nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2009‒05‒09
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Delinquent Networks By Ballester, Coralio; Calvó-Armengol, Antoni; Zenou, Yves
  2. Differences of the effects of social capital on health status among residents: evidence from modern Japan. By Yamamura, Eiji
  3. Why effects of social capital on health status differ between genders: considering the labor market condition By Yamamura, Eiji
  4. Marital Partner and Mortality: The Effects of the Social Positions of Both Spouses By Erikson, Robert; Torssander, Jenny
  5. The Construction of Neighbourhoods and its Relevance for the Measurement of Social and Ethnic Segregation : Evidence from Denmark By Damm, Anna Piil; Schultz-Nielsen, Marie Louise
  6. Territorial development reconsidered By Sucháček, Jan
  7. Building a Better World: An Ecosystemic Approach to Education, Culture, Health, Environment and Quality of Life By Pilon, André Francisco
  8. New Network Goods By João Leão; Vasco Santos
  9. Collaborating By Alessandro Bonatti; Johannes Horner

  1. By: Ballester, Coralio; Calvó-Armengol, Antoni; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: Delinquents are embedded in a network of relationships. Social ties among delinquents are modelled by means of a graph where delinquents compete for a booty and benefit from local interactions with their neighbors. Each delinquent decides in a non-cooperative way how much delinquency effort he will exert. Using the network model developed by Ballester et al. (2006), we characterize the Nash equilibrium and derive an optimal enforcement policy, called the key-player policy, which targets the delinquent who, once removed, leads to the highest aggregate delinquency reduction. We then extend our characterization of optimal single player network removal for delinquency reduction, the key player, to optimal group removal, the key group. We also characterize and derive a policy that targets links rather than players. Finally, we endogenize the network connecting delinquents by allowing players to join the labor market instead of committing delinquent offenses. The key-player policy turns out to be much more complex since it depends on wages and on the structure of the network.
    Keywords: Crime policies; Delinquency decision; Key group; NP-hard problem; Social networks
    JEL: A14 C72 K42 L14
    Date: 2009–05
  2. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: This paper aims to explore how social capital is related to self-rated health status in Japan and how this relationship depends on the extent to which a person is embedded into community. The study used data from 3 079 adult participants in the 2000 Social Policy and Social Consciousness (SPSC) survey. Controlling for unobserved city size- and area-specific fixed effects, I find through Ordered Probit estimation that social capital has a significantly positive effect on health status for long-time but not for short-time residents. Results also suggested that the experience of divorce is negatively associated with health status for long- time but not short-time residents. People can enjoy a social network that can be regarded as a kind of social capital if they are a member of a network; nevertheless, people appear to be negatively influenced if they are excluded from a network. Such positive and negative effects of social capital are more obvious when people are more deeply integrated into a community. An empirical study provided evidence that social capital and socio-economic effects on health status are significantly influenced by the extent to which respondents are integrated into a community.
    Keywords: social capital; health status
    JEL: I19 Z13
    Date: 2009–05–02
  3. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: This paper explores how social capital is related with self-rated health status in Japan and how this relationship is affected by gender, using data for 3075 adult participants in the 2000 Social Policy and Social Consciousness (SPSC) survey. Controlling for endogenous bias, unobserved city size- and area-specific fixed effects, I find that social capital has a significant positive influence on health status for females but not for males. If samples are limited to persons with a job, social capital effects drastically decrease and the difference between genders diminishes. This empirical study provides evidence that people without a job can afford to allocate time to accumulate social capital and thereby improve their health status.
    Keywords: health status; social capital; labor market
    JEL: J21 I19 Z13
    Date: 2009–05–02
  4. By: Erikson, Robert (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University); Torssander, Jenny (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Background Individual education, social class, social status and income are all associated with mortality, and this is likewise the case for the position of the marital partner. We investigate the combined effect on mortality of own and partner’s positions regarding these four factors. <p> Methods <p> Prospective follow-up of information in the 1990 Census of the Swedish population aged 30-59 (N=1 502 148). Data on all-cause mortality and deaths from cancer and circulatory disease for the period 1991-2003 were collected from the Cause of Death Register. Relative mortality risks were estimated by Cox regression. <p> Results <p> All-cause mortality of both men and women differs by women’s education and status and by men’s social class and income. Men’s education has an effect on their own mortality but not on their partner’s, when other factors are included in the models. Women’s education and men’s social class are particularly important for women’s deaths from circulatory diseases. <p> Conclusions <p> The partner’s social position has a clear effect on individual mortality, and women’s education seems to be particularly important. The results appear above all to support hypotheses about the importance of lifestyle and economic resources for socio-economic differences in mortality.
    Keywords: -
    Date: 2009–05–05
  5. By: Damm, Anna Piil (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business); Schultz-Nielsen, Marie Louise (The Rockwool Foundation Research Unit)
    Abstract: In this paper we propose a model for constructing neighbourhoods based on georeferenced data and administrative data. The 431,233 inhabited hectare cells in Denmark are clustered into 9,404 small and 2,296 large neighbourhoods, inhabited on average in 2004 by 572 and 2,343 persons respectively. The priorities in the clustering process are to obtain neighbourhoods that are unaltered over time, delineated by physical barriers, compact, homogeneous in terms of type of housing and ownership, relatively small, homogeneous in terms of number of inhabitants, and comprised of a contiguous cluster of cells. To illustrate the importance of detailed neighbourhood information we compare social and ethnic segregation measured by Isolation and Dissimilation indices on the levels of municipalities and of small neighbourhoods. Our findings demonstrate substantial variation in the residential mix in neighbourhoods within a given municipality, and thus show the importance of having information on a more detailed geographical level than that of the municipality.
    Keywords: Geo-referenced data; Neighbourhoods; Segregation
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2008–09–05
  6. By: Sucháček, Jan
    Abstract: Lamentations on societal and environmental developments become increasingly audible in our times. Currently, we can hear almost every day about reaching the balance in a very sensitive triangle economic sustainability-social sustainability-environmental sustainability. It is largely omitted that concepts of self-governance and self-government constitute one of greatest challenges and opportunities for truly sustainable development in our common future.
    Keywords: nation state; globalisation; location; media; self-governance; self-government
    JEL: R10 Z1 N90 B50 N00 R50 H70 L38 B52
    Date: 2008–12
  7. By: Pilon, André Francisco
    Abstract: Quality of life, natural and man-made environments, physical, social and mental well-being are currently undermined by all sorts of hazards and injuries; political, economical, social and cultural disarray normalise atrocious behaviours and violence throughout the world. Considering the multiple problems of difficult settlement or solution in our times, current environmental, social, cultural, educational, political and economic policies and practices are examined in view of new paradigms of growth, power, wealth, work and freedom. A multidimensional ecosystemic approach and planning model integrate into a dynamic configuration four dimensions of being-in-the- world (intimate, interactive, social and biophysical), as they induce the events (deficits and assets), cope with consequences (desired or undesired) and reorganise for change.
    Keywords: education; culture; public policies; environment; ecosystems
    JEL: Q56 H75 I28 Z13
    Date: 2009–04–25
  8. By: João Leão (MIT - Department of Economics, ISCTE - Department of Economics and UNIDE-ERC); Vasco Santos (FE-UNL and INOVA)
    Abstract: New horizontally-differentiated goods involving product-specific network effects are quite prevalent. Consumers’ preferences for each of these new goods often are initially unknown. Later, as sales data begin to accumulate, agents learn market-wide preferences which thus become common knowledge. We call network goods’ markets showing these two features “new network markets.” For such markets, we pinpoint the factors determining whether the market-wide preferred firm reinforces its lead as time elapses, both when market-wide preferences are time invariant and when they may change. The latter case allows for the study of markets subject to consumer fads (unanticipated and fleeting consumers’ preference for one product). We show that in new network markets subject to such fads, the firm that benefits from a fad in a mature phase of the industry may be better off than one that benefits from an equal-strength fad at an earlier stage despite the presence of network effects. Moreover, we show that new network markets are more prone to increased sales dominance of the leading firm than are regular network markets. Finally, we characterize the social-welfare maximizing allocation of consumers to networks and use it to evaluate from a social-welfare viewpoint the market outcomes of both types of new network goods as well as regular network goods.
    Keywords: Network Effects, Learning, Horizontal Differentiation, Vertical Differentiation
    JEL: L14
    Date: 2008–05
  9. By: Alessandro Bonatti (Dept. of Economics, Yale University); Johannes Horner (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: This paper examines moral hazard in teams over time. Agents are collectively engaged in an uncertain project, and their individual efforts are unobserved. Free-riding leads not only to a reduction in effort, but also to procrastination. The collaboration dwindles over time, but never ceases as long as the project has not succeeded. In fact, the delay until the project succeeds, if it ever does, increases with the number of agents. We show why deadlines, but not necessarily better monitoring, help to mitigate moral hazard.
    Keywords: Moral hazard, Teams, Experimentation, Collaboration, Public goods, Learning
    JEL: C72 C73 D83
    Date: 2009–04

This nep-soc issue is ©2009 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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