nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2006‒08‒12
fourteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. Regional Preferences for Hierarchies, Markets, and Networks: Exploring Social Capital Data for Germany By Lorenz Blume; Detlef Sack
  2. The evolution of inventor networks in the Silicon Valley and Boston regions By Lee Fleming; Koen Frenken
  3. Gender and Transnational Migration: social networks and the forging of alliances By Annie Phizacklea
  4. Moving “on their own”? Mobility strategies and social networks of migrant women from Maghreb in Italy By Camille Schmoll
  5. Development, Democracy, and Mass Killings By William Easterly
  6. Becker’s Theories of Marriage and the Shrinking Role of Demand and Supply Models By Shoshana Grossbard
  7. Migrant women's networks and intercultural Ireland By Ronit Lentin
  8. Narrative Networks:Italian Women in Dublin By Carla De Tona
  9. The Limits of Self-Governance in the Presence of Spite: Experimental Evidence from Urban and Rural Russia By Simon Gächter; Benedikt Herrmann
  10. Cultures of Innovation of the African Poor. Common Roots, Shared Traits, Joint Prospects? On the Articulation of Multiple Modernities in African Societies and Black Diasporas in Latin America By Dirk Kohnert
  11. Consensual and Conflictual Democratization By Matteo Cervellati; Piergiuseppe Fortunato; Uwe Sunde
  12. The carrot vs. the stick in work team motivation By D. Dickinson
  13. Is Man Doomed to Progress? By Claudia Senik
  14. An Economic Analysis of Co-Parenting Choices: Single Parent, Visiting Father, Cohabitation, Marriage By Ronald B. Mincy; Shoshana Grossbard; Chien-Chung Huang

  1. By: Lorenz Blume (Department of Economics, University of Kassel); Detlef Sack (Political Science Department, University of Kassel)
    Abstract: Social capital is often defined as consisting of trust and post materialist values on the one hand, and social networks on the other. From an institutionalist point of view this concept is not convincing. Norms (i.e. informal institutions) can combine with different governance modes, not only with networks. The regional governance literature distinguishes between at least three governance modes, hierarchies, markets, and networks, each having its own advantages. This paper examines how regional preferences for these modes are related to trust and post materialist values. A principle component analysis of 48 social capital indicators for 74 West German regions shows that trust and post materialist values do not solely combine with networks but also with preferences for markets and hierarchies. A cluster analysis identifies two dominant types of regional social capital. These types are different from the well-known Italian patterns described by Robert Putnam in his seminal work. In the period 1995- 2002, annual economic growth was on average one percent higher in regions that have combined trust with strong preferences for markets and weak political networks than in opposite regions.
    Keywords: Markets, Hierarchies, Networks, Social Capital, Regional Governance
    Date: 2006–07
  2. By: Lee Fleming; Koen Frenken
    Abstract: While networks are widely thought to enhance regional innovative capability, there exist few longitudinal studies of their formation and evolution over time. Based on an analysis of all patenting inventors in the U.S. from 1975 to 2002, we observe dramatic aggregation of the regional inventor network in Silicon Valley around 1989. Based on network statistics, we argue that the sudden rise of giant networks in Silicon Valley can be understood as a phase transition during which small isolated networks form one giant component. By contrast, such a transition in Boston occurred much later and much less dramatically. We do not find convincing evidence that this marked difference between the two regions is due to regional differences in the propensity to collaborate or the involvement of universities in patenting. Interviews with key network players suggest that contingent labor mobility between established firms in Silicon Valley, in particular resulting from IBM’s policy as a central player in patenting activity, promoted inter-organizational networking, leading to larger inventor networks.
    Keywords: evolutionary economic, inventor networks
    Date: 2006–07
  3. By: Annie Phizacklea
    Date: 2006–05–25
  4. By: Camille Schmoll
    Date: 2006–05–26
  5. By: William Easterly
    Abstract: Using a newly assembled dataset spanning from 1820 to 1998, we study the relationship between the occurrence and cruelty of episodes of mass killing and the levels of development and democracy across countries and over time. We find that massacres are more likely at intermediate levels of income and less likely at very high levels of democracy, but we do not find evidence of a linear relationship between democracy and probability of mass killings. In the 20th century, discrete improvements in democracy are systematically associated with less cruel massacre episodes. Episodes at the highest levels of democracy and income involve relatively fewer victims.
    Keywords: Economic development, mass killings, genocide, democracy
    JEL: O15
    Date: 2006–07
  6. By: Shoshana Grossbard (Department of Economics, San Diego State University)
    Abstract: This paper argues that Gary Becker has been a leader in the economics of marriage not only as a pioneer but also as a leader who influenced the work of other economists who entered this field over at least two decades. A comprehensive survey of economic research on marriage is presented for the years 1970-1993. A distinction is drawn between earlier entrants and later entrants, the dividing line being 1980, coinciding with the publication of Becker’s seminal Treatise on the Family. In his first article on marriage in the JPE in 1973, Becker gave more prominence to Demand & Supply [D&S] models than he later did in the Treatise. It appears that a similar movement away from D&S models is observed among later entrants. This is but one indication of Becker’s leadership in the economics of marriage in the period 1980-1993. Other indications are also discussed.
    Date: 2006–01
  7. By: Ronit Lentin
    Date: 2006–05–26
  8. By: Carla De Tona
    Abstract: Keywords:
    Date: 2006–05–26
  9. By: Simon Gächter (University of Nottingham, CESifo and IZA Bonn); Benedikt Herrmann (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: We report evidence from public goods experiments with and without punishment which we conducted in Russia with 566 urban and rural participants of young and mature age cohorts. Russia is interesting for studying voluntary cooperation because of its long history of collectivism, and a huge urban-rural gap. In contrast to previous experiments we find no cooperation-enhancing effect of punishment. An important reason is that there is substantial spiteful punishment of high contributors in all four subject pools. Thus, spite undermines the scope for self-governance in the sense of high levels of voluntary cooperation that are sustained by sanctioning free riders only.
    Keywords: social norms, free riding, punishment, spite, experiments
    JEL: H41 C91 D23 C72
    Date: 2006–07
  10. By: Dirk Kohnert (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)
    Abstract: The globalized Western culture of innovation, as propagated by major aid institutions, does not necessarily lead to empowerment or improvement of the well-being of the stakeholders. On the contrary, it often blocks viable indigenous innovation cultures. In African societies and African Diasporas in Latin America, cultures of innovation largely accrue from the informal, not the formal sector. Crucial for their proper understanding is a threefold structural differentiation: between the formal and informal sector, within the informal sector, according to class, gender or religion, and between different transnational social spaces. Different innovation cultures may be complementary, mutually reinforcing, or conflicting, leading in extreme cases even to a ‘clash of cultures’ at the local level. The repercussions of competing, even antagonistic agencies of innovative strategic groups are demonstrated, analyzing the case of the African poor in Benin and the African Diasporas of Brazil and Haiti.
    Keywords: Economic development; cultural change; innovations; social structure; African Diaspora; Benin; Brazil; Haiti
    JEL: O31 Z1 E26 Z12 Z13 O57
    Date: 2006–07
  11. By: Matteo Cervellati (University of Bologna, IAE Barcelona and IZA Bonn); Piergiuseppe Fortunato (University of Bologna); Uwe Sunde (IZA Bonn and University of Bonn)
    Abstract: We study the process of endogenous democratization from inefficient oligarchic systems in an economy where heterogeneous individuals can get involved in predation activities. The features of democracies are shown to be crucially related to the conditions under which democratization initially takes place. The political regime and the extent of redistribution implemented under it depend on the allocation of de facto political power across the different social groups. The cost of public enforcement of property rights depends on the extent of predation activities in the economy. The theory highlights the importance of inequality in natural resources and availability of human capital for endogenous democratic transitions. Multiple politico-economic equilibria can be sustained conditional on expectations about property rights enforcement. This generates history dependence. Democratic transitions supported by a large consensus serve as coordination device and lead to better protection of property and more stable political systems than democratic transitions imposed in conflictual environments. We test the novel predictions using available cross-country data. The link between the type of democratic transition and the outcomes under democracy is also investigated using novel data on constitutional principles. The findings support the theoretical predictions.
    Keywords: democratization, oligarchy, conflict, consensual democracy, inequality, commitment, constitutional principles
    JEL: H10 O20 N10
    Date: 2006–07
  12. By: D. Dickinson
    Abstract: This paper reports on the use of carrot (positive) and stick (negative) incentives as methods of increasing effort among members of work teams. We study teams of four members in a laboratory environment in which giving effort towards the team goal is simulated by eliciting voluntary contributions towards the provision of a public good. We test the efficiency improving properties of four distinct environments: monetary prizes given to high contributors versus monetary fines assessed to low contributors, where high/low contributor is defined first in terms of absolute contributions and then in terms of contributions relative to abilities—which we call handicapping. Our results show that both carrot and stick increase efficiency levels by 11-29%. We find that handicapped incentives promise the highest efficiency levels, and when handicapping is not used certain types of penalties may be more effective than prizes. The implications for work teams and suggestions for practical implementation are discussed.
  13. By: Claudia Senik (Paris School of Economics, University Paris-IV Sorbonne, PSE and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper is dedicated to the empirical exploration of the welfare effect of expectations and progress per se. Using ten waves of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, a panel household survey rich in subjective variables, the analysis suggests that for a given total stock of inter-temporal consumption, agents are more satisfied with an increasing time-profile of consumption: they seem to have a strong “taste for improvement”.
    Keywords: expectations, growth, subjective happiness, adaptation, panel data
    JEL: D31 D9 I31 Z13
    Date: 2006–07
  14. By: Ronald B. Mincy (Columbia University); Shoshana Grossbard (Department of Economics, San Diego State University); Chien-Chung Huang (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: This paper sheds light on the determinants of choice between four co-parenting arrangements: father absence, father’s non-residential visitations, cohabitation, and marriage. In our theoretical framework, we use an adaptation of Becker’s Demand & Supply (D&S) model of marriage and a hierarchy of co-parenting arrangements--ranked in terms of degree of fathers’ involvement in the lives of mother or child--as an observable price measure for women’s work as mothers. We predict effects on co-parenting choice of factors such as welfare benefits, sex ratios, income, black versus white, or education, and black/white differences in these effects. We test our predictions with data from the Fragile Families and Child-Wellbeing Survey. Our findings include (1) the larger the grant amount in the state where the mother resides, the more it is likely that fathers will have some contact with their children, and the more it is likely that fathers will cohabit with the mothers; (2) fathers who have more children with other women are less likely to have contact with a given woman’s children, but this discouraging effect of men’s other children is smaller for blacks than for whites; and (3) employment in the last year reduces the likelihood that a white mother is married to her child’s father, while increasing that likelihood among black mothers.
    Date: 2005–07

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