nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2008‒11‒18
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Aid Effectiveness: Looking at the Aid-Social Capital-Growth Nexus By Baliamoune-Lutz, Mina N.; Mavrotas, George
  2. Ties configuration in entrepreneurs’ personal network and economic performances in African urban informal economy By Jean-Philippe BERROU (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113); François COMBARNOUS (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113)
  3. Common Property, Information, and Cooperation: Commercial Fishing in the Bering Sea By Robert H. Hicks; Alan C. Haynie; Kurt E. Schnier
  4. Follow the Leader: Simulations on a Dynamic Social Network By David Goldbaum
  5. Migrant Labor Markets and the Welfare of Rural Households in the Developing World: Evidence from China By De Brauw, Alan; Giles, John
  6. Economic and Social Impacts of Self-Help Groups in India By Deininger, Klaus; Liu, Yanyan
  7. Those with blue hair please step forward: An economic theory of group formation and application to Cajas Rurales in Honduras By Elias, Carlos; Alwang, Jeffrey
  8. Clusters as vehicles for entrepreneurial innovation and new idea generation : a critical assessment By Bahlmann, R.D.; Huysman, M.H.; Elfring, T.; Groenewegen, P.
  9. The Racial Saving Gap Enigma: Unraveling the Role of Institutions By Belton, Willie; Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth
  10. Risk Perception and Altruistic Averting Behavior: Removing Arsenic in Drinking Water By Cai, Yongxia; Shaw, W. Douglass; Wu, Ximing

  1. By: Baliamoune-Lutz, Mina N.; Mavrotas, George
    Abstract: We examine the impact of institutional quality and social capital on aid effectiveness. We find strong evidence that social capital and institutions enhance aid effectiveness. Moreover, once we account for the role of social capital and institutions, the impact of policies tend -Date disappear. These findings have important policy implications as they indicate that conditioning aid allocation on ?good policies? may not lead -Date an optimal (or fair) allocation of aid, as countries with high social capital at the macro level could actually make good use of aid regardless of the quality of policy. This casts doubt on the conclusions in Burnside and Dollar (2000) and the policy lessons derived Date their findings.
    Keywords: aid effectiveness, social capital, institutions, growth
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Jean-Philippe BERROU (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113); François COMBARNOUS (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113)
    Abstract: As to explore social networks influence in African informal economy, this paper fits in the conceptual framework of reticular embeddedness. By going into the analyse of ties strength, our purpose is to question the real influence of ties content. We use a recent original dataset to evaluate how entrepreneurs’ networks influence their activities economic outcomes. ‘Multiple name generators’ method provides a vast amount of information about ties content, which can be treated by factor analysis to describe and categorize networks. Finally, we show that not only business ties but the particular configuration of ties strength in networks improve informal earnings.
    Keywords: Informal economy ; embeddedness ; social networks ; informal earnings
    JEL: O17 Z13
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Robert H. Hicks (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary); Alan C. Haynie (Alaska Fisheries Science Center,National Marine Fisheries Service); Kurt E. Schnier (Department of Economics,Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University)
    Abstract: A substantial theoretical and experimental literature has focused on the conditions under which cooperative behavior among actors providing public goods or extracting common-pool resources arises. The literature identifies the importance of coercion, small groups of actors, or the existence of social norms as conducive to cooperation. This research empirically investigates cooperative behavior in a natural resource extraction industry in which the provision of a public good (bycatch avoidance) in the Alaskan flatfish fishery is essential to the duration of the fishing season, and an information provision mechanism exists to relay information to all individuals. Using a mixed logit model of spatial fishing behavior our results show that conditionally cooperative behavior is prevalent but deteriorates as bycatch constraints tighten.
    Keywords: cooperative games, spatial econometrics, fisheries, location choice
    JEL: Q22 C25 D71
    Date: 2008–11–14
  4. By: David Goldbaum (School of Finance and Economics, University of Technology, Sydney)
    Abstract: An agent based model is developed in which a social hierarchy of leaders and followers emerges from a uniform or random social network. The formation of the social structure is driven by the desire to be an early adopter of a subsequently popular trend. The environment is related to a majority game, but introduces the importance of the timing of adoption. The proposed environment is relevant to a number of settings in which leadership and timing of decisions are important or being perceived as a trend setter is rewarded. The leadership position can be selfreinforcing. For a professional critic, for example, a cult-of-personality can dictate popular tastes, such as in art, food, and wine markets. A social hierarchy can also apply to the introduction of new products or ideas including academic research and financial market analysts.
    Keywords: dynamic network; social interaction; consumer choice
    Date: 2008–10–01
  5. By: De Brauw, Alan; Giles, John
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the impact of reductions in barriers to migration on the consumption of rural households in China. We find that increased migration from rural villages leads to significant increases in consumption per capita, and that this effect is stronger for poorer households within villages. Household income per capita and non-durable consumption per capita both increase with out-migration, and increase more for poorer households. We also establish a causal relationship between increased out-migration and investment in housing and durable goods assets, and these effects are also stronger for poorer households. We do not find robust evidence, however, to support a connection between increased migration and investment in productive activity. Instead, increased migration is associated with two significant changes for poorer households: increases both in the total labor supplied to productive activities and in the land per capita managed by the household. In examining the effect of migration, we pay considerable attention to developing and examining our identification strategy.
    Keywords: Migration, Migrant Networks, Consumption, Poverty, Wealth, Rural China, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, Labor and Human Capital, O12, O15, J22, J24,
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Deininger, Klaus; Liu, Yanyan
    Abstract: We use a combination of pipeline comparison, propensity score matching, and double differences to evaluate economic and social impacts of a large community driven development program in India. While we find positive empowerment and nutritional effects for households in program areas, allowing heterogeneity of program impact yields additional insights. First, social and economic empowerment increased equally for participants and non-participants in program areas, pointing towards positive externalities. Second, nutritional benefits were more pronounced for new participants than for members of pre-existing self-help groups who joined the program. Third, evidence of higher consumption -but not income or asset formation- by new and converted participants suggests that at the point of the survey, the program's main economic impact had been through consumption smoothing and diversification of income sources.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Elias, Carlos; Alwang, Jeffrey
    Abstract: This paper presents an economic model of group formation with an application to data collected from an agricultural credit program in western Honduras. We formulate a simple theory of group formation using the concept of centers of gravity to explain why individuals join a group. According to our theory, prospective members join based on the potential benefits and costs of group membership, and based on their perception of social distance between themselves and other group members. Social distance is unobservable by outsiders but known by the individual: if you are in then you know who has blue hair. Thus, we argue that social distance helps explain preferences for group formation. To test our theory we analyze data collected from members and non-members of PRODERT, a program that has helped create 188 €܃ajas Rurales€ݠ(CRs). Using conjoint analysis we test for differences in preferences between members and non-members for the main attributes of the CR. We find that members and non-members exhibit similar preferences for the attributes of the CR; therefore non-membership is not related to supply factors. Using information gathered by executing field experiments, we estimate a proxy for social distance. We use this proxy to run a group formation equation and find that it explains, along with individual characteristics, participation in the CR. Finally we offer suggestions on how to balance performance and coverage in programs in which beneficiaries decide who joins. Small cohesive groups may show exceptional performance at the cost of low coverage, and the opposite may be true.
    Keywords: Agricultural Finance, Institutional and Behavioral Economics,
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Bahlmann, R.D. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Huysman, M.H.; Elfring, T.; Groenewegen, P.
    Abstract: Recent theorizing in cluster literature emphasizes the importance of inter-cluster knowledge linkages in addition to local knowledge dynamics, enabling new and innovative ideas to flow from one cluster to the other. This paper contributes to this topic by studying inter-cluster knowledge linkages at an individual level of analysis, making use of qualitative social network measures. Central to this case is the Amsterdam New Media-cluster, with a special focus on entrepreneurs engaging in lively inter-cluster exchange of knowledge and debate, resulting in the exchange of new visions and ideas across cluster boundaries. The results reported in this paper provide us with an opportunity to discuss cluster boundaries as a social construction, especially in relation to the knowledge- based view of clusters.
    Keywords: inter-cluster knowledge linkages, entrepreneurship, Amsterdam New Media-cluster, Social networks
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Belton, Willie; Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth
    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 that of 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, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Political Economy, D14, D31, J15, J78, N30,
    Date: 2008
  10. By: Cai, Yongxia; Shaw, W. Douglass; Wu, Ximing
    Abstract: Self protection and altruism are crucial behavioral factors in determining the effectiveness of public policies aimed to improve human health from environmental hazards. This paper examined people€ٳ arsenic mortality risk perception in the drinking water for themselves and their children using the Bayesian learning framework. A two-stage structural model within the random utility framework was developed to model the household€ٳ risk averting behavior with respect to arsenic-related mortality risk. The empirical results indicate that parents engage in a form of mixed altruism. Parents are willing to spend more to make a trade-off between their risk and their children€ٳ risk.
    Keywords: Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, Risk and Uncertainty,
    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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