nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2007‒02‒10
fifteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. Social identity and trust - An experimental investigation By Werner Güth; M. Vittoria Levati; Matteo Ploner
  2. Social Preferences and Public Economics: Are good laws a substitute for good citizens? By Samuel Bowles
  3. Social Capital and Relative Income Concerns: Evidence from 26 Countries By Justina A.V. Fischer; Benno Torgler
  4. "Social Norms an Voluntary Cooperations"(in Japanese) By Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara; Takako Fujiwara-Greve; Nobue Suzuki
  5. Dragging developers towards the core By Francesco Rullani
  6. Social Memory and Evidence from the Past By Luca Anderlini; Dino Gerardi; Roger Lagunoff
  7. On the Value of Participation: Endogenous Emergence of Social Norms in a Three-Player Ultimatum Game By Grimalda, Gianluca; Kar, Anirban; Proto, Eugenio
  8. Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks By McKenzie, David; Rapoport, Hillel
  9. Social Identity and Social Exchange: Identification, Support, and Withdrawal from the Job By Knippenberg, D.L. van; Dick, R. van; Tavares, S.
  10. Intentions, Trust and Frames: A note on Sociality and the Theory of Games By Vittorio Pelligra
  11. Globalisation, state and disempowerment:study of farmers suicide in Warangal By Venu Menon, Sudha
  12. The impact of institutions on motherhood and work By Del Boca Daniela; Pasqua Silvia; Pronzato Chiara
  13. Bridging Faultlines by Valuing Diversity: Diversity Beliefs, Information Elaboration, and Performance in Diverse Work Groups By Homan, A.C.; Knippenberg, D.L. van; Kleef, G.A. van; Dreu, C.K.W. de
  14. Leadership and Fairness: The State of the Art By Knippenberg, D.L. van; Cremer, D. de; Knippenberg, B. van
  15. The influence of culture on the economic freedom and the international business By Herciu, Mihaela

  1. By: Werner Güth; M. Vittoria Levati; Matteo Ploner
    Abstract: We experimentally examine how group identity affects trust behavior in an investment game. In one treatment, group identity is induced purely by minimal groups. In other treatments, group members are additionally related by outcome interdependence established in a prior public goods game. Moving from the standard investment game (where no group identity is prompted) to minimal group identity to two-dimensional group identity, we find no significant differences in trust decisions. However, trust is significantly and positively correlated with contribution decisions, suggesting that "social" trust is behaviorally important.
    Keywords: Experiment; Investment game; Trust; Group identity
    JEL: C72 C92
    Date: 2007–01
  2. By: Samuel Bowles (Santa Fe Institute, University of Siena and University of Massachusetts)
    Abstract: Laws and policies designed to harness self-regarding preferences to public ends may fail when they compromise the beneficial effects of pro-social preferences. Experimental evidence indicates that incentives that appeal to self interest may reduce the salience of intrinsic motivation, reciprocity, and other civic motives. Motivational crowding in also occurs. The evidence for these processes is reviewed and a model of optimal explicit incentives is presented. JEL Categories: D64, D52, H41, H21, Z13, C92
    Keywords: Social preferences, implementation theory, incentive contracts, incomplete contracts, framing, behavioral experiments, motivational crowding out, ethical norms, constitutions
    Date: 2007–01
  3. By: Justina A.V. Fischer; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Research evidence on the impact of relative income position on individuals’ attitudes and behaviour is sorely lacking. Therefore, using the International Social Survey Programme 1998 data from 26 countries this paper investigates the impact of relative income on 14 measurements of social capital. We find support for a considerable deleterious positional concern effect of persons below the reference income. This effect is more sizeable by far than the beneficial impact of a relative income advantage. Most of the results indicate that such an effect is non-linear. Lastly, changing the reference group (regional versus national) produces no significant differences in the results.
    Keywords: Relative income; positional concerns; social capital; social norms; happiness
    JEL: Z13 I30 D31
    Date: 2007–01
  4. By: Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Takako Fujiwara-Greve (Department of Economics, Keio University); Nobue Suzuki (Department of Economics, Komazawa University)
    Abstract: Unlike the ordinary repeated games, in the real world, people can run away after cheating. In this paper we construct a social game, in which players can repeat Prisoners' Dilemma only if both players agree to continue the partnership. We investigate how a social sanction prevents moral hazard in such a voluntary relationship. We have three conclusions. First, it is possible to enforce voluntary long-term cooperation by trust-building. Second, the trust-building periods can be shortened under diverse strategy distributions. Third, if there is a reference letter system which conveys information that a partnership ended by an unavoidable cause, then the trust-building periods can be shortened as well.
    Date: 2007–01
  5. By: Francesco Rullani (LEM - Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy and IVS – Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark.)
    Abstract: The paper presents a dynamic perspective on the landscape of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) developers’ motivations and tries to isolate mechanisms sustaining developers’ contribution over time. The first part of the paper uses data gathered by the empirical studies relative to the FLOSS case to judge the relative importance of each group of incentives detected by the literature. In the second part of the paper, the same data are used to further characterize developers’ motivations in dynamics terms, showing how the relative importance of different incentives changes over time. Drawing inspiration from these results, the third part of the paper identifies a specific mechanism fostering developers’ contribution to the community activities, namely that: “Independently of developers’ exogenous preferences, the more their exposure to the FLOSS community social environment, the more their contribution to the community activities”. The key point of this hypothesis is that, if the exposure to the FLOSS community social environment is able to foster developers’ contribution beyond the level granted by their predetermined preferences, this leads directly to the evidence that the FLOSS community is provided with a mechanism sustaining and enhancing developers’ incentives to produce and diffuse code. In the last part of the paper, data relative to 14,497 developers working on during two years (2001-2002) are employed to estimate a model testing the aforementioned hypothesis. Endogeneity problems are explicitly accounted for, and robustness checks are performed in order to make sure that the observed confirmation of the hypothesis is actually an empirically grounded result.
    Keywords: Free/Libre/Open Source Software, incentives to innovate, dynamics of motivations, cooperation, community.
    JEL: O31 L86
    Date: 2006–11
  6. By: Luca Anderlini (Georgetown University); Dino Gerardi (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Roger Lagunoff (Georgetown University)
    Abstract: Examples of repeated destructive behavior abound throughout the history of human societies. This paper examines the role of social memory -- a society's vicarious beliefs about the past -- in creating and perpetuating destructive conflicts. We examine whether such behavior is consistent with the theory of rational strategic behavior. We analyze an infinite-horizon model in which two countries face off each period in an extended Prisoner's Dilemma game in which an additional possibility of mutually destructive "all out war" yields catastrophic consequence for both sides. Each country is inhabited by a dynastic sequence of individuals who care about future individuals in the same country, and can communicate with the next generation of their countrymen using private messages. The two countries' actions in each period also produce physical evidence; a sequence of informative but imperfect public signals that can be observed by all current and future individuals. We find that, provided the future is sufficiently important for all individuals, regardless of the precision of physical evidence from the past there is an equilibrium of the model in which the two countries' social memory is systematically wrong, and in which the two countries engage in all out war with arbitrarily high frequency. Surprisingly, we find that degrading the quality of information that individuals have about current decisions may "improve" social memory so that it can no longer be systematically wrong. This in turn ensures that arbitrarily frequent all out wars cannot take place.
    Keywords: Social memory, Private communication, Dynastic games, Physical evidence
    JEL: C72 C79 D80 D83 D89
    Date: 2007–01
  7. By: Grimalda, Gianluca; Kar, Anirban; Proto, Eugenio
    Abstract: We report results from two different settings of a 3-player ultimatum game. Under the monocratic rule, a player is randomly selected to make an offer to two receivers. Under the democratic rule, all three players make a proposal, and one proposal is then extracted. A majority vote is required to implement the proposal. Although the two rules are strategically equivalent, different patterns of behaviour seem to emerge as the number of interactions increase. Under the monocratic rule proposers seem to be entitled to claim a larger share of the pie, and receivers more likely to accept, in comparison with the democratic rule. We speculate that ‘institutions’ allowing more participation in the process of collective choice lead to more ‘socially responsible’ behaviour in the players.
    Keywords: Majority ultimatum; participation; institutions; social norms
    JEL: D72 C92 C78
    Date: 2006–12–27
  8. By: McKenzie, David; Rapoport, Hillel
    Abstract: The authors examine the role of migration networks in determining self-selection patterns of Mexico-U.S. migration. They first present a simple theoretical framework showing how such networks impact on migration incentives at different education levels and, consequently, how they are likely to affect the expected skill composition of migration. Using survey data from Mexico, the authors then show that the probability of migration is increasing with education in communities with low migrant networks, but decreasing with education in communities with high migrant networks. This is consistent with positive self-selection of migrants being driven by high migration costs, and with negative self-selection of migrants being driven by lower returns to education in the U.S. than in Mexico.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Voluntary and Involuntary Resettlement,Human Migrations & Resettlements,Anthropology,Technology Industry
    Date: 2007–02–01
  9. By: Knippenberg, D.L. van; Dick, R. van; Tavares, S. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Integrating insights from the social exchange perspective and the social identity perspective on the psychological relationship between the individual and the organization, we propose that evaluations of the support received from the organization and its representatives, and organizational identification interact in predicting withdrawal from the job. Specifically, the relationship of support with withdrawal is proposed to be weaker the stronger employees identify with the organization. This prediction was confirmed in two samples focusing on different operationalizations of support and withdrawal. Sample 1 concerned the interaction of organizational support and organizational identification in predicting turnover intentions, Sample 2 concerned the prediction of absenteeism from supervisor support and organizational identification. We conclude that the present study yields promising first evidence that may lay the basis for further integration of social exchange and social identity analyses of organizational behavior.
    Keywords: Organizational identification;Organizational support;Social identity;Organizational behavior;
    Date: 2005–06–15
  10. By: Vittorio Pelligra
    Abstract: Psychological Game Theory (PGT) extends classical game theory allowing for the formal analysis of belief-dependent sentiments and emotions such as resentment, pride, shame, gratefulness, and the like. PGT incorporates these factors by relating agents' subjective expected utility to players' strategies, to their beliefs about others' strategies, but also to their beliefs about others' beliefs about their strategies, and so on. This paper argues that, thanks to the epistemic consequences of this hierarchy of beliefs, PGT is well-endowed to address, and to some extent solve three of the most challenging problems recently emerged in classical game theory, namely, the problem of intentions, that of trust and that of decision frames.
    Keywords: Psychological games, intentions, trust, decision frames.
    JEL: C72 C79 C9
    Date: 2007
  11. By: Venu Menon, Sudha
    Abstract: The ideology of globalization and its practice based on neo-liberal paradigm has played a vital role in re-arranging the architecture of global economic and political order. Central to this new economic dispensation is a shift in the role of the state, particularly in its commitment towards the mass of the people from where it supposed to drives its strength according to democratic traditions. Supporters of Globalization often believes that inflow of foreign capital, advanced technology, market economy and the resultant economic growth will automatically take care of issues of social justice and equity. However these claims seem to be meaningless in the present global economic order based on wide disparities in power relations and resource distribution. There exists a dramatic paradox between the theoretical discourse on global economic growth and prosperity, and the naked reality of impoverishment, social exclusion and disempowerment affecting vast majority of marginalized groups in society. Against this background, the present paper seeks to explore the relationship among the three-core concept of Globalization, Nation state and Disempowerment in the context of neo liberal agenda and Indian states commitment to Structural Adjustment Programme. The paper doesn’t criticize Globalization perse, but try to project how global integration follows high social cost, especially in the absence of stable, effective and efficient economic base.
    Keywords: globalisation; disempowerment; farmers suicide; Andhra Pradesh; India.
    JEL: Q00
    Date: 2006–12–03
  12. By: Del Boca Daniela (University of Turin); Pasqua Silvia; Pronzato Chiara
    Abstract: In this paper, we aim to explore the impact of social policies and labour market characteristics on the woman’s joint decisions of working and having children, using data from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP). We include in the analysis, beyond personal characteristics, variables related to the childcare system, parental leave arrangements, and labour market flexibility. Results show that a non negligible portion of the differences in participation and fertility rates across women from different European countries can be attributed to the characteristics of these institutions.
    Date: 2006–08
  13. By: Homan, A.C.; Knippenberg, D.L. van; Kleef, G.A. van; Dreu, C.K.W. de (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Although there are numerous potential benefits to diversity in work groups, converging dimensions of diversity often prevent groups from exploiting this potential. In a study of heterogeneous decision-making groups, we examined whether the disruptive effects of diversity faultlines can be overcome by convincing groups of the value in diversity. Groups were either persuaded of the value of diversity or of the value of similarity for group performance, and they were provided with either homogeneous or heterogeneous information. As expected, informationally diverse groups performed better when they held pro-diversity rather than pro-similarity beliefs, whereas the performance of informationally homogeneous groups was unaffected by diversity beliefs. This effect was mediated by group-level information elaboration. Implications for diversity management in organizations are discussed.
    Keywords: Diversity;Faultlines;Diversity Beliefs;Information Elaboration;Team Performance;
    Date: 2006–09–01
  14. By: Knippenberg, D.L. van; Cremer, D. de; Knippenberg, B. van (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Research in leadership effectiveness has paid less to the role of leader fairness than probably it should have. More recently, this has started to change. To capture this development, we review the empirical literature in leadership and fairness to define the field of leadership and fairness, to assess the state of the art, and to identify a research agenda for future efforts in the field. The review shows that leader distributive, procedural, and especially interactional fairness are positively associated with criteria of leadership effectiveness. More scarce and scattered evidence also suggests that fairness considerations help explain the effectiveness of other aspects of leadership, and that leader fairness and other aspects of leadership, or the leadership context, may interact in predicting leadership effectiveness. We conclude that future research should especially focus on interaction effects of leader fairness and other aspects of leadership, and on the processes mediating these effects.
    Keywords: Leadership effectiveness;Fairness;
    Date: 2006–12–17
  15. By: Herciu, Mihaela
    Abstract: The firms who decide to expand their business in an international environment must modify their management style through international management. Certainly, international management must adapt their on functions to the different framework of the business development. The culture is a cardinally factor, being an essential component in the success equation of multinational companies. The culture, the habits and the attitudes became points of major interests on the global market. Their importance is obvious through numerous "blunders" which find out in international trade and international. For the success of international business the economies must bees free, but the economic freedom is influenced by the national culture. All the undertake activities of managers are accessible to cultural environment. The global firm is due to negotiate with different international organisms, and where through the negotiations to fall flat, the managers must understand the cultural environment of the negotiator and must have cross-cultural competence.
    Keywords: culture; economic freedom; international business
    JEL: O57 F23 M14
    Date: 2006–09–02

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