nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2007‒06‒23
fifteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. Friendship Selection By Javier Rivas
  2. Trust and truth By Ellingsen, Tore; Johannesson, Magnus; Lilja, Jannie; Zetterqvist, Henrik
  3. Environmental and Pro-Social Norms: Evidence from 30 Countries By Benno Torglor
  4. Time is not money By Ellingsen, Tore; Johannesson, Magnus
  5. Group polarization in the team dictator game reconsidered By Wolfgang Luhan; Martin Kocher; Matthias Sutter
  6. Ubiquitous Social Networks : Opportunities and Challenges for Privacy-Aware Modelling By Sören Preibusch; Bettina Hoser; Seda Gürses; Bettina Berendt
  7. Detection of Local Interactions from the Spatial Pattern of Names in France By Head, Charles Keith; Mayer, Thierry
  8. Network Formation With Endogenous Decay By Francesco Feri
  9. The Signalling Power of Sanctions in Collective Action Problems By Joel van der Weele
  10. Labour market entry of migrants in Germany : does cultural diversity matter? By Haas, Anette; Damelang, Andreas
  11. Does Culture Influence Asset Managers? Views and Behavior? By Beckmann, Daniela; Menkhoff, Lukas; Suto, Megumi
  12. Keeping up with the Schmidts : An Empirical Test of Relative Deprivation Theory in the Neighbourhood Context By Gundi Knies; Simon Burgess; Carol Propper
  13. Group formation and governance By Ludovic Renou
  14. Il capitale sociale nel pensiero di John Maynard Keynes By Fiorillo Damiano
  15. Making Autocracy Work By Timothy Besley; Masayuki Kudamatsu

  1. By: Javier Rivas
    Abstract: We model the formation of friendships as repeated cooperation within a set of heterogeneous players. The model builds around three of the most important facts about friendship: friends help each other, there is reciprocity in the relationship and people usually have few friends. In our results we explain how similarity between people affects the friendship selection. We also characterize when the friendship network won’t depend on the random process by which people meet each other. Finally, we explore how players’ patience influences the length of their friendship relations. Our results match and explain empirical evidence reported in social studies on friendship. For instance, our model explains why troublesome subjects have few friends.
    Keywords: Friendship, cooperative game, grim trigger strategy, social networks
    JEL: C72 C73 Z13
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Ellingsen, Tore (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics); Johannesson, Magnus (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics); Lilja, Jannie (Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University); Zetterqvist, Henrik (Hilti)
    Abstract: In a laboratory experiment, we create relationships between pairs of anonymous subjects through a Prisoners' dilemma game. Thereafter the same subjects play a private values (sealed-bid double auction) bargaining game with or without communication. Communication substantially increases bargaining efficiency among subjects who cooperated in the Prisoners' dilemma, but has no significant effect on bargaining outcomes when one subject defected. Subjects who cooperated in the Prisoners' dilemma bid more aggresively if their opponent defected. Cooperators also lie more about their valuations when their opponent defected: Compared to the case of mutual cooperation, the cooperators' rate of honest revelation decreases from 64% to 6% and the rate of outright deception increases from 7% to 53%. Our results provide qualitatively new evidence that many people are strong recipricators: They are willing to bear private costs in order to reward good behavior and punish bad behavior, even when the rewards and punishments are unobservable.
    Keywords: Bargaining; Communication; Honesty; Trust; Strong reciprocity
    JEL: C91 D74 Z13
    Date: 2006–11–01
  3. By: Benno Torglor
    Abstract: The paper investigates the relationship between pro-social norms and its implications for improved environmental outcomes, an area which has been neglected in the environmental economics literature. We provide empirical evidence, demonstrating a strong link between perceived environmental cooperation (reduced public littering) and increased voluntary environmental morale, using European Values Survey (EVS) data for 30 Western and Eastern European countries. The robust results suggest that environmental morale and perceived environmental cooperation, as well as identifying the factors that strengthen these relationships, potentially bring about better environmental outcomes.
    Keywords: environmental preferences, environmental morale, conditional cooperation, pro-social behavior
    JEL: H26 H73 D64
    Date: 2007–06–01
  4. By: Ellingsen, Tore (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics); Johannesson, Magnus (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Casual observation suggests that people are more generous with their time than with their money. In this paper we present experimental evidence supporting the hypothesis. A third of our subjects demand no compensation for non-monetary investments, whereas almost all subjects demand compensation for equally costly monetary investments. The finding supports the contention that generosity to some extent is symbolic and context dependent, and that social norms encourage generosity in the time domain.
    Keywords: Altruism; Bargaining; Non-monetary generosity
    JEL: C91 J20 L14 Z13
    Date: 2006–12–07
  5. By: Wolfgang Luhan; Martin Kocher; Matthias Sutter
    Abstract: While most papers on team decision-making find that teams behave more selfishly, less trustingly and less altruistically than individuals, Cason and Mui (1997) report that teams are more altruistic than individuals in a dictator game. Using a within-subjects design we re-examine group polarization by letting subjects make individual as well as team decisions in an experimental dictator game. In our experiment teams are more selfish than individuals, and the most selfish team member has the strongest influence on team decisions. Various explanations for the different findings in Cason and Mui (1997) and in our paper are discussed.
    Keywords: Experiment, dictator game, team behavior, social preferences
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D70
    Date: 2007–07
  6. By: Sören Preibusch; Bettina Hoser; Seda Gürses; Bettina Berendt
    Abstract: Privacy has been recognized as an important topic in the Internet for a long time, and technological developments in the area of privacy tools are ongoing. However, their focus was mainly on the individual. With the proliferation of social network sites, it has become more evident that the problem of privacy is not bounded by the perimeters of individuals but also by the privacy needs of their social networks. The objective of this paper is to contribute to the discussion about privacy in social network sites, a topic which we consider to be severely under-researched. We propose a framework for analyzing privacy requirements and for analyzing privacy-related data. We outline a combination of requirements analysis, conflict-resolution techniques, and a P3P extension that can contribute to privacy within such sites.
    Keywords: World Wide Web, privacy, social network analysis, requirements analysis, privacy negotiation, ubiquity, P3P
    JEL: C8 L86
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Head, Charles Keith; Mayer, Thierry
    Abstract: Using data on name distributions in 95 French departments observed from 1946 to 2002, we investigate spatial and social mechanisms behind the transmission of parental preferences. Drawing inspiration from recent work on social interactions, we develop a simple discrete choice model that predicts a linear relationship between choices by agents in one location and the choices made in neighbouring areas. We explain the shares of parents that give their children Saint, Arabic, and American-type names. In a second exercise we examine the effect of distance between locations on differences in name-type shares. In our last exercise we consider dissimilarity in actual names rather than name-types. Using Manhattan Distances as our metric, we find a steady and substantial decline in the importance of geographic distance. Meanwhile, differences in class and national origins have increasing explanatory power.
    Keywords: Conformity; Cultural transmission; Diffusion; Geography; Neighbourhood effects; Social economics
    JEL: D19 F15 R10
    Date: 2007–06
  8. By: Francesco Feri
    Abstract: This paper considers a model of economic network characterized by an endogenous architecture and frictions in the relations among agents as described in Bala and Goyal (2000). We propose a similar network model with the difference that frictions in the relations among agents are endogenous. Frictions are modeled as dependent on the result of a coordination game, played by every pair of directly linked agents and characterized by 2 equilibria: one efficient and the other risk dominant. The model has a multiplicity of equilibria and we produce a characterization of those are stochastically stable.
    Keywords: Network, Decay, Strategic Interaction
    JEL: A14 D20 J00
    Date: 2007–06
  9. By: Joel van der Weele
    Abstract: We present a model of collective action in a heterogenous population of egoists and conditional cooperators. Each player is uncertain about the cooperative inclinations of the other player. A government or principal who has information about the distribution of types may introduce sanctions for defection. We study the impact of such sanctions through the e¤ect on the beliefs of the players about the distribution of types they are facing. It is shown that in equilibrium sanctions can crowd out trust between agents by sending a signal that there are many egoists around. This can lead the government to set low sanctions to induce trust and 'crowd in' cooperation. In cases where conditional cooperation is an important factor in collective action, as is the case in tax compliance, the model provides a rationale for the low observed sanctions in the real world.
    Keywords: Collective action, trust, incentives, crowding out, conditional cooperation
    JEL: D83 J30 K42 M52
    Date: 2007
  10. By: Haas, Anette (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Damelang, Andreas (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "This paper provides an analysis of the labour market entry of migrant youth in Germany after completion of an apprenticeship. We are particularly interested in the impact of local cultural diversity on a successful career start. Focusing on the cohort of people completing apprenticeships in 2000, we distinguish between Turks, citizens of former Yugoslavia, EU15 migrants and other migrants compared with Germans as the reference group. A multinomial probit model reveals that Turkish apprentices and those from the other migrant groups have a significantly lower probability of transition into the primary labour market, whereas EU15 migrants do not differ from Germans in this respect. In addition to controlling for individual and firm characteristics as well as occupation, we explicitly include regional characteristics. Our results show that if there is a high level of cultural diversity, young migrants will find employment more easily. In contrast to other studies which emphasize the impact of friends and family ties, we conclude that networks and information flows which are not restricted to an individual's own ethnic group increase the likelihood of finding a job." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: ausländische Jugendliche, betriebliche Berufsausbildung, Ausbildungsabsolventen, Berufseinmündung, kulturelle Identität, zweite Schwelle, Migranten, regionaler Arbeitsmarkt, Arbeitsmarktchancen, Westdeutschland, Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    JEL: F22 J61 J62 R23
    Date: 2007–06–14
  11. By: Beckmann, Daniela; Menkhoff, Lukas; Suto, Megumi
    Abstract: This research enters new ground by presenting comparative survey evidence on asset managers' views and behavior in the United States, Germany, Japan and Thailand. Relying on Hofstede's four cultural dimensions, we find that cultural differences are most helpful in understanding country differences which cannot be explained by pure economic reasoning. In short, controlling for various determinants, the dimension of more Individualism predicts less herding behavior, more Power Distance leads to older and comparatively less experienced managers in the upper hierarchy, Masculinity brings men into top positions and to higher volumes of assets under personal responsibility, and Uncertainty Avoidance is related to higher safety margins against the tracking error allowed and relatively more research effort. These consequences, i.e. the culturally different importance of herding, age, experience, gender, tracking error and research effort, clearly affect investment behavior, although in a complex way.
    Keywords: Asset Managers, Individualism, Power Distance, Masculinity Uncertainty Avoidance
    JEL: G23 G14 G15 Z10
    Date: 2007–06
  12. By: Gundi Knies; Simon Burgess; Carol Propper
    Abstract: We test empirically whether people's life satisfaction depends on their relative income position in the neighbourhood, drawing on a unique dataset, the German Socio-economic Panel Study (SOEP) matched with micro-marketing indicators of population characteristics. Relative deprivation theory suggests that individuals are happier the better their relative income position in the neighbourhood is. To test this theory we estimate micro-economic happiness models for the years 1994 and 1999 with controls for own income and for neighbourhood income at the zip-code level (roughly 9,000 people). There exist no negative and no statistically significant associations between neighbourhood income and life satisfaction, which refutes relative deprivation theory. If anything, we find positive associations between neighbourhood income and happiness in all cross-sectional models and this is robust to a number of robustness tests, including adding in more controls for neighbourhood quality, changing the outcome variable, and interacting neighbourhood income with indicators that proxy the extent to which individuals may be assumed to interact with their neighbours. We argue that the scale at which we measure neighbourhood characteristics may be too large still to identify the comparison effect sought after.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction, neighbourhood effects, comparison income, reference group
    JEL: I31 C23 Z1
    Date: 2007
  13. By: Ludovic Renou
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of the governance of a group, whether be it unanimity, simple majority or qualified majority, on its size, composition, and inclination to change the status quo. Somewhat surprisingly, we show that not only unanimity might favor the formation of larger groups than majority, but also a change of status quo. This paper therefore suggests that unanimity, often blamed for the European inertia of the last two decades, was only a scapegoat.
    Keywords: groups; coalitions; alliances; endogenous formation; cost reduction; loss of control; governance; unanimity; majority
    JEL: D7
    Date: 2007–06
  14. By: Fiorillo Damiano
    Abstract: Obiettivo del lavoro è accertare se aspetti di capitale sociale, quali le relazioni interpersonali, le organizzazioni sociali e la fiducia, possono individuarsi nell'economia politica keynesiana. Il lavoro prova a rendere contributi lungo tre linee. Primo, nella filosofia keynesiana del sistema capitalista, l'individuo è permeato da obiettivi egoistici e razionali anche quando instaura relazioni interpersonali. Tuttavia, Keynes rifiuta eticamente il movente del vantaggio a cui contrappone la massimizzazione dell'ideale. Secondo, l'individualismo egoistico può essere disciplinato e incanalato verso l'interesse collettivo mediante organizzazioni sociali intermedie tra l'individuo e lo Stato. Terzo, esso sostiene che la teoria keynesiana dell'efficienza marginale del capitale e della preferenza per la liquidità potrebbe fornire, in condizioni di incertezza e ignoranza totale, una base teorica all'evidenza empirica riscontrata in letteratura della relazione positiva tra la fiducia e la crescita economia per mezzo dell'investimento in capitale fisico.
    Date: 2007–03
  15. By: Timothy Besley; Masayuki Kudamatsu
    Abstract: One of the key goals of political economy is to understand how institutional arrangementsshape policy outcomes. This paper studies a comparatively neglected aspect of this - theforces that shape heterogeneous performance of autocracies. The paper develops a simpletheoretical model of accountability in the absence of regularized elections. Leadershipturnover is managed by a selectorate - a group of individuals on whom the leader depends tohold onto power. Good policy is institutionalized when the selectorate removes poorlyperforming leaders from office. This requires that the selectorate's hold on power is not toodependent on a specific leader being in office. The paper looks empirically at spells ofautocracy to establish cases where it has been successful according to various objectivecriteria. We use these case studies to identify the selectorate in specific instances of successfulautocracy. We also show that, consistent with the theory, leadership turnover in successfulautocracies is higher than in unsuccessful autocracies. Finally, we show by exploitingleadership deaths from natural causes that successful autocracies appear to have found waysfor selectorates to nominate successors without losing power - a feature which is alsoconsistent with the theoretical approach.
    Keywords: Keywords: dictatorship, democracy
    JEL: P16 P26
    Date: 2007–05

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