nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2008‒12‒01
sixteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Gift Exchange in the Workplace: Money or Attention? By Dur, Robert
  2. Self-Esteem, Moral Capital, and Wrongdoing By Ernesto Dal Bó; Marko Terviö
  3. A Behavioral Laffer Curve: Emergence of a Social Norm of Fairness in a Real Effort Experiment By Louis Lévy-Garboua; David Masclet; Claude Montmarquette
  4. The Cultural Roots of Institutions By Mariko Klasing
  5. The Use of Informal Networks in Italian Labor Markets: Efficiency or Favoritisms? By Ponzo, Michela; Scoppa, Vincenzo
  6. Professor Yunus on “social business” and the conquest of poverty: a dissenting view By Roy Grieve
  7. The Economic Performance of Great Religions By Paul Fudulu
  8. Are Mixed Neighborhoods Always Unstable?: Two-Sided and One Sided Tipping By David Card; Alexandre Mas; Jesse Rothstein
  9. Ties configuration in entrepreneurs’ personal network and economic performances in African urban informal economy By Jean-Philippe BERROU (GREThA-GRES); François COMBARNOUS (GREThA-GRES)
  10. Strategy and Structure in Civil Society Organizations in Latin America and Spain: A Four-Stage Model By ENRIQUE OGLIASTRI
  11. Who are the brokers of knowledge in regional systems of innovation? A multi-actor network analysis By Martina Kauffeld-Monz; Michael Fritsch
  12. Endogenous efforts on communication networks under strategic complementarity By Mohamed Belhaj; Frédéric Deroïan
  13. A Model of Religion and Death By Derek Pyne
  14. When Necessity Becomes a Virtue: The Effect of Product Market Competition on CSR By DANIEL FERNANDEZ; JUAN SANTALO
  15. The Effects of Female Sports Participation On Alcohol Behavior By Elizabeth Wilde
  16. Civil Society and Conflict Transformation in Abkhazia, Israel/Palestine, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria and Western Sahara By Nona Mikhelidze; Nicoletta Pirozzi

  1. By: Dur, Robert (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: We develop a model of manager-employee relationships where employees care more for their manager when they are more convinced that their manager cares for them. Managers can signal their altruistic feelings towards their employees in two ways: by offering a generous wage and by giving attention. Contrary to the traditional gift-exchange hypothesis, we show that altruistic managers may offer lower wages and nevertheless build up better social-exchange relationships with their employees than egoistic managers do. In such equilibria, a low wage signals to employees that the manager has something else to offer − namely, a lot of attention − which will induce the employee to stay at the firm and work hard. Our predictions are well in line with some recent empirical findings about gift exchange in the field.
    Keywords: gift exchange, sabotage, extra-role behavior, wages, manager-employee relationships, social exchange, conditional altruism, reciprocity, signaling game
    JEL: D86 J41 M50 M54 M55
    Date: 2008–11
  2. By: Ernesto Dal Bó; Marko Terviö
    Abstract: In order to help understand adherence to moral principles and the force of intrinsic motivation, we present an infinite-horizon model where an individual receives random temptations (such as bribe offers) and must decide which to resist. Individual actions depend both on conscious intent and a type reflecting unconscious drives. Temptations yield consumption value, but keeping a good self-image (a high belief of being the type of person that resists) yields self-esteem. We identify conditions for individuals to build an introspective reputation for goodness ("moral capital") and for good actions to lead to a stronger disposition to do good. Bad actions destroy moral capital and lock-in further wrongdoing. Economic shocks that result in higher temptations have persistent effects on wrongdoing that fade only as new generations replace the shocked cohorts. Societies with the same moral fundamentals may display different wrongdoing rates depending on how much past luck has polarized the distribution of individual beliefs. The model illustrates how optimal deterrence may change under endogenous moral costs and how wrongdoing may be compounded as high temptation activities attract individuals with low moral capital.
    JEL: D83 K4 Z1
    Date: 2008–11
  3. By: Louis Lévy-Garboua (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CIRANO - Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche en ANalyse des Organisations, CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - Université du Québec à Montréal); David Masclet (CIRANO - Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche en ANalyse des Organisations, CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - Université du Québec à Montréal, CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - CNRS : UMR6211 - Université Rennes I - Université de Caen); Claude Montmarquette (CIRANO - Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche en ANalyse des Organisations, CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - Université du Québec à Montréal, Université de Montréal - Département de Sciences Economique - Université de Montréal)
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates, through a controlled experiment, that the “Laffer curve” phenomenon does not always reflect a conventional income - leisure trade-off. Whether out of reason or out of emotion, taxpayers may also be willing to punish intentionally unfair tax setters by working less than they would under the same exogenous circumstances. We conduct a real effort experiment in which a player A (the "tax receiver") is matched with a player B (the "worker") to elicit the conditions under which tax revenues will increase under a certain threshold and decrease thereafter. We ran four different treatments by manipulating work opportunities and the power to tax. Consistent with the history of tax revolts, the working partner overreacts to the perceived unfairness of taxation when the tax rate exceeds 50%, most strongly so in the high effort treatment. With two types of players, selfish and empathic, our model predicts the emergence of a social norm of fairness under asymmetric information, and elicits the optimal and emotional patterns of punishments and rewards consistent with the norm's enforcement. The social norm allows players to coordinate tacitly on a “focal equilibrium”, which offers a solution to the indeterminacy raised by the Folk theorem for infinitely-repeated games and a behavioral justification for the tit-for-tat strategy. The social norm of fairness enhances productive efficiency in the long run.
    Keywords: Taxation and labor supply; Laffer curve; experimental economics; fairness and efficiency; social norms and sanctions; informational asymmetry; emotions.
    Date: 2008–11–20
  4. By: Mariko Klasing
    Abstract: Do political institutions have cultural roots? Using a novel data set of cultural values we show that culture, defined as a society's collective beliefs and values, is an important determinant of institutions. We argue that the traditional proxies for culture used in the existing literature suffer from conceptual problems and find that they do not survive several robustness checks. Our results suggest, that individualist societies and societies with preference for a more equal distribution of power set up institutions that better protect individual property rights, place more constraints on governments and have more effective governments. We find that our measures of culture are robust to the inclusion of other control variables and across different samples and that they always dominate the effects of the traditional proxies.
    Keywords: Institutions, political institutions, culture, cultural values
    JEL: D02 O17 P00 P51
    Date: 2008–11
  5. By: Ponzo, Michela; Scoppa, Vincenzo
    Abstract: A number of papers considers the use of informal networks (the help of relatives, friends and acquaintances) to find an employment as an efficient mechanism to match workers to jobs. However, evidence in Italy shows that informal networks tend to be used more in less productive jobs and less developed regions. We aim to show that informal networks – rather than being an efficient channel of information transmission – may interfere with a genuine process of selection of workers, favoring socially connected people in place of more talented workers. Using the Bank of Italy Survey on Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) we estimate with a Probit model the determinants of the probability of using informal networks. We find that informal networks tend to be used by low educated individuals, in low productivity jobs, in high unemployment areas, where opportunistic behavior are widespread and in jobs paying a wage rent. We offer a stripped-down model of nepotism to explain theoretically these findings.
    Keywords: Keywords: Informal Networks; Favoritism; Nepotism; Italian Labour Markets.
    JEL: D73 J31 J71 M51 J24
    Date: 2008–10–15
  6. By: Roy Grieve (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: In his new book Professor Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank founder and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, proposes a novel strategy for the elimination of poverty worldwide. This strategy relies on the presumed effectiveness of what he calls “social business” in transforming the nature of the capitalist system, which thus (he supposes) will become capable of achieving all desired social improvements. We take the view however that the concept of “social business” is empty and irrelevant, and that Yunus’s thesis in fact implies the untenable proposition that (apparently) all social problems could be resolved by cost-covering interventions – thus denying that a significant role exists for charitable or governmental actions, which, in reality, are indispensable.
    Keywords: social business; not-for-profit sector; Yunus
    JEL: D21 D64 G21 I39
    Date: 2008–11
  7. By: Paul Fudulu (University of Bucharest)
    Abstract: Ultimately, institutions and cultural preferences are opportunity cost patterns in terms of allinclusive mega-goods wealth and power while cultural preferences are preference rankings of collectivities for the same mega-goods. It is this trans-cultural perspective on institutions and cultures which makes possible that the consistency of a religion with economic performance to be looked at by taking into account religious rules and values that directly characterize mega-good power and only indirectly mega-good wealth. Consequently, besides criteria that have a direct bearing on the easiness to get wealth – the preference for absolute wealth, the type of asceticism, encouragement of saving and productive investment, the level of prohibition for interest - more numerous and better depicted criteria related to power can be employed such as: priests and churches as salvation mediators, encouragement of obedience, the nature of divinity, the type of social justice which is encouraged, man’s power over woman, the kind of ecclesiastical organization. All of the five religions which are analyzed - Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodoxism, Islamism, Confucianism and Buddhism - show almost the same rankings of consistency with economic performance for all direct and indirect criteria which are employed.
    Keywords: church, culture, economic growth,institutions,preferences
    Date: 2008–10–25
  8. By: David Card (UC Berkeley); Alexandre Mas (UC Berkeley); Jesse Rothstein (Princeton University)
    Abstract: A great deal of urban policy depends on the possibly of creating stable, economically and racially mixed neighborhoods. Many social interaction models - including the seminal Schelling (1971) model - have the feature that the only stable equilibria are fully segregated. These models suggest that if home-buyers have preferences over their neighborhoods' racial composition, a neighborhood with mixed racial composition is inherently unstable, in the sense that a small change in the composition sets off a dynamic process that converges to 0% or 100% minority share. Card, Mas, and Rothstein (2008) outline an alternative "one-sided" tipping model in which neighborhoods with a minority share below a critical threshold are potentially stable, but those that exceed the threshold rapidly shift to 100% minority composition. In this paper we examine the racial dynamics of Census tracts in major metropolitian areas over the period from 1970 to 2000, focusing on the question of whether tipping is "two-sided" or "one-sided." The evidence suggests that tipping behavior is one-sided, and that neighborhoods with minority shares below the tipping point attract both white and minority residents.
    Date: 2008–07
  9. By: Jean-Philippe BERROU (GREThA-GRES); François COMBARNOUS (GREThA-GRES)
    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
  10. By: ENRIQUE OGLIASTRI (Instituto de Empresa)
    Abstract: We developed a four-stage model on the strategic evolution of organizations and their respective restructuring. This model follows the pioneering work done by Chandler and has been applied in organizations operating in Latin America whose objective is to create social value. We found the following strategy sequence: specialization, horizontal integration, vertical integration and diversification. They correspond to social entrepreneurial, functional, decentralized and conglomerate organizational structures. Evidence is presented in 20 case studies on social enterprises that were documented as part of SEKN (Social Enterprise Knowledge Network).
    Keywords: Change management, Non Profit Organisations, Strategy
    Date: 2008–09
  11. By: Martina Kauffeld-Monz (Institute for Urban Science and Structural Policy (IfS Berlin), Germany.); Michael Fritsch (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, German Institute for Economic Research (DIW-Berlin), and Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany.)
    Abstract: The discussion on regional innovation systems emphasizes the duality of local and global links. While the former enable effective knowledge exchange between regional actors, the latter are considered to provide regional systems with knowledge diverse to their knowledge base. Our empirical analysis of 18 German regional innovation networks highlights the importance of public research organizations for inter-regional knowledge exchange. The broker and gatekeeper function of public research organizations may be particularly important in lagging regions that typically suffer from a lack of large firms who often assume the role of "gatekeepers of knowledge".
    Keywords: Regional systems of innovation, innovation networks, knowledge broker, gatekeeper
    JEL: D83 D85 L14
    Date: 2008–22–24
  12. By: Mohamed Belhaj (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - CNRS : UMR6579); Frédéric Deroïan (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - CNRS : UMR6579)
    Abstract: This article explores individual incentives to produce information on communication networks. In our setting, efforts are strategic complements along communication paths with convex decay. We analyze Nash equilibria on a set of networks which are unambiguous in terms of centrality. We first characterize both dominant and dominated equilibria. Second, we examine the issue of social coordination in order to reduce the social dilemma.
    Keywords: Communication Network, Endogenous Efforts, Strategic Complements
    Date: 2008–11–17
  13. By: Derek Pyne (Department of Economics. University of Waterloo, Canada)
    Abstract: This paper attempts to explain several empirical findings regarding religion. The main one is between religion and the fear of death. Some empirical evidence indicates moderately religious individuals fear death more than either atheists or extremely religious individuals. The model also explains the positive relationship often found between religious activity (e.g. church attendance) and age. It also provides an explanation of the positive relationship between education and religious activity despite a negative relationship between education and religious belief.
    Keywords: Fear, death, anxiety, religion
    JEL: Z12
    Date: 2008–10–26
  14. By: DANIEL FERNANDEZ (Instituto de Empresa); JUAN SANTALO (Instituto de Empresa)
    Abstract: We report evidence that Product Market Competition is positively associated to widely-used Corporate Social Responsibility ratings. In particular we show that different market concentration measures are negatively associated to social impact ratings. We also provide evidence that changes in import penetration rates instrumented by import tariffs are positively associated to these social ratings. Finally we report that firm pollution levels are negatively associated to market concentration measures. Our results suggest that -all else constant- doubling competition in the marketplace would increase CSR ratings of an average company between 184% and 800%.
    Keywords: Strategy , Corporate social responsibility, Product market competition
    Date: 2008–07
  15. By: Elizabeth Wilde (Columbia University)
    Abstract: Most existing research on the effects of girls’ participation in high school sports focuses on short term outcomes without accounting for selection effects. In this research, I examine the effect of athletic participation in high school on longer term outcomes, using Title IX as a source of exogenous variation in athletic participation. I use the change in girls’ sports participation between cohorts within high schools surveyed by the High School and Beyond Survey to measure the effect of participation in high school sports on women's later alcohol behavior. I find that several years after high school, women in cohorts within high schools exposed to more athletics, drink substantially more alcohol than women within the same high school exposed to less athletics. Relative to the mean alcohol behavior of the sample, these differences are both statistically significant and sizable.
    Keywords: determinants of health, high school athletics, alcohol, Title IX
    JEL: I10 I20 I28
    Date: 2008–05
  16. By: Nona Mikhelidze (Istituto Affari Internazionali); Nicoletta Pirozzi (Istituto Affari Internazionali)
    Abstract: The paper describes and analyses the role of civil society in five conflict cases – Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Western Sahara and Israel/ Palestine. It evaluates the relative effectiveness of civil society organisations (CSOs) and assesses the potential and limits of CSO involvement in conflicts. In particular it concentrates on civil society activities in the fields of peace training and education, including formal and non-formal education, as well as research and media work. The research also identifies the obstacles that local third sector is faced with, examining experiences and lessons learned. The study then presents critical assessments of local CSO contributions to conflict transformation and concludes with a set of suggestions for local and mid-level civil society actors involved in these five conflict cases and beyond. This paper is an overview study, to provide ideas and documentation to the more detailed empirical research carried out in the context of the MICROCON Work Package ‘Conflict in the European Neighbourhood’.
    Keywords: Civil society, European Union, European Neighbourhood, Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Western Sahara, Israel/Palestine, violent conflict, conflict transformation
    JEL: F35 D74
    Date: 2008

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