 people, is part of an international research programme designed to compare the relationships between health, inequalities and social breakdowns in different cities throughout the world. The initial assumption is that the socio-economic inequalities found within cities give rise to specific problems of health and social breakdowns and can, in certain cases, lead to deterioration in collective health security and in social cohesion within the population. The document presents the first results of this survey, with the study of the different components of social relationships in Antananarivo and the way they are related to health. Four types of relationship are distinguished : i) filiation; ii) elective participation (relationships with friends, neighbours, couple, etc.); iii) organic participation (relating to the individuals’ economic integration in the production system) and iv) citizenship (concerning all civil and political rights). _________________________________ L’enquête « Santé, inégalités et ruptures sociales » (SIRS), conduite à Antananarivo en avril 2003 auprès d’un échantillon représentatif de 2807 personnes, fait partie d’un programme de recherche international qui entend comparer les relations entre la santé, les inégalités et les ruptures sociales dans différentes grandes villes du monde. L’hypothèse de départ est que les inégalités socio-économiques inscrites dans le territoire des villes se traduisent par des problèmes spécifiques de santé et de ruptures sociales et peuvent, dans certains cas, conduire à une dégradation tant de la sécurité sanitaire collective que de la cohésion sociale des populations. Le document présente les premiers résultats de cette enquête au travers de l’étude des différentes composantes du lien social à Antananarivo et de leurs rapports avec la santé. Quatre types de liens sont distinguées : le lien de filiation, le lien de participation élective (relations d’amitiés, de voisinage, de couple, etc.), le lien de participation organique (lié à l’insertion économique des individus dans le système de production) et le lien de citoyenneté (assuré par un ensemble de droits civils et politiques).
    Keywords: Health, inequalities, social breakdowns, social relationship, poverty, neighbourhoods,Santé, inégalités, Ruptures sociales, lien social, pauvreté, quartiers.
    JEL: I10 I30
    Date: 2005–12
  11. By: Laurent Gobillon; Harris Selod
    Abstract: This paper starts with a review of the economic literature stressing how problems of residential segregation and physical access to jobs can exacerbate urban unemployment.We also present some descriptive statistics on residential segregation and disconnection from jobs in the Paris region using data from the 1999 census of the population and commuting time matrices provided by the ministry of infrastructure for 2000. We then estimate the impact of the local context (segregation and disconnection from jobs) on the transitions from unemployment to work using data from the Labor Force Survey between 1990 and 2002. We show that unemployed workers in segregated areas experience additional difficulties in finding a job. A sensitivity analysis confirms that these spatial effects are robust when the endogeneity of residence is taken into account.
    Keywords: Residential segregation ;spatial mismatch ; social networks ; redlining ; urban unemployment
    JEL: J64 R14
    Date: 2006–06
  12. By: Marie-Agnès Barrère-Maurisson (CES - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - [CNRS : UMR8174] - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I]); Sabine Rivier (CES - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - [CNRS : UMR8174] - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I])
    Abstract: Depuis une dizaine d'années des évolutions importantes ont marqué les pratiques familiales du fait de changements démographiques (augmentation du nombre des divorces et des familles monoparentales), sociaux (affirmation du statut de la femme, recherche d'égalité), institutionnels (crise du régime d'Etat-Providence et développement du droit de l'enfant). Le « parental », c'est-à-dire tout ce qui touche à l'enfant et à sa relation avec ses parents, devient un enjeu prioritaire dans nos sociétés. Ainsi, du temps parental est spécifiquement consacré désormais par les pères, comme par les mères, aux enfants, au même titre que les autres activités : le travail professionnel, le travail domestique, les loisirs ou le temps physiologique ; l'enquête du Groupe Division Familiale du Travail de MATISSE menée en 1999 l'a mis pour la première fois en lumière, défini et quantifié .<br />Qui plus est, les recompositions familiales, tout comme les stratégies des entreprises consacrent l'exercice de formes nouvelles de parentalité. Et, à la jonction des politiques familiales, des politiques d'emploi et d'égalité, tend à se mettre en place un nouveau mode de régulation des relations sociales et familiales : ce que nous appellerons le « parentalisme », faisant ainsi suite au « familialisme » des Trente Glorieuses et au « féminisme » de la fin du 20 ème siècle.
    Keywords: famille; politiques publiques; régulations sociales; temps de travail; répartition des rôles
    Date: 2006–06–19
  13. By: Anna Iara (The Vienna Institute of International Economic Studies and Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn)
    Abstract: Temporary migration is of growing significance in Europe. Upon migration to a country with higher technological development that typically coincides with positive wage differentials, temporary migrants may upgrade their skills by learning on the job and subsequently import the newly acquired human capital to their source country, thus adding to international know-how diffusion and the catching up of the respective economy. This paper is the first to provide supportive evidence of this hypothesis in a cross-country East to West European perspective, using the 2003 Youth Eurobarometer dataset.
    Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe, return migration, wage premium, skill diffusion
    Date: 2006
  14. By: Jeremy Greenwood (University of Rochester); Nezih Guner (Pennsylvania State University)
    Abstract: Social norms are influenced by the technological environment that a society faces. Behavioral modes reflect purposive decision making by individuals, given the environment they live in. Thus, as technology changes, so might social norms. There were big changes in social norms during the 20th century, especially in sexual mores. In 1900 only six percent of unwed women engaged in premarital sex. Now, three quarters do. It is argued here that this was the result of technological improvement in contraceptives, which lowered the cost of premarital sex. The evolution from an abstinent to a promiscuous society is studied using an equilibrium matching model.
    Keywords: Social change; the sexual revolution; technological progress in contraceptives; bilateral search.
    JEL: E1 J1 O3
    Date: 2005–03

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