nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2007‒10‒13
fourteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. Wealth, Social Capital and Happiness: The Case of Status Sensitive People By Amnon Levy
  4. Social Interactions and Smoking By David M. Cutler; Edward L. Glaeser
  5. Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition By Hellwig, Christian; Veldkamp, Laura
  6. The role of players’ identification in the population on the trusting and the trustworthy behavior an experimental investigation By Dimitri Dubois; Marc Willinger
  7. Network Multipliers and the Optimality of Indirect Communication By Andrea Galeotti; Sanjeev Goyal
  8. Strategic Basins of Attraction, the Path Dominance Core, and Network Formation Games By Frank Page; Myrna Wooders
  9. Cooperation through Imitation and Exclusion in Networks By Mengel, Friederike; Fosco, Constanza
  10. Cooperation without Punishment By Stefania Ottone; Ferruccio Ponzano
  11. Innovación en el cultivo del maní en Bolivia: efectos de la interacción social y de las capacidades de absorción de los pequeños productores By Hartwich, Frank; Arispe, Tito; Monge, Mario
  12. “Parquesoft” : A study of social entrepreneurship in software industry cluster in Cali, Colombia By Ivan hernandez; Fernando Alemàn; Jennifer Taborda
  13. Parental Job Loss and Children’s School Performance By Mari Rege, Kjetil Telle and Mark Votruba
  14. Sharing science, building bridges, and enhancing impact: Public-Private Partnerships in the CGIAR By Spielman,David J.; Hartwich,Frank; von Grebmer, Klaus

  1. By: Amnon Levy (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: Sensitivity of sincere social communication to economic status disparity is incorporated into the construction of sincere social-capital index. The consideration of this index leads to the depiction of the happiness-wealth relationship as an inverted U-shaped curve that peaks at a larger than the average personal wealth. The deviation of the happiness-maximizing wealth from the community average is positively related to the ratio of the rates of return on wealth and sincere social capital and is compounded by the actual and desired community sizes and by the minimum sincere social capital associated with becoming the community’s ultimate wealth holder.
    Keywords: Economic status disparity; Community size; Social capital; Interpersonal communication; Happiness.
    JEL: D01 D3
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Anneli Kaasa; Eve Parts
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of various individual-level determinants on social capital in Europe, in order to find out whether there are differences between the transition and non-transition countries. The novelty lies in more comprehensive sets of both determinants and dimensions of social capital covered. Data from World Values Survey for 31 European countries (including 16 transition countries) are analysed. Based on the estimation results of the measurement and structural model for all countries separately, the countries are clustered into three groups to complement the comparison of transition and non-transition countries. Differently from the previous results, the findings of this study provide support for the argument that the sources of social capital are remarkably different in transition and non-transition countries. Moreover, the results indicate that within both of these country groups subgroups have to be distinguished.
    Keywords: social capital, European regions
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Anneli Kaasa; Helje Kaldaru; Eve Parts
    Abstract: This paper investigates how different dimensions of social capital and institutional quality are related to innovation activity and its utilisation. For reasons of data availability, previous studies have included mainly patenting data. This study complements the previous studies by analysing smaller sample, but including more indicators of innovation. Data for 29 European countries are analysed. As an alternative to usual analysing methods, cluster analysis is used to overcome the problem of small sample. First, cluster analysis is conducted to examine the similarities and differences in various aspects of innovation activity and utilisation of innovations. Next, the social capital and institutional quality are considered as possible factors of innovation next to the R&D and human capital. The findings supported the idea that different dimensions of social capital have a different impact on innovation activity; the results concerning the utilisation of innovations were mixed.
    Keywords: innovation, social capital, institutional quality, Europe
    JEL: A12 A13 O31 O4
    Date: 2007
  4. By: David M. Cutler; Edward L. Glaeser
    Abstract: Are individuals more likely to smoke when they are surrounded by smokers? In this paper, we examine the evidence for peer effects in smoking. We address the endogeneity of peers by looking at the impact of workplace smoking bans on spousal and peer group smoking. Using these bans as an instrument, we find that individuals whose spouses smoke are 40 percent more likely to smoke themselves. We also find evidence for the existence of a social multiplier in that the impact of smoking bans and individual income becomes stronger at higher levels of aggregation. This social multiplier could explain the large time series drop in smoking among some demographic groups.
    JEL: I1 J12
    Date: 2007–10
  5. By: Hellwig, Christian; Veldkamp, Laura
    Abstract: We explore how optimal information choices change the predictions of strategic models. When a large number of agents play a game with strategic complementarity, information choices exhibit complementarity as well: If an agent wants to do what others do, they want to know what others know. This makes heterogeneous beliefs difficult to sustain and may generate multiple equilibria. In models with substitutability, agents prefer to differentiate their information choices. We use these theoretical results to determine the role of information choice in recent price-setting models and to propose modeling techniques that ensure equilibrium uniqueness.
    Keywords: Costly Information Acquisition; Price-setting; Strategic Complementarities
    JEL: C72 D82 D83 E31
    Date: 2007–10
  6. By: Dimitri Dubois; Marc Willinger
    Abstract: We study to what extent identification does matter for trustfulness and trustworthiness to emerge in a population of players. Our experimen- tal protocol is designed for isolating the effects of trustees’ identification. Trustees’ identification is a necessary condition for introducing a reputa- tion mechanism. We run three treatments. In each treatment groups 6 players interact repeatedly and randomly and play a 30 periods invest- ment game (Berg & al. 1995). In the first treatment players can’t identify each other, in the second one players can identify each other as trustee and in the third one players identify each other both as trustee and trustor. We show that, according to the expectation, trustees’ identification has a positive effect on reciprocity. However it doesn’t affect the average trust in the population. Trust is significantly higher than in the complete anony- mous treatment only when players identify each other in both roles. We show that this enhance of trust is the result of mutual trust-reciprocity relationships formation.
    Date: 2007–06
  7. By: Andrea Galeotti; Sanjeev Goyal
    Abstract: We study the problem of a firm M which wishes to inform a community of individuals about its product. Information travels within the community because of the social interactions between individuals. Our interest is in understanding how the firm can incorporate the network of social interactions in the design of its communication strategy. We study a model of undirected networks and start by showing that social interactions appear in the payoff of the firm in the form of a network multiplier. We establish that the network multiplier is an increasing function of both the mean and the variance in the distribution of connections of the network. This implies in particular that denser and more dispersed degree distributions are better for the firm. We then show that the degree distribution of the neighbour first order dominates the degree distribution of a node at large and so it is always better for a firm to use indirect communication, i.e., viz. picking the neighbour of a node rather than a node itself as the target of communication. Finally, we show that the advantages of indirect communication are increasing with dispersion in the degree distribution.
    Date: 2007–09–28
  8. By: Frank Page (Indiana University Bloomington); Myrna Wooders (Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: Given the preferences of players and the rules governing network formation, what networks are likely to emerge and persist? And how do individuals and coalitions evaluate possible consequences of their actions in forming networks? To address these questions we introduce a model of network formation whose primitives consist of a feasible set of networks, player preferences, the rules of network formation, and a dominance relation on feasible networks. The rules of network formation may range from non-cooperative, where players may only act unilaterally, to cooperative, where coalitions of players may act in concert. The dominance relation over feasible networks incorporates not only player preferences and the rules of network formation but also assumptions concerning the degree of farsightedness of players. A specification of the primitives induces an abstract game consisting of (i) a feasible set of networks, and (ii) a path dominance relation defined on the feasible set of networks. Using this induced game we characterize sets of network outcomes that are likely to emerge and persist. Finally, we apply our approach and results to characterize the equilibrium of well known models and their rules of network formation, such as those of Jackson and Wolinsky (1996) and Jackson and van den Nouweland (2005).
    Keywords: basins of attraction, network formation games, stable sets, path dominance core, Nash networks
    JEL: A14 C71 C72
    Date: 2007–10
  9. By: Mengel, Friederike; Fosco, Constanza
    Abstract: We develop a simple model to study the coevolution of interaction structures and action choices in prisoners' dilemma games. Agents are boundedly rational and choose both actions and interaction partners via payoff-biased imitation. The dynamics of imitation and exclusion yields polymorphic outcomes under a wide range of parameters. Whenever agents hold some information beyond their interaction neighbors defectors and cooperators always coexist in disconnected components. Otherwise polymorphic networks can emerge with a center of cooperators and a periphery of defectors. Any stochastically stable state has at most two disconnected components. Simulations confirm our analytical results and show that the share of cooperators increases with the speed at which the network evolves, increases with the radius of interaction and decreases with the radius of information.
    Keywords: Game Theory; Cooperation; Imitation Learning; Network Formation.
    JEL: C70 C73 C72
    Date: 2007–10–10
  10. By: Stefania Ottone; Ferruccio Ponzano
    Abstract: Our experiment is made by three treatments. The first one reproduces the classical public good game. The second environment represents a perfect competition market where the contribution of a representative player to the private good gives a positive rent if and only if it is not lower than the highest contribution of the other players in the group. In the third treatment we consider a winner-take-all market where we have only a winner per group. The aim is to test whether the level of cooperation is minimum under the hypothesis of perfect competition.
    Date: 2007–10
  11. By: Hartwich, Frank; Arispe, Tito; Monge, Mario
    Abstract: "This report presents the results of a study on local innovation in four peanut-producing regions in Bolivia. It aimed at identifying the type of organizations and mechanisms contributing the most to the adoption of innovations. The theoretical framework utilized suggests that farmers introduce and apply innovations as a combined result of their perceptions on the utility derived from doing so, and their individual and collective capabilities to absorb those innovations... [The] results guide to the conclusion that to achieve a larger and better participation of small peanut farmers in innovation processes, it is necessary to (1) adapt innovation sets to farmers absorptive capabilities; (2) try to improve the individual absorptive capabilities through financing schemes, training and sensibilization efforts; (3) promote and substantially intensify interactions among innovation providers and farmers, in a way that collective absorptive capabilities and a common learning on technology's applications and applicability can be developed; and (4) include other actors from the transportation, processing and exportation sectors in partnership arrangements, in order to improve their common understanding of production, quality and market opportunities, as well as to open and widen access to markets and to complementary financial support." from Executive summary in English
    Keywords: Peanuts, Social networks, Small farmers, Absorptive capabilities, Agricultural innovations, Technological innovations,
    Date: 2007
  12. By: Ivan hernandez; Fernando Alemàn; Jennifer Taborda
    Date: 2007–10–04
  13. By: Mari Rege, Kjetil Telle and Mark Votruba (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Using Norwegian register data we estimate how children’s school performance is affected by their parents’ exposure to plant closure. Fathers’ exposure leads to a substantial decline in children’s graduation-year grade point average, but only in municipalities with mediocre-performing job markets. The negative effect does not appear to be driven by a reduction in father’s income and employment, an increase in parental divorce, or the trauma of relocating. In contrast, mothers’ exposure leads to improved school performance. Our findings appear to be consistent with sociological “role theories,” with parents unable to fully shield their children from the stress caused by threats to the father’s traditional role as breadwinner, and mothers responding to job loss by allocating greater attention towards child rearing.
    Keywords: educational outcomes; downsizing; job loss; layoffs; plant closure
    JEL: I20 J63 J65
    Date: 2007–10
  14. By: Spielman,David J.; Hartwich,Frank; von Grebmer, Klaus
    Abstract: "This study, which examines the role of public–private partnerships in international agricultural research, is intended to provide policymakers, research managers, and business decisionmakers with an understanding of how such partnerships operate and how they potentially contribute to food security and poverty reduction in developing countries. The study examines public–private partnerships in light of persistent market failure, institutional constraints, and systemic weaknesses, which impede the exchange of potentially pro-poor knowledge and technology. The study focuses on three key issues: whether public–private partnerships contribute to reducing the cost of research, whether they add value to research by facilitating innovation, and whether they enhance the impact of research on smallholders and other marginalized groups in developing-country agriculture. The study examines 75 projects undertaken by the research centers and programs of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in partnership with various types of private firms. Data and information were obtained through document analysis, semi-structured interviews with key informants, and an email survey of CGIAR centers. The resulting analysis provides a characterization of public–private partnerships in the CGIAR and describes the factors that contribute to their success. These finding are important to improving both public policy and organizational practices in the international agricultural research system." - from authors' abstract.
    Keywords: Agricultural R&D, CGIAR, Innovation, Public-private partnerships,
    Date: 2007

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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