nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2008‒02‒09
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. Trust and Reciprocity in 2-node and 3-node Networks By Alessandra Cassar, ac; Mary Rigdon, mr
  2. Social interaction effects in an inter-generational model of informal care giving By Lisa Callegaro; Giacomo Pasini
  3. An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities and Segregation By Sergio Currarini; Paolo Pin; Matthew O. Jackson
  4. Peers and Culture. By Maria Saez-Marti; Anna Sjögren
  5. Public Spheres within Movements: Linking Transnational Social Movements Research and the (Re)search for a European Public Sphere By Christoph Haug
  6. Social Interactions and Schooling Decisions By Rafael Lalive; Alejandra Cattaneo
  7. Cultural Transmission and Discrimination By Maria Saez-Marti; Yves Zenou
  8. Competition, Cooperation, and Corporate Culture By Michael Kosfeld; Ferdinand von Siemens
  9. Innovation Processes and Industrial Districts By Paul L. Robertson; David Jacobson; Richard N. Langlois
  10. Endowments, discrimination and deprivation among ethnic groups By Raghav Gaiha; Ganesh Thapa; Katsushi Imai; Vani S. Kulkarni
  11. Non-profit provision of job training and mediation services By Pierre Koning

  1. By: Alessandra Cassar, ac; Mary Rigdon, mr
    Abstract: In this paper we focus on the interaction between exogenous network structure and bargaining behavior in a laboratory experiment. Our main question is how competition and cooperation interact in bargaining environments based on networked versions of the investment game. We focus on 3-node networked markets and vary the network structure to model competition upstream (multiple sellers paired with a monopsonistic buyer) and competition downstream (a monopolistic seller paired with multiple buyers). We describe two kinds of models of trust for such networked environments, absolute and relativized models, and use this structure to generate a general hypothesis about these environments: that information crowds in cooperation on the competitive side of the market. The experimental results support this hypothesis.
    Keywords: networks; trust; reciprocity; experiments; investment game
    JEL: L14 D00 C91
    Date: 2008–01–26
  2. By: Lisa Callegaro (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Giacomo Pasini (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari; Economics and Organization, School for Advanced Studies in Venice)
    Abstract: We study jointly the health perception of the elderly and the care giving decision of their adult children. Social interactions play a crucial role: elder parents' health perception depends on relations with household members. On the other hand adult children make their care giving decisions strategically, meaning that each of them considers his siblings' decision. We find empirical evidence which support this claim using the 2004 wave of the SHARE survey. We estimate social interaction effects by means of methods taken from the spatial econometric literature. Health perception relation with care giving depends on the determinants of adult children's decision to care: Parents' health may be modelled as a common good for parents and children; the latter's decision may be driven by bequest motives or by pure altruism and/or cultural values. We test implications of the model thanks to the unique features of the SHARE dataset: it is trans--national, allowing to control for cultural and institutional differences, it contains information on health status of over-50 Europeans and details on their social and intergenerational relations.
    Keywords: Insurance, Social SHARE, care giving, social interactions, health, aging
    JEL: L26
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Sergio Currarini (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari and School for Advanced Studies in Venice); Paolo Pin (Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste and University of Venice); Matthew O. Jackson (Department of Economics, Stanford University and the Santa Fe Institute.)
    Abstract: We develop a model of friendship formation that sheds light on segregation patterns observed in social and economic networks. Individuals come in different types and have type-dependent benefits from friendships; we examine the properties of a steady-state equilibrium of a matching process of friendship formation. We use the model to understand three empirical patterns of friendship formation: (i) larger groups tend to form more same-type ties and fewer other-type ties than small groups, (ii) larger groups form more ties per capita, and (iii) all groups are biased towards same-type relative to demographics, with the most extreme bias coming from middle-sized groups. We trace each of these empirical observations to specific properties of the theoretical model and highlight the role of choice and chance in generating homophilous behavior. Finally we discuss welfare implications of the model.
    Keywords: Networks, Homophily, Segregation, Friendships, Social Networks, Integration, Diversity, Minorities
    JEL: D85 A14 J15 J16
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Maria Saez-Marti; Anna Sjögren
    Abstract: We analyze the evolution of culture when parents socialize children to the cultural variants that maximize child lifetime utility. Parents invest in cultural transmission taking into account that children are also influenced by peers. We model the influence of peers by assuming that children observe different cultural variants in their peer group, assign merit to them and adopt one variant, following a probabilistic adoption rule. We show that cultural diversity is sustainable even if all parents strive to transmit the same variant. We also show that a parental demand for cultural pluralism does not guarantee cultural diversity.
    Keywords: Cultural transmission, cultural diversity, peer groups, oblique transmission.
    JEL: D10 I20 J13
    Date: 2007–12
  5. By: Christoph Haug
    Keywords: civil society; deliberative democracy; discourse; European public space; Europeanization; media; networks; participation; protest
    Date: 2008–01–15
  6. By: Rafael Lalive; Alejandra Cattaneo
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to study whether schooling choices are affected by social interactions. Such social interactions may be important because children enjoy spending time with other children or parents learn from other parents about the ability of their children. Identification is based on a randomized intervention that grants a cash subsidy encouraging school attendance among a sub-group of eligible children within small rural villages in Mexico. Results indicate that (i) the eligible children tend to attend school more frequently, (ii) but also the ineligible children acquire more schooling when the subsidy is introduced in their local village, (iii) social interactions are economically important, and (iv) they may arise due to changes in parents’ perception of their children’s ability.
    Keywords: peer effects, schooling, field experiment, PROGRESA.
    JEL: C93 I21 I28
    Date: 2006–08
  7. By: Maria Saez-Marti; Yves Zenou
    Abstract: Black and white workers can have good or bad work habits. These traits are transmitted from one generation to the next through a learning and imitation process which depends on parents’ purposeful investment on the trait and the social environment where children live. We show that, if a high enough proportion of employers have tastebased prejudices against minority workers, their prejudices are always self-fulfilled in steady state. Affirmative Action improves the welfare of minorities whereas integration is beneficial to minority workers but detrimental to workers from the majority group. If Affirmative Action quotas are high enough or integration is strong enough, employers’ negative stereotypes cannot be sustained in steady-state.
    Keywords: Ghetto culture, overlapping generations, rational expectations, multiple equilibria, peer effects.
    JEL: J15 J71
    Date: 2007–12
  8. By: Michael Kosfeld; Ferdinand von Siemens
    Abstract: Teamwork and cooperation between workers can be of substantial value to a firm, yet the level of worker cooperation often varies between individual firms. We show that these differences can be the result of labor market competition if workers have heterogeneous preferences and preferences are private information. In our model there are two types of workers: selfish workers who only respond to monetary incentives, and conditionally cooperative workers who might voluntarily provide team work if their co-workers do the same. We show that there is no pooling in equilibrium, and that workers self-select into firms that differ in their incentives as well as their resulting level of team work. Our model can explain why firms develop different corporate cultures in an ex-ante symmetric environment. Moreover, the results show that, contrary to first intuition, labor market competition does not destroy but may indeed foster within-firm cooperation.
    Keywords: Competition, conditional cooperation, asymmetric information, self-selection, corporate culture
    JEL: D23 D82 L23 M54
    Date: 2007–07
  9. By: Paul L. Robertson (University of Tasmania); David Jacobson (Dublin City University); Richard N. Langlois (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: In this survey, we examine the operations of innovation processes within industrial districts by exploring the ways in which differentiation, specialization, and integration affect the generation, diffusion, and use of new knowledge in such districts. We begin with an analysis of the importance of the division of labor and then investigate the effects of social embeddedness on innovation. We also consider the effect of forms of organization within industrial districts at various stages of product and process life, and we examine the negative aspects of embeddedness for innovation. We conclude with a discussion of the possible consequences of new information and communications technologies on innovation in industrial districts.
    Keywords: industrial districts, innovation, division of labor, embeddedness, information technology.
    JEL: L14 O31 R11
    Date: 2008–01
  10. By: Raghav Gaiha; Ganesh Thapa; Katsushi Imai; Vani S. Kulkarni
    Date: 2007
  11. By: Pierre Koning
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relative performance and selection behaviour of not-for-profit (NFP) job training service providers, using contract data from the Dutch social benefit administration. Our analysis takes full account of selection effects, both ex ante (before the contracting process) as well as ex post (at the start of the program). First, for each cohort type of unemployed clients, cohorts that are contracted are ex ante equivalent for providers that are procured. Thus, within cohort type variation in performance outcomes suffices to obtain consistent estimates of performance differentials. Second, ex post selection of clients by providers, at the start of programs, is measured explicitly in our data. Our estimation results show that FPs are more active in selecting clients, both by sending back more of them, and indirectly, by encouraging clients to start a program, so as to receive additional (fixed) payments by the social benefit administration (per client at the start of a program). Regarding the estimation results for the job placement rates, we find NFP job training service providers only to outperform FPs slightly in the durability of job contracts. This effect is however too small to lead to overall better placement rates.
    Keywords: welfare programs; non-profits; procurement; selection; effectiveness
    JEL: I38 L31 H57
    Date: 2007–12

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