nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2008‒09‒05
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Cooperativeness and Impatience in the Tragedy of the Commons By Ernst Fehr; Andreas Leibbrandt
  2. On reputation: A microfoundation of contract enforcement and price rigidity By Ernst Fehr; Martin Brown; Christian Zehnder
  3. Migration, Relationship Capital and International Travel: Theory and Evidence* By Philip McCann; Jacques Poot; Lynda Sanderson
  4. Dynamics of social trust and human capital in the learning process: The case of the Japan garment cluster in the period 1968-2005 By yamamura, eiji
  5. Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Peer Effects in Early Education By Matthew Neidell; Jane Waldfogel
  6. Comparison of neighborhood trust between generations in a racially homogeneous society: A case study from Japan. By Yamamura, Eiji
  7. Heterogeneity, trust, human capital and productivity growth: Decomposition analysis. By yamamura, eiji
  9. 25 Years of SOEP : Over 25 Years of Cooperation of SOEP's DIW Berlin Survey Group with Infratest Sozialforschung and Bernhard von Rosenbladt By Jürgen Schupp
  10. Non-Profit Organizations in a Bureaucratic Environment By Paul Grout; Wendelin Schnedler

  1. By: Ernst Fehr; Andreas Leibbrandt
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of other-regarding and time preferences for cooperation in the field. We study the preferences of fishermen whose main, and often only, source of income stems from using a common pool resource (CPR). The exploitation of a CPR involves a negative interpersonal and inter-temporal externality because individuals who exploit the CPR reduce the current and the future yield for both others and themselves. Accordingly, economic theory predicts that more cooperative and more patient individuals should be less likely to exploit the CPR. Our data supports this prediction because fishermen who exhibit a higher propensity for cooperation in a laboratory public goods experiment, and those who show more patience in a laboratory time preference experiment, exploit the fishing grounds less in their daily lives. Moreover, because the laboratory public goods game exhibits no inter-temporal spillovers, measured time preferences should not predict cooperative behavior in the laboratory. This prediction is also borne out by our data. Thus, laboratory preference measures are useful to capture important dimensions of field behavior.
    Keywords: Cooperation, common pool resource, experiments, generalizability, methodology
    JEL: B4 C9 D8 O1
    Date: 2008–07
  2. By: Ernst Fehr; Martin Brown; Christian Zehnder
    Abstract: We study the impact of reputational incentives in markets characterized by moral hazard problems. Social preferences have been shown to enhance contract enforcement in these markets, while at the same time generating considerable wage and price rigidity. Reputation powerfully amplifies the positive effects of social preferences on contract enforcement by increasing contract efficiency substantially. This effect is, however, associated with a considerable bilateralisation of market interactions, suggesting that it may aggravate price rigidities. Surprisingly, reputation in fact weakens the wage and price rigidities arising from social preferences. Thus, in markets characterized by moral hazard, reputational incentives unambiguously increase mutually beneficial exchanges, reduce rents, and render markets more responsive to supply and demand shocks.
    Keywords: Reputation, Reciprocity, Relational Contracts, Price Rigidity, Wage Rigidity
    JEL: D82 J3 J41 E24 C9
    Date: 2008–07
  3. By: Philip McCann (University of Waikato and University of Reading); Jacques Poot (Population Studies Centre, University of Waikato); Lynda Sanderson (Reserve Bank of New Zealand)
    Abstract: In this paper we consider how international migration is related to the frequency and duration of trips to the home country. For many migrants, international migration triggers a series of trips to visit the home country that allow for a replenishment of the depleted relationship capital with family and friends back home, but these trips incur travel costs and foregone earnings. Given plausible assumptions about the depreciation and replenishment of home country relationship capital, a steady-state level of average maintained relationship capital implies that the optimized travel frequency is inversely related to the distance and the transportation costs, and positively related to the psychological costs of separation. The total time spent at home is increasing in the trip frequency, but with an elasticity that is decreasing in cultural proximity. Empirical evidence in support of these theoretical predictions is found in a unique longitudinal sample of international travel of 13,674 New Zealand citizens and 6,882 UK citizens who migrated to Australia between 1 August 1999 and 31 July 2000.
    Keywords: International Migration; Trip Frequency, Relationship Capital
    JEL: F22 J61 R23 Z13
    Date: 2008–08
  4. By: yamamura, eiji
    Abstract: This paper examined how and the extent to which human capital and social trust are associated with the learning process of a manager in making operations decisions through experience. To this end, using a data set originally and purposively constructed by the author, I investigate the development and transformation of the garment industry cluster region of Kojima, Japan. The major findings through statistical estimations are as follows. (1) In the cluster development stage, the social trust of an enterprise and its manager’s experiences in firm operations could be regarded as forming a complimentary association. (2) In the stage following cluster development, however, a manager’s human capital as accumulated through schooling and personal experience becomes complimentary instead of social trust.
    Keywords: Social trust; Human capital; Bayesian learning
    JEL: O10 L20
    Date: 2008–05–17
  5. By: Matthew Neidell; Jane Waldfogel
    Abstract: We examine peer effects in early education by estimating value added models with school fixed effects that control extensively for individual, family, peer, and teacher characteristics to account for the endogeneity of peer group formation. We find statistically significant and robust spillover effects from preschool on math and reading outcomes, but statistically insignificant effects on various behavioral and social outcomes. Of the behavioral and social effects explored, we find that peer externalizing problems, which most likely capture classroom disturbance, hinder cognitive outcomes. Our estimates imply that ignoring spillover effects significantly understates the social returns to preschool.
    JEL: I21 I28 J13
    Date: 2008–08
  6. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: Using Japanese prefecture-level data for the years 1979 and 1996, I explore the extent to which inequality, age heterogeneity, and human capital have an effect upon neighborhood trust, which is ordinarily considered as a kind of particularized trust. The major findings are as follows: (1) Income inequality is associated with low trust for both young and the old generations. (2) Age homogeneity and education have a detrimental effect on trust. However, this tendency is not observed when the sample includes older-generation respondents only. These results are not changed when I instrument for inequality and per capita income using the relative size of the mature-aged cohort and the occurrence of natural disasters. It follows that neighborhood trust contains mixed features of generalized and particularized trust.
    Keywords: Trust; Inequality; Age Heterogeneity; Social Capital
    JEL: D30 Z13
    Date: 2008–07–03
  7. By: yamamura, eiji
    Abstract: This paper uses panel data from Japan to decompose productivity growth measured by the growth of output per labor unit into three components of efficiency improvement, capital accumulation and technological progress. It then examines their determinants through a dynamic panel model. In particular, this paper focuses on the question of how inequality, trust and humans affect the above components. The main findings derived from empirical estimations are: (1) Inequality impedes not only improvements in efficiency but also capital accumulation. (2) A degree of trust promotes efficiency improvements and capital accumulation at the same time. However, human capital merely enhances improvements in efficiency.
    Keywords: Heterogeneity; Inequality; Trust; DEA analysis
    JEL: E25 O15 O4
    Date: 2007–10–24
  8. By: yamamura, eiji
    Abstract: Using Japanese prefecture level data for the years between 1988 and 2001, this paper explores how and the extent to which social capital has an effect on the damage resulting from natural disasters. It also examines whether the experience of a natural disaster affects individual and collective protection against future disasters. Using regression analysis and controlling for various factors such as the proportion of poor people, per capita income, and the number of natural disasters, there are three major findings. (1) Social capital reduces the damage caused by natural disasters. (2) The risk of a natural disaster makes people more apt to cooperate and therefore social capital is more effective to prevent disasters. (3) Economic conditions such as the level of income distinctly affect any damage, but hardly influence it when the scale of a disaster is small.
    Keywords: Social Capital; Learning; Natural disaster
    JEL: H41 Z13 P16
    Date: 2008–04–24
  9. By: Jürgen Schupp
    Date: 2008
  10. By: Paul Grout (University of Bristol, Department of Economics); Wendelin Schnedler (University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: How does the environment of an organization influence whether workers voluntarily provide effort? We study the power relationship between a non-profit unit (e.g. university department, NGO, health trust), where workers care about the result of their work, and a bu- reaucrat, who supplies some input to the non-profit unit, but has opportunity costs in doing so (e.g. Dean of faculty, corrupt representative, government agency). We find that marginal changes in the balance of power eventually have dramatic effects on donated labor. We also identify when strengthening the non-profit unit decreases and when it increases donated labor.
    Keywords: donated labor, intrinsic motivation, non-profit organizations, power within organizations
    JEL: J32 H11 H42 M52
    Date: 2008–09

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