nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2008‒07‒14
fourteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Eliciting Motives for Trust and Reciprocity by Attitudinal and Behavioural Measures By Farina, Francesco; O'Higgins, Niall; Sbriglia, Patrizia
  2. Keeping up with the neighbours: social interaction in a market economy By Christian Ghiglino; Sanjeev Goyal
  3. Social Interactions and the Salience of Social Identity By McLeish, Kendra N.; Oxoby, Robert J.
  4. On the Nature, Modeling, and Neural Bases of Social Ties By Frans van Winden; Mirre Stallen; K. Richard Ridderinkhof
  5. Blood donations and incentives: evidence from a field experiment By Lorenz Goette; Alois Stutzer
  6. Cluster Emergence and Network Evolution: A longitudinal analysis of the inventor network in Sophia-Antipolis By Anne Ter Wal
  7. The Racial Saving Gap Enigma: Unraveling the Role of Institutions By Belton, Willie; Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth
  8. The Bright and Dark Side of Cooperation for Regional Innovation Performance By Tom Broekel; Andreas Meder
  9. How is the relationship significance brought about? A critical realist approach By Filipe J. Sousa; Luís M. de Castro
  10. The Role of Religion in Economic and Demographic Behavior in the United States: A Review of the Recent Literature By Lehrer, Evelyn L.
  11. Competition against peer-to-peer networks By Herings P. Jean-Jacques; Peeters Ronald; Yang Michael
  12. Investigating the impact of C2C electronic marketplace quality on trust By Verhagen, T.
  13. Why Populist Democracy Promotes Market Liberalization By Grosjean, Pauline; Senik, Claudia
  14. European social model(s) and social Europe By Catherine Mathieu; Henri Sterdyniak

  1. By: Farina, Francesco (University of Siena); O'Higgins, Niall (University of Salerno); Sbriglia, Patrizia (University of Naples II)
    Abstract: Value Surveys may reveal well-behaved societies by the statistical treatment of the agents’ declarations of compliance with social values. Similarly, the results of experiments conducted on games with conflict of interest trace back to two important primitives of social capital – trust and reciprocity – which can be used to explain deviations from the Nash equilibrium and which lead to the optimal cooperative outcome. In this paper we attempt to elicit the true motive(s) underlying the behaviour of players in experimental trust and dictator games and suggest that the most informative utilization of surveys in this regard goes beyond the simple comparison of answers to a questionnaire with actual behaviour. Specifically the paper uses descriptive statistics and ordered probit models to analyse whether, and to what extent, answers to a questionnaire about attitudes to trusting and reciprocating predict subjects’ behaviour and, by comparing behaviour in Trust and Dictator Game, disentangles the strategic and altruistic motivations. We find no simple or direct correlation between behavioural trust or trustworthiness and attitudinal trust or disposition to reciprocate. However, dividing subjects according to attitudinal trust and trustworthiness, we observe that the link between the questionnaire and experimental sessions is more subtle than the mere correlation between average attitudes and average behaviours. The information conveyed by a survey appears to be much more powerful ex post – once the two motivational components have been separated out.
    Keywords: trust, reciprocity, experimental economics, ordered probit
    JEL: C72 C91 D63 D64
    Date: 2008–07
  2. By: Christian Ghiglino; Sanjeev Goyal
    Abstract: We consider a world in which individuals have private endowments and trade in markets, while their utility is sensitive to the consumption of their neighbors. Our interest is in understanding how social structure of comparisons, taken together with the familiar fundamentals of the economy – endowments, technology and preferences – shapes equilibrium prices, allocations and welfare. We find that equilibrium prices and allocations depend on average individual centrality in the social network. As we add links to a social network, the centralities rise and this pushes up prices of the socially sensitive good. Newly linked agents demand more of the socially sensitive good, while the reverse happens with regard to the standard good. We derive a formula to compute the critical link, i.e., the new link which maximizes price increase. We then turn to a model with heterogenous endowments, and find that inequality in network centrality and in wealth inequality reinforce each other. Thus a transfer of resources from less to more central agents raises prices of the socially sensitive good and alters allocations and utilities of all agents. We show by example that poor individuals lose utility while rich individuals gain utility as society moves from segregation to integration.
    Date: 2008–06–30
  3. By: McLeish, Kendra N. (University of Calgary); Oxoby, Robert J. (University of Calgary)
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore the effect of identity salience on behavior in a simple social interaction. Specifically, we compare behavior in a ultimatum game across three treatments: priming subjects with a shared identity, priming subjects with an identity distinct from those with whom they will interact, and priming subjects with no particular identity. We find that subjects are most cooperative in the identity-priming treatment and least cooperative in the distinctiveness-priming treatment. Similarly, subjects reveal the highest demands in the identity-priming treatment and the lowest demands in the distinctiveness-priming treatment. We discuss the implications of these results with respect to literature on organizational identity.
    Keywords: identity, experiments, bargaining
    JEL: C92 D64 M52
    Date: 2008–06
  4. By: Frans van Winden (University of Amsterdam); Mirre Stallen (Erasmus University Rotterdam); K. Richard Ridderinkhof (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the nature, formalization, and neural bases of (affective) social ties and discusses the relevance of ties for health economics. A social tie is defined as an affective weight attached by an individual to the well-being of another individual (‘utility interdependence’). Ties can be positive or negative, and symmetric or asymmetric between individuals. Characteristic of a social tie, as conceived of here, is that it develops over time under the influence of interaction, in contrast with a trait like altruism. Moreover, a tie is not related to strategic behavior such as reputation formation but seen as generated by affective responses. A formalization is presented together with some supportive evidence from behavioral experiments. This is followed by a discussion of related psychological constructs and the presentation of suggestive neural findings, based on the existing literature. We conclude with some suggestions for future research.
    Keywords: Social Ties; Affect; Modeling; Neuroeconomics
    JEL: D01 D64 D87 H41 I10
    Date: 2008–06–24
  5. By: Lorenz Goette; Alois Stutzer
    Abstract: There is a longstanding concern that material incentives might undermine prosocial motivation, leading to a decrease in blood donations rather than an increase. This paper provides an empirical test of how material incentives affect blood donations in a large-scale field experiment spanning three months and involving more than 10,000 previous donors. We examine two types of incentive: a lottery ticket and a free cholesterol test. Lottery tickets significantly increase donations, in particular among less motivated donors. The cholesterol test leads to no discernable impact on usable blood donations. If anything, it creates a small negative selection effect in terms of donations that must be discarded.
    Keywords: Human behavior ; Altruism
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Anne Ter Wal
    Abstract: A widely held view in cluster research is that clusters are characterized by the presence of networks of local collective learning. However, with a growing number of studies indicating this is not necessarily the case, the question arises under which conditions clusters exhibit dense networks of local collective learning. Taking a longitudinal view at the high-tech cluster of Sophia-Antipolis this paper investigates whether and how networks of collective learning among inventors emerged throughout the growth of the cluster from the late 1970s onwards. On the basis of EPO and USPTO patent data we reconstructed co-inventorship networks for the cluster’s two main industries. Detecting a network of local collective learning only in Information Technology, in which growth has been increasingly based on spin-offs and start-ups, and not in Life Sciences, we suggest that the extent and nature of the local concentration of firms over time strongly affect the evolution of local collective learning networks.
    Keywords: cluster evolution, network evolution, collective learning, Sophia-Antipolis
    Date: 2008–06
  7. By: Belton, Willie (Georgia Tech); Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth (Georgia Tech)
    Abstract: It has been well documented in the literature that ethnicity matters significantly in the determination of savings. In particular, African-American savings lag far behind savings for other ethnic groups. Similarly, the literature also provides evidence of the long-lived nature of institutions and the link between institutions and culture. In this paper, we provide an explanation for the savings gap that still exists between African-Americans and White Americans even after accounting for appropriate factors that can lead to savings differentials. We initially provide evidence that the savings gap exists and persist after including several control variables in a regression analysis. We then provide evidence that the persistent gap can not be attributed solely to racial discrimination but can be explained by the response of culture to institutional scaffolding erected many years earlier. Using a novel within race decomposition we provide evidence that past institutions transmitted through culture can help to explain this persistent saving disparity.
    Keywords: savings gap, institutions, race, culture
    JEL: D14 D31 J15 J11 J71
    Date: 2008–06
  8. By: Tom Broekel; Andreas Meder
    Abstract: Studies analyzing the importance of intra- and inter-regional cooperation for regional innovation performance are mainly of qualitative nature and focus strongly on the positive effects that high levels of cooperation can yield. For the case of the German labor market regions and the Electrics & Electronics industry the paper provides a quantitative-empirical analysis taking into account the possibility of negative effects related to regional lock-in, lock-out, and cooperation overload situations. Using conditional nonparametric frontier techniques and cooperation behavior measures we find positive as well as substantial negative effects of cooperation with the latter being induced by excessive and unbalanced cooperation behavior.
    Keywords: regional innovation performance, cooperation, lock-out, lock-in, cooperation overload
    JEL: R12 O18 O31
    Date: 2008–06
  9. By: Filipe J. Sousa (Departamento de Gestão e Economia (DGE), Universidade da Madeira (UMa)); Luís M. de Castro (Faculdade de Economia do Porto (FEP))
    Abstract: The markets-as-networks theorists contend, at least tacitly, the significance of business relationships for the focal firm – that is, business relationships contribute somewhat to the focal firm’s survival and growth. We do not deny the existence of significant business relationships but sustain, in contrast to the consensus within the Markets-as-Networks Theory, that relationship significance should not be a self-evident assumption. Significance cannot be a taken-for-granted property of each and every one of the focal firm’s business relationships. We adopt explicitly a critical realist position in this conceptual paper and claim that the relationship significance is an event of the business world, whose causes remain yet largely unidentified. Where the powers and liabilities of business relationships (i.e., their functions and dysfunctions) are put to work, inevitably under certain contingencies (namely the surrounding networks and markets), effects result for the focal firm (often benefits in excess of sacrifices, i.e., relationship value) and as a result the relationship significance is likely to be brought about. In addition, the relationship significance can result from the dual influence that business relationships have on a great part of the structure and powers and liabilities of the focal firm, i.e., its nature and scope respectively.
    Keywords: Markets-as-Networks Theory, relationship significance, business relationships, focal firm, resources, competences, activities
    JEL: M31
    Date: 2008–07
  10. By: Lehrer, Evelyn L. (University of Illinois at Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper presents a critical review and synthesis of recent research on the role of religion in economic and demographic behavior in the United States. Relationships reviewed include the effects of religion on investments in human capital, labor supply and wealth accumulation; union formation and dissolution; and fertility. The paper also comments on the growing literature on the implications of religious dissimilarity between the spouses; on two different, possibly countervailing ways in which religiosity may affect demographic and economic behavior; and on the importance of estimating models that allow for possible non-linearities in the effects of religiosity.
    Keywords: religion, marriage, divorce, education, fertility, female labor supply
    JEL: J1 J2
    Date: 2008–06
  11. By: Herings P. Jean-Jacques; Peeters Ronald; Yang Michael (METEOR)
    Abstract: In this paper, we consider the competition of providers of information products against P2P networks that offer illegal versions of the information products. Depending on the generic cost factor of downloading—incorporating factors including, among other things, the degree of legal enforcement of intellectual property rights—we find that the firm may employ pricing strategies to either deter the entry of a network or to accommodate it. In the latter case, we find that the equilibrium price moves in the opposite direction of the generic cost factor of downloading. This counter-intuitive result corresponds to a very subtle form of platform competition between the firm and the network. Furthermore, profits for the firm ambiguously decrease when the generic cost factor of downloading declines, whereas total welfare unambiguously increases. This implies that it may well be welfare enhancing to relax the legal enforcements of intellectual property rights.
    Keywords: Strategy;
    Date: 2008
  12. By: Verhagen, T. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)
    Date: 2008
  13. By: Grosjean, Pauline (University of California, Berkeley); Senik, Claudia (University of Paris IV Sorbonne, PSE)
    Abstract: Using a new set of micro evidence from an original survey of 28 transition countries, we show that democracy increases citizens’ support for the market by guaranteeing income redistribution to inequality-averse agents. Our identification strategy relies on the restriction of the sample to inhabitants of open borders between formerly integrated countries, where people face the same level of market development and economic inequality, as well as the same historically inherited politico-economic culture. Democratic rights increase popular support for the market. This is true, in particular, of inequality-averse agents, provided that they trust political institutions. Our findings suggest that one solution to the recent electoral backlash of reformist parties in the former socialist block lies in a deepening of democracy.
    Keywords: democracy, income inequality, redistribution, market liberalization, trust
    JEL: D63 H1 H53 I38 O1 P26
    Date: 2008–06
  14. By: Catherine Mathieu (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques); Henri Sterdyniak (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
    Date: 2008

This nep-soc issue is ©2008 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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