nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2007‒09‒16
seventeen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. The Social Context of the Labor Supply By Stefano Bartolini; Ennio Bilancini
  2. Environmental and Pro-Social Norms: Evidence from 30 Countries By Benno Torgler; Bruno S. Frey; Clevo Wilson
  3. Do the Reciprocal Trust Less? By Steffen Altmann; Thomas Dohmen; Matthias Wibral
  4. Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration? By Alberto Bisin; Eleonora Patacchini; Thierry Verdier; Yves Zenou
  5. Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects By James Andreoni
  6. Moral Hazard and Free Riding in Collective Action By Vincent Anesi
  7. Individual Responsibility and the Funding of Collective Goods By Louis Levy-Garboua; Claude Montmarquette; Marie-Claire Villeval
  8. Job Satisfaction And Family Happiness: The Part-Time Work Problem By Booth, A.L.; Ours, J.C. van
  9. Understanding Trust By Paola Sapienza; Anna Toldra; Luigi Zingales
  10. Insurance for the Poor: The Case of Informal Insurance Groups in Benin By Philippe LeMay-Boucher
  11. ROSCA Participation in Benin: A Commitment Issue By Olivier Dagnelie; Philippe LeMay-Boucher
  12. Endogenous Leadership Selection and Influence By Emrah Arbak; Marie-Claire Villeval
  13. Gatekeepers in regional networks of innovators By Holger Graf
  14. Subjective Beliefs and Schooling Decisions By Christian Belzil
  15. Co-evolution of firms, industries and networks in space By Anne ter Wal; Ron A. Boschma
  16. Personality, Job Satisfaction and Health - The Mediating Influence of Affectivity By Justina A.V. Fischer; Alfonso Sousa-Poza
  17. Corruption and Democracy By Michael T. Rock

  1. By: Stefano Bartolini; Ennio Bilancini
    Abstract: In this paper we empirically investigate the relationship between social capital and the supply of labor. We identify social capital with non-market relationships. Data are obtained from the US General Social Survey for the period 1976-2004. We find evidence that social capital affects the supply of labor. In particular non-instrumental relations reduce the supply of labor, whereas instrumental relations increase it. Moreover, there are substantial differences between men and women: social capital has a greater impact on the labor supply of women. Our findings suggest that Putnam’s thesis that the decline of US social capital is largely due to the increase in participation of women to the labor market may be partly reversed: the decline of US intrinsic social capital has fostered women’s labor market participation.
    Keywords: intrinsic motivations, labor supply, relational goods, social capital
    JEL: J2 I3 Z1
    Date: 2007–08
  2. By: Benno Torgler (Queensland University of Technology); Bruno S. Frey (CREMA, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich and CESifo); Clevo Wilson (The School of Economics and FinanceT, Queensland University of Technology)
    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: 2007–08
  3. By: Steffen Altmann (University of Bonn and IZA); Thomas Dohmen (IZA); Matthias Wibral (University of Bonn and IZA)
    Abstract: We study the intrapersonal relationship between trust and reciprocity in a laboratory experiment. Reciprocal subjects trust significantly more than selfish ones. This finding raises questions about theories of social preferences which predict that "fairer" players should trust less.
    Keywords: trust, reciprocity, social preferences, fairness, laboratory experiment
    JEL: C91 D63
    Date: 2007–08
  4. By: Alberto Bisin (New York University); Eleonora Patacchini (University of Rome "La Sapienza"); Thierry Verdier (PSE and CEPR); Yves Zenou (Stockholm University, GAINS, CEPR, Research Institute of Industrial Economics and IZA)
    Abstract: Using the UK Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities, we explore the determinants of religious identity for Muslims and non-Muslims. We find that Muslims integrate less and more slowly than non-Muslims. A Muslim born in the UK and having spent there more than 50 years shows a comparable level of probability of having a strong religious identity than a non- Muslim just arrived in the country. Furthermore, Muslims seem to follow a different integration pattern than other ethnic and religious minorities. Specifically, high levels of income as well as high on-the-job qualifications increase the Muslims’ sense of identity. We also find no evidence that segregated neighborhoods breed intense religious and cultural identities for ethnic minorities, especially for Muslims. This result casts doubts on the foundations of the integration policies in Europe.
    Keywords: religious identity, assimilation, Muslims
    JEL: A14 J15
    Date: 2007–08
  5. By: James Andreoni
    Date: 2007–09–03
  6. By: Vincent Anesi (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: Most political and economic theorists point to moral hazard in teams as the main obstacle to lobbies' collective action. In this paper, we address this important issue with a coalition-formation game. In the process of doing so, we characterize equilibrium lobby structures both in the absence and in the presence of moral hazard. Three notable results emerge from such an exercise: (i) an equilibrium lobby structure exists under both specications of the model, (ii) moral hazard in teams may raise large groups' equilibrium lobby size, and (iii) it may also raise the total contribution to lobbying of large groups with low organizational costs.
    Keywords: Collective action, Moral hazard in teams, Lobby formation, Free-rider problem
    JEL: C72 D72 H41
    Date: 2007–08
  7. By: Louis Levy-Garboua (CES-TEAM and Paris School of Economics); Claude Montmarquette (CIRANO and Université de Montréal); Marie-Claire Villeval (GATE CNRS, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))
    Abstract: When a deficit occurs in the funding of collective goods, it is usually covered by raising the amount of taxes or by rationing the supply of the goods. This article compares the efficiency of these institutions. We report the results of a 2x2 experiment based on a game in the first stage of which subjects can voluntarily contribute to the funding of a collective good that is being used to compensate the victims of a disaster. In the second stage of the game, in case of a deficit, we introduce either taxation or rationing. Each treatment is subjected to two conditions: the burden of the deficit is either uniform for all the subjects, or individualized according to the first-stage contribution. We show that the individualized treatments favor the provision of the collective good through voluntary cooperation whereas the uniform treatments encourage free-riding. Individualized taxation brings the voluntary contributions closer to the optimum while uniform rationing appears to be the worst system since free-riding restrains the provision of the good.
    Keywords: collective goods, experiment, interior Pareto optimum, rationing, responsibility, taxation
    JEL: C91 H21 H30 H41 H50
    Date: 2007–09
  8. By: Booth, A.L.; Ours, J.C. van (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Using fixed effects ordered logit estimation, we investigate the relationship between part-time work and working hours satisfaction; job satisfaction; and life satisfaction. We account for interdependence within the family using data on partnered men and women from the British Household Panel Survey. We find that men have the highest hours-of-work satisfaction if they work full-time without overtime hours but neither their job satisfaction nor their life satisfaction are affected by how many hours they work. Life satisfaction is influenced only by whether or not they have a job. For women we are confronted with a puzzle. Hours satisfaction and job satisfaction indicate that women prefer part-time jobs irrespective of whether these are small or large. In contrast, female life satisfaction is virtually unaffected by hours of work. Women without children do not care about their hours of work at all, while women with children are significantly happier if they have a job regardless of how many hours it entails.
    Keywords: part-time work;happiness;satisfaction;working hours;gender.
    JEL: J22 I31 J16
    Date: 2007
  9. By: Paola Sapienza; Anna Toldra; Luigi Zingales
    Abstract: Several papers study the effect of trust by using the answer to the World Values Survey (WVS) question "Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can't be too careful in dealing with people?" to measure the level of trust. Glaeser et al. (2000) question the validity of this measure by showing that it is not correlated with senders' behavior in the standard trust game, but only with his trustworthiness. By using a large sample of German households, Fehr et al. (2003) find the opposite result: WVS-like measures of trust are correlated with the sender's behavior, but not with its trustworthiness. In this paper we resolve this puzzle by recognizing that trust has two components: a belief-based one and a preference based one. While the sender's behavior reflects both, we show that WVS-like measures capture mostly the belief-based component, while questions on past trusting behavior are better at capturing the preference component of trust.
    JEL: G10 G30 Z10
    Date: 2007–09
  10. By: Philippe LeMay-Boucher
    Abstract: This paper studies indigenous insurance groups using evidence from urban areas in Benin. Many of these informal institutions co-exist within neighbourhood-distance. They are based on well-defined rules and regulations, offering premium-based insurance for funeral expenses, as well as other forms of insurance and credit to cope with hardships. We provide first a description of these groups. Then we investigate, with the help of an original dataset, which individual characteristics are significant in explaining both the probability to join such groups and the choice of insurance coverage.
    Keywords: groups, insurance, Benin
    JEL: O17 O18 C21
    Date: 2007
  11. By: Olivier Dagnelie; Philippe LeMay-Boucher
    Abstract: In the light of first-hand data from a Beninese urban household survey in Cotonou, we investigate several motives aiming to explain participation in Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs). We provide empirical findings which lead us to think that the main reason why individuals join a ROSCA is to commit themselves against self-control problems.
    Keywords: ROSCA, self-control, Benin
    JEL: G2 O16 O17
    Date: 2007
  12. By: Emrah Arbak (GATE CNRS); Marie-Claire Villeval (GATE CNRS)
    Abstract: In social dilemmas, leading a team by making heroic efforts may prove costly, especially if the followers are not adequately motivated to make similar sacrifices. Attempting to understand what motivates these seemingly selfless individuals to lead, we report the results of a two-stage public good experiment with endogenous timing. Even though it turns out to be costly on average, a large proportion of our subjects volunteer to lead. Our findings suggest that a fraction of these leaders are socially concerned, while others expect to distill some personal gain, possibly of non-pecuniary nature. The composition of the team also matters, as publicizing certain attributes of a subject’s teammates has an impact on her decision to lead. Lastly, though voluntary leaders improve efficiency in their team, they are not necessarily more influential than randomly imposed leaders.
    Keywords: endogenous switching models, experiment, influence, leadership, voluntary contribution
    JEL: A13 C92 D63 J33 M54
    Date: 2007–03
  13. By: Holger Graf (Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, School of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: The internal density of a local network is said to increase the region-specific knowledge-stock and might lead to a comparative advantage. However, it might also lead to a lock-in situation, if local trajectories are directed towards inferior solutions. Accordingly it is argued that successful clusters are characterised by the existence of gatekeepers, i.e. actors that generate novelty by drawing on local and external knowledge. We attempt to answer questions related to the role and characteristics of gatekeepers within regional innovation systems by applying social network analysis based on patent data for four East-German regions. The regional networks appear to be significantly different with respect to the overall degree of interaction and with respect to their relative outward orienta- tion. Concerning the characteristics of gatekeepers, we find that size does not play the major role for being a gatekeeper. It is rather absorptive capacity that matters for gatekeepers. It also shows that public research organisations serve the functions of a gatekeeper to a higher degree than private actors.
    Keywords: Innovator networks; Gatekeeper; R+D co-operation; Scientist mobility
    JEL: O31 Z13 R11
    Date: 2007–09–10
  14. By: Christian Belzil (GATE CNRS, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))
    Abstract: This paper considers the estimation of sequential schooling decisions made by agents who are endowed with subjective beliefs about their own ability. I use unique Italian panel data which provide information on i) the curvature of the per-period utility function, ii) schooling decisions, iii) post-schooling earnings, in order to estimate the future component of the differences in intertemporal utilities of school and work independently from the present component, (as in Geweke and Keane, 1995, 2001), and evaluate the importance of “present bias”. Under certain conditions, which include imposing equality between the modal belief and true ability, I recover individual specific subjective probability distributions. I estimate both the degree of confidence (a measure of spread) and the incidence of over (and under) estimation. I find that the future component of intertemporal utilities dominates schooling decisions. I find a strong incidence of under-estimation among the more able and a much smaller incidence of over-estimation among the low ability group. At the medium ability spectrum, there is evidence of some over-estimation. The degree of confidence is high and imply that agents have a substantial amount of inside information (36% of the population act on a degenerate subjective distribution). Overall, the variance of the objective ability heterogeneity distribution is 4 times as large the variance of the distribution characterizing subjective beliefs.
    Keywords: dynamic programming, education, over-confidence, present bias, rational expectation, subjective distributions
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2007–07
  15. By: Anne ter Wal; Ron A. Boschma
    Abstract: The cluster literature suffers from a number of shortcomings: (1) by and large, cluster studies do not take into account that firms in a cluster are heterogeneous in terms of capabilities; (2) cluster studies tend to overemphasize the importance of place and geographical proximity and underestimate the role of networks which are, by definition, a-spatial entities; (3) most, if not all cluster studies have a static nature, and do not address questions like the origins and evolution of clusters. Our aim is to overcome these shortcomings and propose a theoretical framework on the evolution of clusters. Bringing together bodies of literature on clusters, industrial dynamics, the evolutionary theory of the firm and network theory, we describe how clusters co-evolve with: (1) the industry they adhere to; (2) the (dynamic) capabilities of the firms they contain; and (3) the industry-wide knowledge network they are part of. Based on this framework, we believe the analysis of cluster evolution provides a promising research agenda in evolutionary economic geography for the years to come.
    Keywords: cluster evolution, network dynamics, industrial dynamics, co-evolution, evolutionary economic geography
    Date: 2007–08
  16. By: Justina A.V. Fischer; Alfonso Sousa-Poza
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the relationship between job satisfaction and measures of health of workers over 50 using the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) and cross-sectional data from the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Methodologically, it addresses two important design problems encountered frequently in the literature: (a) cross-sectional causality problems and (b) absence of objective measures of physical health and intellectual ability that complement self-reported measures of health status. Not only does using the SHP panel structure with job satisfaction lagged mitigate the simultaneity bias, employing the objective health measures in the SHARE dataset addresses measurement problems resulting from respondents’ affective states. For all datasets, we find a positive link between job satisfaction and self-report health measures; that is, employees with higher job satisfaction levels feel healthier, are less depressed, and report fewer impediments in their daily activities. However, once objective measures of physical health are employed, we observe no such link. Rather, the only positive relationship is for intellectual abilities. These primary findings are then tested using additional controls for working conditions, prior health state and affective mental state. The results indicate that job satisfaction partly serves as a transmission channel.
    Keywords: job satisfaction, health, panel data analysis
    JEL: I18 I19 J28
    Date: 2007–08
  17. By: Michael T. Rock
    Abstract: What is the impact of democracy on corruption? In most models, analysts assume a negative relationship, with more democracy leading to less corruption. But recent theoretical developments and case evidence support an inverted U relationship between corruption and democracy. By drawing on a panel data set covering a large number of countries between 1996 and 2003, substantial empirical support is found for an inverted U relationship between democracy and corruption. The turning point in corruption occurs rather early in the life of new democracies and at rather low per capita incomes.
    Keywords: corruption, electoral democracy, consolidated democracy, rule of law, government effectiveness
    JEL: O12 D72 D73 H11 H77 K42
    Date: 2007–08

This nep-soc issue is ©2007 by Fabio Sabatini. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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