nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2008‒11‒04
eighteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Values and Norms Matter – On the Basic Determinants of Long-Run Economic Development By Sang-Min Park; Stefan Voigt
  2. Does social capital reinforce technological inputs in the creation of knowledge? Evidence from the Spanish regions. By Ernest Miguélez; Rosina Moreno; Manuel Artís
  3. The Gender Dimensions of Social Networks, Unemployment and Underemployment: What Time Use Data Reveal By Maria Sagrario Floro; Imraan Valodia; Hitomi Komatsu
  4. An Evolutionary Approach to Regional Systems of Innovation By Jan Gunnarsson; Torsten Wallin
  5. Blogs and the Economics of Reciprocal Attention By Gaudeul, Alexia; Mathieu, Laurence; Peroni, Chiara
  6. Religion, Social Capital, and Business Bankruptcy in the United States, 1921-1932 By Bradley A. Hansen; Mary Eschelbach Hansen
  7. Determinants of Integration and Its Impact on the Economic Success of Immigrants : A Case Study of the Turkish Community in Berlin By Alexander M. Danzer; Hulya Ulku
  8. License to Fail? How Leader Group Prototypicality Moderates the Effects of Leader Performance on Perceptions of Leadership Effectiveness By Giessner, S.R.; Knippenberg, D.L. van; Sleebos, E.
  9. Intermediation, reciprocity and compatibility in regional innovation systems - an interregional comparison By Uwe Cantner; Andreas Meder; Tina Wolf
  10. Unemployment as a Social Norm in Germany By Andrew E. Clark; Andreas Knabe; Steffen Rätzel
  11. Social Image Concerns and Pro-Social Behavior By Lacetera, Nicola; Macis, Mario
  12. Motivating Altruism: A Field Study By Lacetera, Nicola; Macis, Mario
  13. "Need to Know" Versus "Spread the Word": Collective Action in the Multi-Player Electronic Mail Game By Kris De Jaegher
  14. Close kin influences on fertility behavior By Robert White; Laura Bernardi
  15. EU Legitimacy and Social Affiliation: A case study of engineers in Europe By Jan Gunnarsson
  16. From Status-Seeking Consumption to Social Norms. An Application to the Consumption of Cleanliness By Julia Sophie Woersdorfer
  17. Indirect Reciprocity and Strategic Reputation Building in an Experimental Helping Game By Dirk Engelmann; Urs Fischbacher
  18. Gender, caste, and public goods provision in Indian village governments: By Gajwani, Kiran; Zhang, Xiaobo

  1. By: Sang-Min Park (MACIE (University of Marburg)); Stefan Voigt (MACIE (University of Marburg), CESifo and Alfried-Krupp Institute for Advanced Studies)
    Abstract: Over the last couple of decades, it has become a commonplace to claim that “institutions matter” for economic development. Yet, institutions are not exogenous but the result of hu-man action. It is argued here that the values and norms held by substantial parts of society’s members are an important determinant of its institutions. It is further argued that values and norms have both a direct and an indirect effect on economic development: the direct effect materializes because the values and norms also contain the work ethic which, if transformed into behavior, should have direct consequences on economic development. The indirect effect is conjectured to work via the relevant institutions: if institutions are important for economic development and institutions are influenced by the values and norms, then this is a more indi-rect channel through which values and norms can display their impact.
    Keywords: Institutions, Values and Norms, Democracy, Rule of Law, Culture, Social Capi-tal, Civil Society, Economic Development, Total Factor Productivity
    JEL: E19 E66 O11 O12 O17 Z13
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Ernest Miguélez (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Rosina Moreno (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Manuel Artís (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: In this paper we seek to verify the hypothesis that trust and cooperation between individuals, and between them and public institutions, can encourage technological innovation and the adoption of knowledge. Additionally, we test the extent to which the interaction of social capital with human capital and R&D expenditures improve their effect on a region’s ability to innovate. Our empirical evidence is taken from the Spanish regions and employs a knowledge production function and longitudinal count data models. Our results suggest that social capital correlates positively with innovation. Further, our analysis reveals a powerful interaction between human and social capital in the production of knowledge, whilst the complementarity with R&D efforts would seem less clear.
    Keywords: social capital, human capital, innovation, complementarities.
    Date: 2008–10
  3. By: Maria Sagrario Floro; Imraan Valodia; Hitomi Komatsu
    Abstract: Utilizing time use data for exploring the issue of employment (or lack thereof) – a critical pathway for increased incomes for the poor - has received little attention in economic analysis. Using data from the 2000 South African national time use survey, this paper examines the value of time use data in policy discussions related to understanding people’s employment status and job search. In particular, we argue that an understanding of how individuals organize their daily life can help identify productive work and workers in a more comprehensive way than conventional labor force surveys and can provide an useful assessment of the effects of employment conditions on coping strategies like job search. We assess whether labor force surveys provide a good estimation of participation in productive activities by exploring the time use patterns of 10, 465 women and men aged 16-64 years, particularly the unemployed, underemployed and employed respondents. The results show that 26.7 and 17.5 percent of unemployed men and women respectively actually engaged in SNA productive activities, spending more time than underemployed men and women. We also examine individuals’ responses to jobless growth that affect their labor force participation and time use. Building and developing social networks serves as an important coping strategy not only for enhancing social insurance but also for improving job prospects. Using an instrumental variable tobit model, we examine whether or not an unemployed person is likely to spend more time in social networking compared to other respondents. The findings, which are found to be robust, confirm the hypothesis. The results also show significant gender differences, with women spending less time in social networking than men. Women carry the burden of housework, which limits their time in developing social networks and in improving their employment prospects.
    Keywords: South Africa, time allocation, gender, unemployment, underemployment, social network
    JEL: J22 J64
    Date: 2008–05
  4. By: Jan Gunnarsson (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Torsten Wallin
    Abstract: This article examines how the birth and the development of regional systems of innovation are connected with economic selection and points to implications for regional-level policies. The research questions are explored using an evolutionary model, which emphasises geographical spaces and production of intermediate goods. In particular we are concerned with how cooperative behaviour of technology producers is affected by the need to protect technological secrecies and of being financially constrained by forms demanding innovative input. Based on the theoretical model, we provide an analysis using computer simulations. The primary fidings are, firstly, that the model generates predictions suited for empirical research on how economic selection influences cooperative behaviour of innovative actors. Secondly, we demonstrate how a region's entrepreneurial activity and growth can be controlled in a decentralised way by regions.
    Keywords: social capital; social identity; civil society; open methods of coordination
    JEL: L24 O33 R38
    Date: 2008–06
  5. By: Gaudeul, Alexia; Mathieu, Laurence; Peroni, Chiara
    Abstract: Blogs differ from other media in that authors are usually not remunerated and inscribe themselves in communities of similarly minded individuals. Bloggers value reciprocal attention, interaction with other bloggers and information from reading other blogs; they value being read but also writing itself, irrespective of an audience. A novel dataset from a major blogging community, LiveJournal, is used to verify predictions from a model of social networking. Content production and blogging activity are found to be related to the size and degree of asymmetry of the relational networks in which bloggers are inscribed.
    Keywords: Blog; Internet; Media; Community; Social Network; Reciprocity; Livejournal; Web 2.0
    JEL: L82 Z13 D85
    Date: 2008–10–28
  6. By: Bradley A. Hansen; Mary Eschelbach Hansen
    Abstract: We consider the value of social capital that derives from membership in a church. American states with larger churchgoing populations had lower business bankruptcy rates from 1921 to 1932, and states in which the churchgoing population was concentrated in few churches had business bankruptcy rates that were lower still. Both voluntary and involuntary bankruptcy were lower in states with higher church membership. The evidence suggests that church membership acted on bankruptcy through a safety net mechanism and not solely through indicating a preference for honoring commitment.
    Keywords: business bankruptcy, church membership, social capital
    JEL: N22 N82 K29
    Date: 2008–09
  7. By: Alexander M. Danzer; Hulya Ulku
    Abstract: Using a new data on 590 Turkish households in Berlin, we investigate the determinants and impact of integration on economic performance. We find that usual suspects such as time spent in Germany and education have positive impact, while networks have no impact on integration. There is strong evidence that political integration and the degree of full integration promote income. Using endogenous switching regression models, we show that local familial networks increase the income of unintegrated migrant groups only, while transnational networks decrease it. We also find that education is more welfare improving for integrated than non-integrated immigrants.
    Keywords: integration, economic success, ethnic networks, Turkish migrants
    JEL: O15 J15 C25 D10
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Giessner, S.R.; Knippenberg, D.L. van; Sleebos, E. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Leadership often serves as an explanatory category for performance outcomes (i.e., failure and success). This process can strengthen or weaken leadership effectiveness, because contingent on their performance leaders may gain or lose follower endorsement – the basis of leadership. Drawing on the social identity analysis of leadership, we hypothesized that leader group prototypicality and performance information interact to predict followers’ perceptions of leadership effectiveness. Because group prototypical leaders are more trusted by their followers, we hypothesized that group prototypical leaders are evaluated as more effective after failure information than non-prototypical leaders. In contrast, we predicted that both prototypical and non-prototypical leaders should receive similar evaluations of leadership effectiveness after success. We found support for our predictions in a scenario experiment, a cross-sectional field study, and a laboratory experiment.
    Keywords: leader prototypicality;leader performance;leadership effectiveness;trust in leadership
    Date: 2008–10–21
  9. By: Uwe Cantner (Department of Economics, Friedrich-Schiller-University); Andreas Meder (Department of Economics, Friedrich-Schiller-University); Tina Wolf (Department of Economics, Friedrich-Schiller-University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the possible presence of three problems in regional innovation systems (RIS): intermediation, reciprocity and compatibility. Based on ï¬rm data gathered for three different regions, Northern Hesse, Jena and Sophia Antipolis, we can show that a low propensity to cooperate in a RIS is related to poorly performing intermediaries and a low complementarity with the regional knowledge base. The issue of trust in cooperating tends to have no effect on the propensity to cooperate. However, it is a main determinant of failed cooperation projects.
    Keywords: regional innovation systems, reciprocity, intermediation, complementarity, cooperation
    JEL: D81 O18 P25
    Date: 2008–10–28
  10. By: Andrew E. Clark; Andreas Knabe; Steffen Rätzel
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between the subjective well-being of both the employed and unemployed and regional unemployment rates. While employed men suffer from regional unemployment, unemployed men are significantly less negatively affected. This is consistent with a social-norm effect of unemployment in Germany. We find no evidence of such an offsetting effect for women.
    Keywords: Social norms, unemployment, life satisfaction
    JEL: I31 Z13 J64
    Date: 2008
  11. By: Lacetera, Nicola (Case Western Reserve University); Macis, Mario (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: Using longitudinal data on the entire population of blood donors in an Italian town, we examine how donors respond to an award scheme which rewards them with “medals” when they reach certain donation quotas. Our results indicate that donors significantly increase the frequency of their donations immediately before reaching the thresholds for which the rewards are given, but only if the prizes are publicly announced in the local newspaper and awarded in a public ceremony. The results are robust to several specifications, sample definitions, and controls for observable and unobservable heterogeneity. Our findings are consistent with social image concerns being a primary motivator of pro-social behavior, and indicate that symbolic prizes are most effective as motivators when they are awarded publicly. Because we do not detect a reduction in donation frequency after the quotas are reached, this incentive based on social prestige leads to a net increase in the frequency of donations.
    Keywords: incentives, awards, public good provision, pro-social behavior, public health, social prestige
    JEL: D12 D64 I18
    Date: 2008–10
  12. By: Lacetera, Nicola (Case Western Reserve University); Macis, Mario (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of a legislative provision that grants a one-day paid leave of absence to blood donors who are employees in Italy. The analysis is based on a unique dataset with the complete donation histories of the blood donors in an Italian town. The cross-sectional variation in job market status and type of employers, and job switching over time by a subset of donors, are the sources of variation we employ to study whether donors are responsive to the paid-day-off incentive in the choice of their donation days, and in the frequency of their donations. Our results indicate that economic considerations do affect blood donation decisions, for donors donate in days of the week that, given the day-off benefit, maximize their material returns in terms of consecutive days off work. We also find evidence, however, consistent with heterogeneous motivations in different donors, since a subset of donors systematically do not take advantage of the material reward. Finally, we find that the day-off privilege leads donors who are employees to make, on average, one extra donation per year. We discuss the implications of our findings for policies aimed at increasing the supply of blood, and more generally for incentivizing pro-social behavior.
    Keywords: incentives, altruism, public good provision, pro-social behavior, public health
    JEL: D12 D64 I18
    Date: 2008–10
  13. By: Kris De Jaegher
    Abstract: As shown by Rubinstein (1989, AER), in the two-player electronic mail game, players are better off if the extent to which they can check each other’s information, check each other’s information about each other’s information, etc., is limited. This paper investigates to what extent this result extends to the multi-player electronic mail game. It is shown that, contrary to the two-player game, the multi-player game has a plethora of equilibria. If players play inefficient equilibria where they require a specific communication network to be established in order to achieve collective action, then Rubinstein’s results extend. However, contrary to the two-player game, the multi-player game also has equilibria where players find many alternative communication networks sufficient to undertake collective action. If players play such equilibria, then contrary to what is the case in the two-player electronic mail game they can become better off with more information.
    Keywords: Multi-Player Electronic Mail Game, Collective Action, Communication Networks.
    JEL: D82 D85 D71
    Date: 2008–10
  14. By: Robert White; Laura Bernardi (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Family members are uniquely situated to influence the decision-making of their kin in nearly every facet of life. We examine the importance of social interactions in fertility outcomes by assessing family members’ scope of influence on their fellow kin’s fertility behavior. With the unique KASS genealogical dataset from eight countries in Europe, we study the effects of family members’ fertility outcomes on individual fertility to assess the presence and the extent of inter-generational transmission of fertility behaviors and siblings’ influences on fertility outcomes. We find only limited evidence of the inter-generational transmission of fertility behaviors, but a relatively important effect of siblings for individual fertility. Rather than parents, siblings’ influences appear to constitute the largest share of familial influences on fertility outcomes. We also find that among siblings, women’s fertility is more subject to the influences of their sisters. These findings indicate the relative importance of close kin influences on individual fertility and demonstrate the consequences of family structure for fertility change.
    Keywords: Europe, family demography, family size, fertility, kinship, sisters
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2008–10
  15. By: Jan Gunnarsson (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Analyses of European governance usually put the member states in the foreground, placing the citizens in the background. This article brings explanations of EU legitimacy down to the level of individuals. A method is suggested that combines explanations based on individual interests and a sociological approach to identity. The paper investigates how work organisations become levers for a European outlook that may release legitimising from its national context. The individual level analysis is carried out for one particular occupational group (engineers) and the research questions are elucidated by case studies.
    Keywords: social capital; social identity; civil society; open methods of coordination
    JEL: H70 L50
    Date: 2008–10
  16. By: Julia Sophie Woersdorfer
    Abstract: Interdependencies in consumer behavior stem from either status-seeking consumption or compliance with social norms. This paper analyzes how a consumption act changes from a means to signal the consumer’s status to a means of norm compliance. It is shown that such a transformation can only be understood when consumer motivations other than social recognition are taken into account. We depict norm emergence as a learning process based on changing associations between a specific consumption act and widely shared, non-subjectivist consumer needs. Our conjectures are illustrated by means of a case study: the emergence of the cleanliness norm in the 19th century.
    Keywords: social norms, status seeking, externalities, consumer needs, consumer learning, cleanliness Length 32 pages
    JEL: D02 D11 D62 D83
    Date: 2008–10
  17. By: Dirk Engelmann; Urs Fischbacher
    Abstract: We study indirect reciprocity and strategic reputation building in an experimental helping game. At any time only half of the subjects can build a reputation. This allows us to study both pure indirect reciprocity that is not contaminated by strategic reputation building and the impact of incentives for strategic reputation building on the helping rate. We find that pure indirect reciprocity exists, but also that the helping decisions are substantially a!ected by strategic considerations. We find that the behavioral pattern can best be captured by non-selfish preferences as assumed by reciprocity models. Finally, we find that strategic do better than non-strategic players and non-reciprocal do better than reciprocal players, casting doubt on previously proposed evolutionary explanations for indirect reciprocity.
    Keywords: indirect reciprocity, reputation, experimental economics
    Date: 2008
  18. By: Gajwani, Kiran; Zhang, Xiaobo
    Abstract: "This paper seeks to contribute to the literature on village governance and local public goods provision. Using data from 144 village-level governments in India's Tamil Nadu state, we examine whether the gender and caste of village government leaders influence village public goods provision. In particular, we examine: 1) whether public goods are provided in accordance with gender or caste preferences; and 2) whether public goods provision differs based on the knowledge level of the village government leader. We find evidence of different preferences for public goods between men and women, and between Scheduled Caste (SC) and non-SC persons. Additionally, a test of knowledge regarding the village government reveals that female and SC presidents receive lower scores relative to male and non-SC presidents, with women scoring lowest overall. We find that preferences and knowledge have little effect on public goods provision by female presidents, and hypothesize that this may be due to the influence of their male spouses. In the context of SC presidents, we find evidence that SC presidents provide more drinking water access—a location-specific public good—to SC-inhabited village areas." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Local governance, public goods provision, Gender, Caste,
    Date: 2008

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