nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2006‒09‒03
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. Trust and Economic Growth: A Panel Analysis By Roth, Felix; Schüler, Dana
  2. Social Networks and the Convergence of Population Attributes: A Generalization By Jan K. Brueckner; Oleg Smirnov
  3. Firms' Network Formation Through the Transmission of Heterogeneous Knowledge By R. Andergassen; F. Nardini; M. Ricottilli
  4. Screening Efficiency of Networks By D. Lanzi
  5. Total Factor Productivity and R&D Capital in Manufacturing Industries By Jeong Yeon Lee; Jung Woo Kim
  6. Emerging Institutions: Pyramids or Anthills? By Czarniawska, Barbara
  7. Economics of Conflict: An Overview By Michelle R. Garfinkel; Stergios Skaperdas

  1. By: Roth, Felix (University of Göttingen); Schüler, Dana (University of Göttingen)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between trust and economic growth. With the help of panel data we conclude that economic growth is negatively related to an increase in trust. Our result is contrary to works taking a cross section design in which trust is positively related to growth. The relationship is tested in the context of EU countries, OECD countries, transition countries and developing countries. Interpersonal trust and systemic trust is differentiated. The paper tries to explain changes in trust over time to investigate channels through which these have a negative influence on growth.
    Keywords: Social Capital; Trust; Economic Growth; Panel Analyis
    JEL: C23 E01 O40 Z13
    Date: 2006–08–30
  2. By: Jan K. Brueckner (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine); Oleg Smirnov (Departments of Economics and Geography, San Diego State University)
    Abstract: Analysis of social interactions has recently become an important area of economic research, and the focus of researchers in this area has increasingly shifted toward dynamic models. In one recent contribution, Brueckner and Smirnov (2006) analyze the evolution of population attributes in an exceedingly simple model where an agent’s attributes at time t are equal to the average attribute value among his acquaintances. The pattern of acquaintances in the population is determined by the social network, and Brueckner and Smirnov (BS) explore the effect of network characteristics on the convergence of population attributes over time. They show that some simple sufficient conditions on the network structure ensure convergence to a “melting-pot” equilibrium, where attributes are uniform across agents. The present paper provides a generalization of BS’s analysis, allowing for a more general form of the rule governing the evolution of population attributes. The analysis shows that BS’s previous conclusions continue to hold under this generalization, while also providing a result that can be applied more generally to other models.
    Date: 2006–05
  3. By: R. Andergassen; F. Nardini; M. Ricottilli
    Date: 2005
  4. By: D. Lanzi
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Jeong Yeon Lee (Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University); Jung Woo Kim (Samsung Economic Research Insitute)
    Abstract: This study analyzes total factor productivity in manufacturing industries for a sample of OECD countries. The estimates of Malmquist indexes clearly indicate that research and development (R&D) capital is an important determinant of productivity growth in manufacturing industries. The empirical results also show that it is the pace, not the intensity, of R&D investment that is significantly related to the extent to which R&D capital formation contributes to output growth. Furthermore, this study finds that productivity gains in manufacturing industries depend importantly on R&D spillovers as well.
    Date: 2006–06
  6. By: Czarniawska, Barbara (Gothenburg Research Institute)
    Abstract: In the present text, an institution is understood to be an (observable) pattern of collective action, justified by a corresponding social norm. By this definition, an institution emerges slowly, although it may be helped or hindered by various specific acts. From this perspective, an institutional entrepreneur is an oxymoron, at least in principle. In practice, however, there are and always have been people trying to create institutions. This paper describes the emergence of London School of Economics and Political Science as an institution and analyzes its founders and its supporters during crises as institutional entrepreneurs. A tentative theory of the phenomenon of institutional entrepreneurship inspired by an actor-network theory is then tested on two other cases described in brief.
    Keywords: higher education; institutions; entrepreneurs; actor-network theory
    Date: 2006–08–22
  7. By: Michelle R. Garfinkel (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine); Stergios Skaperdas (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: In this chapter, we review the recent literature on conflict and appropriation. Allowing for the possibility of conflict, which amounts to recognizing the possibility that property rights are not perfectly and costlessly enforced, represents a significant departure from the traditional paradigm of economics. The research we emphasize, however, takes an economic perspective. Specifically, it applies conventional optimization techniques and game-theoretic tools to study the allocation of resources among competing activities— productive and otherwise appropriative, such as grabbing the product and wealth of others as well as defending one’s own product and wealth. In contrast to other economic activities in which inputs are combined cooperatively through production functions, the inputs to appropriation are combined adversarially through technologies of conflict. A central objective of this research is to identify the effects of conflict on economic outcomes: the determinants of the distribution of output (or power) and how an individual party’s share can be inversely related to its marginal productivity; when settlement in the shadow of conflict and when open conflict can be expected to occur, with longer time horizons capable of inducing conflict instead of settlement; how conflict and appropriation can reduce the appeal of trade; the determinants of alliance formation and the importance of intra-alliance commitments; how dynamic incentives for capital accumulation and innovation are distorted in the presence of conflict; and the role of governance in conflict management.
    Keywords: Anarchy; Bargaining; Conflict technology; Economic growth; Exchange; Governance; Group formation; Open conflict; Power; Shadow of the future
    JEL: D30 D70 D72 D74 H56 O17
    Date: 2006–04

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