nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2006‒07‒28
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. Altruism and Climate By Ingela Alger; Jörgen W. Weibull
  2. Consensus building: How to persuade a group By Bernard Caillaud; Jean Tirole
  5. Local public goods in a democracy: Theory and evidence from rural India By Santanu Gupta; Raghbendra Jha
  6. O Brother, Where Art Thou? : The Effects of Having a Sibling on Geographic Mobility and Labor Market Outcomes By Helmut Rainer; Thomas Siedler
  8. Price Peer-to-Peer Networks: A Mechanism Design Approach By Oksana Loginova; X. Henry Wang; Haibin Lu
  9. Childhood Family Structure and Schooling Outcomes : Evidence for Germany By Marco Francesconi; Stephen P. Jenkins; Thomas Siedler
  10. Taking care of your own: Ethnic and religious heterogeneity and income inequality By Oguzhan C. Dincer; Peter J. Lambert

  1. By: Ingela Alger (Boston College); Jörgen W. Weibull (Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Recognizing that individualism, or weak family ties, may be favorable to economic development, we ask how family ties interact with climate to determine individual behavior and whether there is reason to believe that the strength of family ties evolves differently in different climates. For this purpose, we develop a simple model of the interaction between two individuals who are more or less altruistic towards each other. Each individual exerts effort to produce a consumption good under uncertainty. Outputs are observed and each individual chooses how much, if any, of his or her output to share with the other. We analyze how the equilibrium outcome depends on altruism and climate for ex ante identical individuals. We also consider (a) "coerced altruism," that is, situations where a social norm dictates how output be shared, (b) the effects of insurance markets ,and (c) the role of institutional quality. The evolutionary robustness of altruism is analyzed and we study how this depends on climate.
    Keywords: altruism, family ties, individualism, moral hazard, evolution.
    JEL: D02 D13
    Date: 2006–07–10
  2. By: Bernard Caillaud; Jean Tirole
    Abstract: Many decisions in private and public organizations are made by groups. The paper explores strategies that the sponsor of a proposal may employ to convince a qualified majority of group members to approve the proposal. Adopting a mechanism design approach to communication, it emphasizes the need to distill information selectively to key members of the group and to engineer persuasion cascades in which members who are brought on board sway the opinion of others. The paper unveils the factors, such as the extent of congruence among group members and between them and the sponsor, and the size and governance of the group, that condition the sponsor's ability to maneuver and get his project approved.
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Waymond Rodgers; Susana Gago
    Abstract: This article highlights moral harassment at the workplace as a form of corruption in organizations. This form of corruption has cost organizations billions of dollars each year. A theoretical model is presented in this paper, which explains the main factors that affect bullying processes impact on organizations. Suggestions are provided in this paper, as tools to eliminate bullying within the workplace.
    Date: 2006–07
  4. By: Waymond Rodgers; Susana Gago
    Abstract: To most individuals, “trust” can be viewed as a knowledge corporate asset that may add, or rest, value to the company. The role of knowledge in achieving a competitive advantage is becoming and increasingly important management issue in all business and non-business sectors. As such, our Throughput Modeling approach indicates how six different trust behaviors can be guided, how trust decision making can be improved and made defensible, and how special problems facing individuals can be dealt with via decision-making pathways leading to an action.
    Date: 2006–07
  5. By: Santanu Gupta; Raghbendra Jha
    Abstract: This paper examines allocation of local public goods over jurisdictions (villages) with individuals with identical tastes and different incomes, in a model with democratic institutions and majority rule. The median voter (in income) in each jurisdiction determines the probability of re-election for the incumbent government. The jurisdiction with the median of these median voters is most favoured. With identical median voters in jurisdictions, and with re-election requiring less than 50mandate, jurisdictions with higher income inequality get favoured. Results from a survey data (from NCAER) on infrastructure provision in 1669 Indian villages confirm this hypothesis. Ethnic fragmentation does not affect public good provision but political fragmentation does. Finally, villages with the median population are the most favoured for public goods allocation. Sparsely populated and too densely populated villages are relatively neglected.
    Keywords: median voter, local public good, reservation utility
    JEL: H41 H72
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Helmut Rainer; Thomas Siedler
    Abstract: In most industrialized countries, more people than ever are having to cope with the burden of caring for elderly parents. This paper formulates a model to explain how parental care responsibilities and family structure interact in affecting children's mobility characteristics. A key insight we obtain is that the mobility of young adults crucially depends on the presence of a sibling. Our explanation is mainly, but not ex-clusively, based on a sibling power effect. Siblings compete in location and employment decisions so as to direct parental care decisions at later stages towards their preferred outcome. Only children are not exposed to this kind of competition. This causes an equilibrium in which siblings not only exhibit higher mobility than only children, but also have better labor market outcomes. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) and from the American National Survey of Families and House- holds (NSFH), we find strong evidence that confirms these patterns. The implications of our results are then discussed in the context of current population trends in Europe and the United States.
    Keywords: Geographic Mobility, Intergenerational Relationships, Care of the Elderly, Family Bargaining.
    JEL: D19 J14 C13
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Waymond Rodgers; Susana Gago; Mercedes Barrachina Palanca
    Abstract: Trust among executives and managers may reduce budgetary slack due to decreased inefficiencies. Trust relationships are studied as a prerequisite to influence budget setting. One hundred and twenty internal auditors observed different relations between the executive and managers. Results demonstrated that trust environments can reduce budgetary slack. Internal auditors are able to provide better services when “trust issues” between middle and top managers are recognized and incorporated as part of their investigated procedures.
    Date: 2006–07
  8. By: Oksana Loginova (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); X. Henry Wang (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Haibin Lu
    Abstract: AIn this paper we use mechanism design approach to find the optimal file-sharing mechanism in a peer-to-peer network. This mechanism improves upon existing incentive schemes. In particular, we show that peer-approved scheme is never optimal and service-quality scheme is optimal only under certain circumstances. Moreover, we find that the optimal mechanism can be implemented by a mixture of peer-approved and service-quality schemes.
    Keywords: peer-to-peer networks, mechanism design.
    JEL: D82 C7
    Date: 2006–07–19
  9. By: Marco Francesconi; Stephen P. Jenkins; Thomas Siedler
    Abstract: We analyse the impact on schooling outcomes of growing up in a family headed by a single mother. Growing up in a non-intact family in Germany is associated with worse outcomes in models that do not control for possible correlations between common unobserved determinants of family structure and educational performance. But once endogeneity is accounted for, whether by using sibling-difference estimators or two types of quasi-experiments, the evidence that family structure affects schooling outcomes is much less conclusive. Although almost all the point estimates indicate that non-intactness has an adverse effect on schooling outcomes, confidence intervals are large and span zero.
    Keywords: Childhood family structure, lone parenthood, educational success, sibling differences, instrumental variables, treatment effects
    JEL: C23 D13 I21 J12 J13
    Date: 2006
  10. By: Oguzhan C. Dincer (Massey University); Peter J. Lambert (University of Oregon Economics Department)
    Abstract: Using recently developed indices of fractionalization and polarization, we analyze the direct and indirect effects of ethnic and religious heterogeneity on income inequality and on welfare programs across US states. We find strong evidence (1) that there is a positive relationship between ethnic and religious polarization and income inequality and an inverse-U shaped relationship between ethnic and religious fractionalization and income inequality; and (2) that there is a negative relationship between ethnic and religious polarization and monthly welfare payments under the AFDC/TANF scheme, and a U-shaped relationship between ethnic and religious fractionalization and the AFDC/TANF payments.
    Keywords: Ethnic and Religious Heterogeneity, Income Inequality
    JEL: D31 J15 O15
    Date: 2006–07–15

This nep-soc issue is ©2006 by Fabio Sabatini. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.