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

  1. Blogs and the Economics of Reciprocal Attention By Gaudeul, Alexia; Mathieu, Laurence; Peroni, Chiara
  2. The role of social capital in homogeneous society: Review of recent researches in Japan. By yamamura, eiji
  3. Absenteeism and Peer Interaction Effects: Evidence from an Italian Public Institute By De Paola, Maria
  4. Social Capital and Collective Action in Environmental Governance Revisited By Hiroe Ishihara; Unai Pascual
  5. Words Speak Louder Than Money By MaroÅ¡ Servátka; Steven Tucker; Radovan VadoviÄ
  6. Everyone Is A Winner: Promoting Cooperation Through Non-Rival Intergroup Competition By Ernesto Reuben; Jean-Robert Tyran
  7. Crime Networks with Bargaining and Build Frictions By Bryan Engelhardt
  8. Crime, Unemployment, and Xenophobia? An Ecological Analysis of Right-Wing Election Results in Hamburg, 1986−2005 By Rotte, Ralph; Steininger, Martin
  9. What It Takes to Be a Leader: Leadership and Charisma in a Citizen-Candidate Model By Berdugo, Binyamin
  10. The Third sector in Europe; Does it exhibit a coverging movement? By Edith Archambault

  1. 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
  2. By: yamamura, eiji
    Abstract: It is widely and increasingly acknowledged that social capital plays a crucial role in the economic performance, which covers various facets of human behavior. A growing body of literature has sought to investigate the role of social capital mainly in heterogeneous societies such as USA, whereas works concerning homogeneous society have not yet sufficiently been provided. From the comparative point of view, researches on homogeneous society are called for. In this paper, therefore, I aim to introduce researches to explore how social capital affects the socio-economic outcomes of Japan, which is considered as a relatively homogeneous society. Recent preliminary empirical works attempted to provide the interesting evidence in Japan, which covers the following topics.  (1) Criminal prevention, manner of driving, suicide, lawyers demand for conflict resolution (2) cinema and baseball attendance, (3) voter turnout, response to Census, and protection against natural disasters, (4) diffusion of knowledge, efficiency improvement and industrial development, (5) quality of life in terms of health, (6) formation of trust in a community. It follows from them that the social capital enhances the collective action, leading to benefit, however such effect has changed over time.
    Keywords: social capital; Japan
    JEL: Z10 Z13
    Date: 2008–11–01
  3. By: De Paola, Maria
    Abstract: Using microdata on a sample of about 350 workers, employed at an Italian public institute, we explain individual absence rates both considering variables that may be related to health conditions and to variables that may suggest shirking behaviour. Among these variables we especially focus our attention on the influence produced by the behaviour of randomly assigned peers. To handle reflection problems we use the proportion of females in the peer group as instrument of peer absence behaviour. From Two-Stage least square estimates it emerges that social and group interactions play an important role in shaping individual absence behaviour.
    Keywords: Absenteeism; Shirking; Peer Effects
    JEL: J22 M50
    Date: 2008–10–07
  4. By: Hiroe Ishihara (University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy); Unai Pascual (University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy)
    Abstract: Since the 1990s, a growing number of authors have argued that social capital has positive effects in creating collective action and achieving favourable economic/political outcomes. However, in this paper we argue that despite this plethora of social capital literature, the connection between social capital and collective action is far from clear. By drawing on to a pluralistic perspective, i.e. ecological economics, sociology and anthropology, and introducing two key concepts, common knowledge and symbolic power, we aim at unravelling the missing links between social capital and collective action for environmental governance. By introducing these two concepts we aim to recapture a recursive relationship between social structure and human agency and to regain the explanatory power of the concept of social capital.
    Keywords: Social Capital, institutions, collective action, ‘common knowledge’, ‘symbolic power’, human agency
    Date: 2008
  5. By: MaroÅ¡ Servátka (University of Canterbury); Steven Tucker (University of Canterbury); Radovan VadoviÄ
    Abstract: This paper reports on an experiment studying the effectiveness of two types of mechanisms for promoting trust: pecuniary and non-pecuniary as well as their mutual interaction. Our data provide evidence that both mechanisms significantly enhance trust in comparison to the standard investment game. However, we find that the pecuniary mechanism performs significantly worse than the non-pecuniary one. Our results also point to the fact that pecuniary mechanism, which depends on monetary incentives, can be counterproductive when combined with mechanism which relies primarily on psychological incentives.
    Keywords: Communication; Deposit; Experimental economics; Trust; Trustworthiness
    JEL: C70 C91
    Date: 2008–10–29
  6. By: Ernesto Reuben (Northwestern University); Jean-Robert Tyran (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the effectiveness of intergroup competition in promoting cooperative behavior. We focus on intergroup competition that is non-rival in the sense that everyone can be a winner. This type of competition does not give groups an incentive to outcompete others. However, in spite of this fact, we find that intergroup competition produces a universal increase in cooperation. Furthermore, in settings where there are strong incentives to compete, intergroup competition benefits a majority of individuals.
    Keywords: intergroup competition; cooperation; public goods; experiment
    JEL: H41 M52 C92
    Date: 2008–08
  7. By: Bryan Engelhardt (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)
    Abstract: How does the timing, targets and types of anti-crime policies affect a network when criminal retailers search sequentially for wholesalers and crime opportunities? Given the illicit nature of crime, I analyze a non-competitive market where players bargain over the surplus. In such a market, some anti-crime policies distort revenue sharing, reduce matching frictions and increase market activity or crime. As an application, the model provides a new perspective on why the U.S. cocaine market saw rising consumption after the introduction of the “War on Drugs.”
    Keywords: crime, networks, search, matching
    JEL: C78 K42 L14
    Date: 2008–09
  8. By: Rotte, Ralph (RWTH Aachen University); Steininger, Martin (University of Munich)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the consequences of immigration, crime and socio-economic depriviation for the performance of right-wing extremist and populist parties in the German city state of Hamburg between 1986 and 2005. The ecological determinants of voting for right-wing parties on the district level are compared to those for mainstream and other protest parties. Parallels and differences in spatial characteristics between right-wing extremist and populist parties' performance are identified. Our empirical results tend to confirm the general contextual sociological theory of right-wing radicalization by general social deprivation and immigration. Nevertheless they indicate that one has to be very cautious when interpreting the unemployment/crime - right-winger nexus. Moreover, crime does not seem to have a strong significant effect on right-wing populist parties' election successes despite its importance for their programmes and campaigns.
    Keywords: elections, political extremism, labor market policy, welfare policy, immigration
    JEL: D60 D72 I28 J60 P16
    Date: 2008–10
  9. By: Berdugo, Binyamin
    Abstract: This paper analyses leadership and charisma within the framework of social choice. In societies that lack formal institutional authorities, the power of leaders to coerce is limited. Under such conditions, we find that social outcomes will depend not only on policy preferences but also on how a leader's ability to transform voluntary efforts into some public good are conceived by other society members. The paper has three main results: (1) institutionalized and uninstitutionalized societies that have identical characteristics might have different political equilibria (namely, they might choose different leaders and different policies); (2) under imperfect information regarding individuals' abilities, social choice may be biased toward less competent but more charismatic leaders; and (3) in uninstitutionalized societies, less competent, more charismatic leaders can achieve more in terms of social goals and welfare than can more competent and less charismatic ones.
    Keywords: Candidates; Charisma; Leadership; Public Goods ; Voting
    JEL: D71 D72 D82
    Date: 2008–01
  10. By: Edith Archambault (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, MATISSE - Modélisation Appliquée, Trajectoires Institutionnelles et Stratégies Socio-Économiques - CNRS : UMR8595 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: The European Union in its widening movement shows five clusters of Third sector organisations with complex bonds and ties with the surrounding societies and national identities In introduction, we compare briefly the Europe’s Third sector features to North America’s ones (Historical and ideological roots, relationship with central and local governments, sources of income and composition of the Third sector…) In a first part, the European Third sector is broken up into five clusters (Esping-Andersen, Salamon and Anheier) : Continental, Anglo-saxon, Nordic, Mediterranean and Oriental according to :• The relationship to the government (central/local, high/low level of taxation) • The ratio of social protection to GDP, the share of public social expenditure and the dominant type of social security regime• The main religions and their links with parts of the Third sector• The labour market situation (unemployment, flexibility, security) with a special attention devoted to female work (employment rate; full time or part time) in relation with volunteering.Then we give data issued from the Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project (CNP2, Salamon et alii, 2004) on paid employment and volunteering, level and orientation of the partnership with the government, sources of income in every cluster.The second part is devoted to the question of a likely converging evolution of these clusters :• A faster growth rate in new member states makes them catch up gradually the other ones and choose “best practices” regarding social policies and social security regimes• The trend to decentralisation in larger member states combined with the retrenchment of central government is in favour of local solutions to local issues and of public-private partnerships especially with nonprofit organisations.• Despite the ambiguities of its policy towards civil society organizations, European authorities expect them filling the gap of democracy and fighting European bureaucracies.
    Keywords: European and American Third sectors; public-private partnership; Continental cluster; Anglo-Saxon cluster; Nordic cluster; Mediterranean cluster; Oriental cluster; Convergence;
    Date: 2008

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