nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2008‒12‒21
eight papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. The Unofficial Economy and Economic Development By Rafael La Porta; Andrei Shleifer
  2. Measuring Security and Trust in the Online Environment: A View Using Official Data By OECD
  3. Boon or Bane? Others' unemployment, well-being and job insecurity By Andrew E. Clark; Andreas Knabe; Steffen Rätzel
  4. The Quality of Institutions and Financial Development By Law, Siong Hook; Azman-Saini, W.N.W.
  5. Clusters’ development: spin-offs and external economies By Christian Garavaglia
  6. The role of managers’ behavior in corporate fraud By Cohen, Jeffrey; Ding, Yuan; Lesage, Cedric; Stolowy, Hervé
  7. Measuring the Impacts of ICT Using Official Statistics By OECD
  8. Une forme minimale de coopération By Paternotte, Cédric

  1. By: Rafael La Porta; Andrei Shleifer
    Abstract: In developing countries, informal firms (those that are not registered with the government) account for about half of all economic activity. We consider three broad views of the role of such firms in economic development. According to the romantic view, these firms would become the engine of economic growth if not stopped by government regulation. According to the parasite view, informal firms, by avoiding taxes and regulations, unfairly compete with the more efficient formal firms and, by taking away their market share, undermine economic progress. According to the dual view, informal firms are highly inefficient, do not pose much threat to the formal firms, but also do not contribute to economic growth, which is driven by the efficient formal firms. Using data from World Bank firm level surveys, we find that informal firms are small and extremely unproductive, compared even to the small formal firms, and especially relative to the larger formal firms. Compared to the informal firms, formal ones are run by much better educated managers. As a consequence, they use more capital, have different customers, market their products, and use more external finance. Hardly any formal firms had ever operated informally. This evidence is inconsistent with the romantic and parasite views, but supports the dual view. In this "Walmart" theory of economic development, growth comes from the creation of the highly productive formal firms. Informal firms keep millions of people alive, but disappear over time.
    JEL: O17
    Date: 2008–12
  2. By: OECD
    Abstract: This paper reviews available official statistics on trust and security in the online environment. It discusses whether security concerns are an obstacle to Internet use and examines how people and companies protect their equipment and networks.
    Date: 2008–01–29
  3. By: Andrew E. Clark; Andreas Knabe; Steffen Rätzel
    Abstract: The social norm of unemployment suggests that aggregate unemployment reduces the well-being of the employed, but has a far smaller effect on the unemployed. We use German panel data to reproduce this standard result, but then suggest that the appropriate distinction may not be between employment and unemployment, but rather between higher and lower levels of labour-market security. Those with good job prospects, both employed and unemployed, are strongly negatively affected by regional unemployment. However, the insecure employed and the poor-prospect unemployed are less negatively, or even positively, affected. We use our results to analyse labour-market inequality and unemployment hysteresis.
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Law, Siong Hook; Azman-Saini, W.N.W.
    Abstract: Using banking sector and stock market development indicators, we explore the importance of a wide range of institutional quality variables as sources of financial development. The empirical results based on the dynamic panel system GMM estimations demonstrate that a high-quality institutional environment has positive effect on financial development. However, some institutional aspects matter more than others do. Particularly, the rule of law, political stability and government effectiveness play a vital role in influencing banking sector development. The findings also suggest that regulatory quality does contribute to financial development but only when a threshold level of regulatory quality development has been attained, a condition which is more prevalent among low-income countries, than among the entire set of countries. In terms of policy implication, the findings suggest that improving institutional infrastructure and identifying the beneficial aspects of particular institutions, would encourage the development of financial markets.
    Keywords: institutions; banking sector development; capital market development; panel data analysis
    JEL: G1 O43
    Date: 2008–10
  5. By: Christian Garavaglia (University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan and CESPRI/KITeS, Bocconi University, Milan - Italy)
    Abstract: The claim of the paper is that industrial clusters need to be studied from a dynamic perspective. The complexity of cluster formation may be ascribed to its multi-dimensional and multidisciplinary character. The former refers to the co-involvement of individuals’ decisions, firms’ activities and institutions. The latter relates to the psychological, social, cultural and economic aspects needed to explain the birth end evolution of firms’ agglomerations. The paper proposes that theoretical framework which integrate different explanations, as put in evidence by the different approaches in literature, is more apt for grasping the evolution and complexity of clusters. Particular emphasis is given to the processes of spin-off formation.
    Keywords: cluster, spin-off, entrepreneurship, social ties, external economies.
    JEL: R11 O18 L26 M13 D85
    Date: 2008–11
  6. By: Cohen, Jeffrey; Ding, Yuan; Lesage, Cedric; Stolowy, Hervé
    Abstract: Based on anecdotal evidence from press articles covering 39 high profile alleged or acknowledged corporate fraud cases, the objective of this paper is to examine one dimension partially unexplored: the role of managers’ behavior in the commitment of the fraud.
    Keywords: Fraud auditing standards; fraud triangle; corporate fraud; theory of planned behavior; personality traits; ethics
    JEL: D23
    Date: 2008–07–01
  7. By: OECD
    Abstract: Policy makers everywhere want to know about the social and economic impacts of ICT. The aim of this paper is to examine statistical issues associated with their measurement and to suggest areas for future work.
    Date: 2008–01–04
  8. By: Paternotte, Cédric
    Abstract: Dans cet article, l'auteur décrit et caractérise une forme minimale de coopération, correspondant aux actions de masse impliquant un grand nombre d'agents, telles des manifestations. Il en détaille les aspects intentionnel, épistémique,stratégique et téléologique, qui résultent pour la plupart d'un aaffaiblissement spécifique que de concepts classiques. Parallèlement, l'auteur souligne le rôle crucial de concepts issus de la théorie des jeux pour la définition d'une action conjointe, minimale ou non. En fin, il soutient que la question de la rationalité d'une telle action coopérative minimale est essentielle à sa définition, alors que les analyses habituelles la considèrent au mieux comme une caractéristique possible ou souhaitable.
    Keywords: Coopération; action collective; intention de groupe; objectif collectif; équilibre; rationalité
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2008–07–01

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