nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2007‒03‒31
nineteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. Social capital and relative income concerns: evidence from 26 countries By Justina A.V. Fischer; Benno Torgler
  2. Different considerations about social capital in co-operative societies By Fernández Guadaño, Josefina
  3. The empirics of social capital and economic development: a critical perspective By Fabio, Sabatini
  4. Smoking and Social Interaction By Panu Poutvaara; Lars-H. R. Siemers
  5. Identification of Peer Effects through Social Networks By Yann Bramoullé; Habiba Djebbari; Bernard Fortin
  6. The reafirmación of the contributions of (property of) the associates of the cooperative societies. Offer of regulation of the societies of limited cooperative responsibility By García-Gutiérrez Fernández, Carlos
  7. Total Work, Gender and Social Norms By Burda, Michael C; Hamermesh, Daniel S; Weil, Philippe
  8. Informal and Formal Care in Europe By Tarja K. Viitanen
  9. Capitale sociale, imprese sociali, spesa pubblica e benessere sociale in Italia By Fabio, Sabatini
  10. Ethnic Specialization and Earnings Inequality: Why Being a Minority Hurts but Being a Big Minority Hurts More By Martin Kahanec
  11. Ethnicity, Voter Alignment and Political Party Affiliation – an African Case: Zambia By Gero Erdmann
  12. The reform of the accounting law and its repercussion in the regime of the own resources of the cooperative societies By Pastor Sempere, Mª del Carmen
  13. Network Circuity and the Location of Home and Work By Ahmed El-Geneidy; David Levinson
  14. Gender-Biased Behavior at Work: What Can Surveys Tell Us About the Link Between Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination? By Heather Antecol; Vanessa E. Barcus; Deborah A. Cobb-Clark
  15. Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap By Jacob Vigdor; Jens Ludwig
  16. Problems of Categorizing and Explaining Party Systems in Africa By Gero Erdmann; Matthias Basedau
  17. Immigrants Assimilate as Communities, not just as Individuals By Timothy J. Hatton; Andrew Leigh
  18. Status, Happiness, and Relative Income By John Beath; Felix FitzRoy
  19. Immigration, Integration and the Labour Market: Turkish Immigrants in Germany and the Netherlands By Rob Euwals; Jaco Dagevos; Mérove Gijsberts; Hans Roodenburg

  1. 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: 2007–02
  2. By: Fernández Guadaño, Josefina
    Abstract: There has been on-going debate concerning the classification of the Social Capitalof cooperative societies. This paper analyzes the different views on important areas of such classification. Particularly, it reviews the juridical approach in the European, national and autonomous environments; the national and international accounting methods; and the economic-financial approach The goal is to overcome the existing discrepancies and to propose the partial refund of the partners' contributions to Social Capital as a solution that attempts to guarantee the Net Patrimony" nature of the non-mandatory portion of those social contributions, along with partially following the "open exit doors" cooperative principle
    Keywords: Cooperative legislation; Social Capital; National and International Accounting Norms
    JEL: M40 M41 P13 G30
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Fabio, Sabatini
    Abstract: This paper provides an introduction to the concept of social capital, and carries out a critical review of the empirical literature on social capital and economic development. The survey points out six main weaknesses affecting the empirics of social capital. Identified weaknesses are then used to analyze, in a critical perspective, some prominent empirical studies and new interesting researches published in last two years. The need emerges to acknowledge, also within the empirical research, the multidimensional, context-dependent and dynamic nature of social capital. The survey also underlines that, although it has gained a certain popularity in the empirical research, the use of “indirect” indicators may be misleading. Such measures do not represent social capital’s key components identified by the theoretical literature, and their use causes a considerable confusion about what social capital is, as distinct from its outcomes, and what the relationship between social capital and its outcomes may be. Research reliant upon an outcome of social capital as an indicator of it will necessarily find social capital to be related to that outcome. This paper suggests to focus the empirical research firstly on the “structural” aspects of the concept, therefore excluding by the measurement toolbox all indicators referring to social capital’s supposed outcomes.
    Keywords: Social capital; Social networks; Trust; Economic development; Relation of economics to other disciplines; Relation of economics to social values.
    JEL: Z13 Z19
    Date: 2005–11
  4. By: Panu Poutvaara (University of Helsinki and IZA); Lars-H. R. Siemers (RWI Essen)
    Abstract: We study the social interaction of non-smokers and smokers as a sequential game, incorporating insights from social psychology and experimental economics into an economic model. Social norms affect human behavior such that non-smokers do not ask smokers to stop smoking and stay with them, even though disutility from smoking exceeds utility from social interaction. Overall, smoking is unduly often accepted when accommodating smoking is the social norm. The introduction of smoking and non-smoking areas does not overcome this specific inefficiency. We conclude that smoking bans may represent a required (secondbest) policy.
    Keywords: smoking policy, social norms, guilt aversion, deviant behavior, social interaction
    JEL: I18 D01 D11
    Date: 2007–03
  5. By: Yann Bramoullé (CIRPÉE, Université Laval); Habiba Djebbari (CIRPÉE, Université Laval and IZA); Bernard Fortin (CIRPÉE, Université Laval)
    Abstract: We provide new results regarding the identification of peer effects. We consider an extended version of the linear-in-means model where each individual has his own specific reference group. Interactions are thus structured through a social network. We assume that correlated unobservables are either absent, or treated as fixed effects at the component level. In both cases, we provide easy-to-check necessary and sufficient conditions for identification. We show that endogenous and exogenous effects are generally identified under network interaction, although identification may fail for some particular structures. Monte Carlo simulations provide an analysis of the effects of some crucial characteristics of a network (i.e., density, intransitivity) on the estimates of social effects. Our approach generalizes a number of previous results due to Manski (1993), Moffitt (2001), and Lee (2006).
    Keywords: peer effects, social networks, identification
    JEL: D85 L14 Z13 C3
    Date: 2007–03
  6. By: García-Gutiérrez Fernández, Carlos
    Abstract: The denominated International Norms (that are only European) of Accounting they have shown a latent problem that is not only terminological: they claim the resource consideration unaware of the heading that picks up the contributions of the partners of the cooperative societies, as it could not be otherwise when being companies in those that partner's condition is not acquired by the obligatory contribution (and, in its case, voluntary). The accounting seeks, among other things, to offer a faithful image of the patrimonial and economic-financial situation of the company. The principle of open door, settled down by the only worldwide organization! that what is a cooperative society, settles down it bears the refund of those contributions when the partner stops to be it; what configures to the inappropriately denominated social capital (it should be capital contributed by the partners) like a debt, not conventional, but debt. But the credit, the trust of the financial market, is based more on what you/they promise the managers that in a countable relationship of the passive one (and much less if it is deceiving). The things cannot be distorted to assist to the rights of those worthy of the society (that are sacred). These already know "with those who the rooms are played"; and, if they don't know it, it is their problem. It cannot load the inks on the current partners in favour of the futures, and even less in favour of the present managers. The cooperative society is an association of managers in democracy, each one of those which… he/she responds of its contribution, if the case arrives; but not before, "just in case". Because this is against the financial meaning, against the economical meaning and against the cooperative meaning.
    Keywords: The partners' financial contributions. Social capital. Net Accountant. Patrimony. Private property; Limitation of responsibility; Economic profitability and financial profitability.
    JEL: Z13 P48 P13
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Burda, Michael C; Hamermesh, Daniel S; Weil, Philippe
    Abstract: Using time-diary data from 25 countries, we demonstrate that there is a negative relationship between real GDP per capita and the female-male difference in total work time per day—the sum of work for pay and work at home. In rich northern countries on four continents there is no difference—men and women do the same amount of total work. This latter fact has been presented before by several sociologists for a few rich countries; but our survey results show that labour economists, macroeconomists, the general public and sociologists are unaware of it and instead believe that women perform more total work. The facts do not arise from gender differences in the price of time (as measured by market wages), as women’s total work is further below men’s where their relative wages are lower. Additional tests using U.S. and German data show that they do not arise from differences in marital bargaining, as gender equality is not associated with marital status; nor do they stem from family norms, since most of the variance in the gender total work difference is due to within-couple differences. We offer a theory of social norms to explain the facts. The social-norm explanation is better able to account for within-education group and within-region gender differences in total work being smaller than inter-group differences. It is consistent with evidence using the World Values Surveys that female total work is relatively greater than men’s where both men and women believe that scarce jobs should be offered to men first.
    Keywords: gender differences; household production; paid work; time use
    JEL: D13 J16 J22
    Date: 2007–03
  8. By: Tarja K. Viitanen (University of Sheffield and IZA)
    Abstract: Government expenditure on formal residential care and home-help services for the elderly significantly reduces 45-59 year old women’s informal care-giving affecting both the extensive and the intensive margin. Allowing for country fixed-effects and country-specific trends and correcting for attrition, the estimates - based on the European Community Household Panel - imply that a 1000 Euro increase in the government expenditure on formal residential care and home-help services for the elderly decreases the probability of informal care-giving outside of the caregiver’s household by 6 percentage points. Formal care substitutes for informal care that is undertaken outside of the carer’s own household, but does not substitute for intergenerational household formation. A simulation exercise shows that an increase in government formal care expenditure is a cost-effective way of increasing the labour force participation rates.
    Keywords: informal care, formal care, ECHP, attrition bias
    JEL: J14 J2
    Date: 2007–02
  9. By: Fabio, Sabatini
    Abstract: Questo articolo descrive i risultati di una prima analisi esplorativa sulla relazione tra capitale sociale, imprese sociali e qualità dello sviluppo economico in Italia. Il capitale sociale viene rilevato nei suoi aspetti “strutturali”, identificati con le reti di relazioni interpersonali e con la presenza di imprese sociali sul territorio. I dati sono tratti dalle indagini multiscopo condotte dall’Istat su un campione di circa ventimila famiglie tra il 1998 e il 2002 e dall'ultimo rapporto dell'Istat sulle cooperative sociali. Lo sviluppo è misurato da un insieme complesso di variabili che comprende l’indice di sviluppo umano e indicatori che misurano l’efficienza dei servizi pubblici in alcuni settori critici dal punto di vista del benessere sociale, il rispetto delle pari opportunità, la rilevanza del precariato nel mercato del lavoro e lo stato di salute degli ecosistemi urbani. La struttura delle correlazioni tra le variabili è analizzata mediante una serie di analisi in componenti principali di tipo esplorativo. L’evidenza empirica mostra che in Italia la qualità dello sviluppo è significativamente e positivamente correlata con la presenza di reti di relazioni informali, di organizzazioni volontarie e di imprese sociali, mentre la correlazione con le reti di legami forti tra familiari è significativamente negativa. La partecipazione politica attiva sembra irrilevante, sia dal punto di vista del benessere sociale sia riguardo l’ammontare della spesa pubblica regionale nei settori considerati.
    Keywords: Capitale sociale; Imprese sociali; Spesa pubblica; Benessere sociale; Sviluppo economico
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2007–03–21
  10. By: Martin Kahanec (IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Social interaction is an important vehicle of human capital acquisition and its efficiency decreases in social distance. In this paper I establish that these two premises, given the socio-cultural differences between ethnic groups, explain the puzzling evidence that (i) minorities typically earn less than majorities and (ii) this earnings gap is increasing in the relative size of a minority in a given region. In particular, I argue that inter-ethnic social distance disadvantages smaller ethnic groups in human capital acquisition and that these efficiency differentials systematically expose minority and majority individuals to different incentives as concerns their choice of skills. As a result, minority and majority individuals tend to acquire different (combinations of) skills and the textbook substitution effect drives an efficiency unit of minority labor to sell at a relatively lower wage in a region with higher percentage of minority people. The conditions under which the efficiency disadvantage of the minority in social interaction and the substitution effect explain the abovementioned empirical findings are established. In addition, this study offers an answer why some minorities earn more than majorities, why minority individuals tend to spend more time socializing in families than in schools, and why integration may harm minorities.
    Keywords: human capital, earnings inequality, labor market, minority, network externalities, social interaction, ethnic specialization
    JEL: J15 J24 J70 O15
    Date: 2007–03
  11. By: Gero Erdmann (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom holds that ethnicity provides the social cleavage for voting behav-iour and party affiliation in Africa. Because this is usually inferred from aggregate data of national election results, it might prove to be an ecological fallacy. The evidence based on individual data from an opinion survey in Zambia suggests that ethnicity matters for voter alignment and even more so for party affiliation, but it is certainly not the only factor. The analysis also points to a number of qualifications which are partly methodology-related. One is that the degree of ethnic voting can differ from one ethno-political group to the other depending on various degrees of ethnic mobilisation. Another is that if smaller eth-nic groups or subgroups do not identify with one particular party, it is difficult to find a significant statistical correlation between party affiliation and ethnicity – but that does not prove that they do not affiliate along ethnic lines.
    Keywords: Social cleavages, ethnicity, voting behaviour, political party identification, political party affiliation, Zambia
  12. By: Pastor Sempere, Mª del Carmen
    Abstract: The following contribution focuses on the central role placed by economic regulatations in cooperatives, analysing by NIC and its presence and influence.
    Keywords: Social Capital; NIC; coopertives societies
    JEL: P13
    Date: 2006
  13. By: Ahmed El-Geneidy; David Levinson (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: In an urban context people travel between places of residence and work destinations via transportation networks. Transportation studies that involve measurements of distances between residence and work locations tend to use Euclidean distances rather than Network distances. This is due to the historic difficulty in calculating network distances and based on assumptions that differences between Euclidean distance and network distance tend to be constant. This assumption is true only when variation in the network is minor and when self-selection is not present. In this paper we use circuity, the ratio of network to Euclidean distance, as a tool to better understand the choice of residential location relative to work. This is done using two methods of defining origins and destinations in the Twin Cities metropolitan region. The first method of selection is based on actual choice of residence and work locations. The second is based on a randomly selected dataset of origins and destinations in the same region. The findings of the study show circuity measured through randomly selected origins and destinations differ from circuity measured from actual origins and destinations. Workers tend to reside in areas where the circuity is lower, applying intelligence to their location decisions. We posit this because locators wish to achieve the largest residential lot at the shortest commute time. This finding reveals an important issue related to resident choice and location theory and how resident workers tend to locate in an urban context.
    Keywords: Network structure, travel behavior, transport geography, commuting, circuity
    JEL: R40 R11 R14
    Date: 2007
  14. By: Heather Antecol (Claremont McKenna College and IZA); Vanessa E. Barcus (Mighty Karma, Denver); Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (SPEAR, RSSS, Australian National University and IZA)
    Abstract: This paper examines the links between survey-based reports of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. In particular, we are interested in assessing whether these concepts measure similar forms of gender-biased behavior and whether they have the same effect on workers’ job satisfaction and intentions to leave their jobs. Our results provide little support for the notion that survey-based measures of sexual harassment and gender discrimination capture the same underlying behavior. Respondents do appear to differentiate between incidents of sexual harassment and incidents of gender discrimination in the workplace. Both gender discrimination and sexual harassment are associated with a substantially higher degree of job dissatisfaction, particularly amongst men. While women who experience gender discrimination are somewhat more likely to intend to change jobs, amongst men it is sexual harassment that leads to an increased propensity to quit. We find no significant interactions between our two measures of gender bias, perhaps implying that the intensity of gender bias is relatively unimportant for understanding job dissatisfaction and the intention to quit. At the same time, this may reflect the lack of precision with which we estimate this interaction, especially for men.
    Keywords: sexual harassment, gender discrimination, job satisfaction, intentions to quit
    JEL: J16 J28
    Date: 2007–02
  15. By: Jacob Vigdor; Jens Ludwig
    Abstract: The mid-1980s witnessed breaks in two important trends related to race and schooling. School segregation, which had been declining, began a period of relative stasis. Black-white test score gaps, which had also been declining, also stagnated. The notion that these two phenomena may be related is also supported by basic cross-sectional evidence. We review existing literature on the relationship between neighborhood- and school-level segregation and the test score gap. Several recent studies point to a statistically significant causal relationship between school segregation and the test score gap, though in many cases the magnitude of the relationship is small in economic terms. Experimental studies, as well as methodologically convincing non-experimental studies, suggest that there is little if any causal role for neighborhood segregation operating through a mechanism other than school segregation.
    JEL: I2 J15 R2
    Date: 2007–03
  16. By: Gero Erdmann (GIGA Institute of African Affairs); Matthias Basedau (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)
    Abstract: Starting from controversial findings about the relationship between party systems and the prospects of democratic consolidation, this article argues that problems can only be properly addressed on the basis of a differentiated typology of party systems. Contradictory research results do not pose an ‘African puzzle’ but can be explained by different and inadequate approaches. We argue that a modified version of Sartori's typology of party systems provides an appropriate method for classifying African party systems. Based on Sartori's framework, a preponderance of predominant and dominant party systems is identified. This can partly be explained by the prevailing authoritarian nature of many multiparty regimes in Africa as well as by the ethnic plurality of African societies. High ethnic fragmentation is not transformed into highly fragmented party systems. This phenomenon can be attributed to the most frequent ‘ethnic congress party’ which is based on an ethnic elite coalition.
    Keywords: Africa, South of Sahara, party systems, conceptual analysis, democratisation,electoral system, social cleavage, ethnicity
  17. By: Timothy J. Hatton; Andrew Leigh
    Abstract: There is a large econometric literature that examines the economic assimilation of immigrants in the United States and elsewhere. On the whole immigrants are seen as atomistic individuals assimilating in a largely anonymous labour market, a view that runs counter to the spirit of the equally large literature on ethnic groups. Here we argue that immigrants assimilate as communities, not just as individuals. The longer the immigrant community has been established the better adjusted it is to the host society and the more the host society comes to accept that ethnic group. Thus economic outcomes for immigrants should depend not just on their own characteristics, but also on the legacy of past immigration from the same country. In this paper we test this hypothesis using data from a 5 percent sample of the 1980, 1990 and 2000 US censuses. We find that history matters in immigrant assimilation: the stronger is the tradition of immigration from a given source country, the better the economic outcomes for new immigrants from that source.
    Keywords: immigrant earnings, migration history, ethnic groups.
    JEL: F22 J61 Z13
    Date: 2007–03
  18. By: John Beath (University of St. Andrews); Felix FitzRoy (University of St. Andrews and IZA)
    Abstract: Models of status based on Frank’s (1985) count of the number of people with lower conspicuous consumption are inconsistent with the extensive empirical literature on happiness and well-being. The alternative approach to consumption interaction which uses some form of relative income has been developed in various contexts. These predict that a representative agent’s well-being will increase with real income or consumption. However, this is again inconsistent with the time-series evidence for advanced economies. In this paper we combine a simple model of relative income with a distribution of ability that correctly predicts both time series results of near constant utility, and the positive, concave crosssectional relation between income, working time and happiness.
    Keywords: status, happiness, relative income
    JEL: D01 D31 D6
    Date: 2007–03
  19. By: Rob Euwals (CPB, The Hague, Netspar and IZA); Jaco Dagevos (SCP, The Hague); Mérove Gijsberts (SCP, The Hague); Hans Roodenburg (CPB, The Hague)
    Abstract: On the basis of three micro datasets, the German Socio-Economic Panel 2002, the Dutch Social Position and Use of Provision Survey 2002 and the Dutch Labour Force Survey 2002, we investigate the labour market position of Turkish immigrants in Germany and the Netherlands. We compare labour market outcomes of Turkish immigrants, including both the first and second generation, and natives in both countries by using the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method. We find that Turkish immigrants have lower employment rates, lower tenured job rates and lower job prestige scores than natives. In both countries, the lower level of education and the age composition of the Turkish immigrants partly explains the unfavourable labour market position. The standardized gap - the gap that remains after correction for the observed individual characteristics - in the employment and tenured job rate remains large for the Netherlands, while the standardized gap in the job prestige score remains large for Germany. Differences in past immigration policies between Germany and the Netherlands are likely to be important for explaining the labour market position of Turkish men in both countries.
    Keywords: immigration, integration, labour market
    JEL: C25 F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2007–03

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