nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2009‒05‒23
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. The Fragility of Social Capital By Fabio Sabatini; Angelo Antoci; Mauro Sodini
  2. Family Ties and Political Participation By Alesina, Alberto; Giuliano, Paola
  3. The Effects of Mobility on Neighbourhood Social Ties By Gundi Knies
  4. Free Riders and Cooperators in Public Goods Experiments: Can Evolutionary Dynamics Explain their Coexistence? By Angelo Antoci; Paolo Russu; Luca Zarri
  5. Free riders and strong reciprocators coexist in public goods experiments: evolutionary foundations By Angelo Antoci; Paolo Russu; Luca Zarri
  6. Social Capital and Network Externalities: Evidence from Gender Sensitive JFM Programme in West Bengal By Das, Nimai; Sarker, Debnarayan
  7. Understanding of Social Capital in Gender-based Participatory JFM Programme: An Evidence from West Bengal By Das, Nimai
  8. Reciprocity and Incentive Pay in the Workplace By Robert Dur; Arjan Non; Hein Roelfsema
  9. Strategic communication networks. By Jeanne Hagenbach; Frédéric Koessler
  10. Social Preferences? Google Answers! By Tobias Regner
  11. Alcohol Use and Social Interactions among Adolescents Do peer-effects exist within and/or between the majority population and immigrants? By Svensson, Mikael
  12. Centralizing information in networks. By Jeanne Hagenbach
  13. HedN Game, a Relational Framework for Network Based Cooperation By Franck Delaplace; Pierre Lescanne

  1. By: Fabio Sabatini (Università di Siena); Angelo Antoci (Università di Sassari); Mauro Sodini (Università di Pisa)
    Abstract: This paper addresses two hot topics of the contemporary debate, social capital and economic growth. Our theoretical analysis sheds light on decisive but so far neglected issues: how does social capital accumulate over time? Which is the relationship between social capital, technical progress and economic growth in the long run? The analysis shows that the economy may be attracted by alternative steady states, depending on the initial social capital endowments and cultural exogenous parameters representing the relevance of social interaction and trust in well-being and production. When material consumption and relational goods are substitutable, the choice to devote more and more time to private activities may lead the economy to a “social poverty trap”, where the cooling of human relations causes a progressive destruction of the entire stock of social capital. In this case, the relationship of social capital with technical progress is described by an inverted U-shaped curve. However, the possibility exists for the economy to follow a virtuous trajectory where the stock of social capital endogenously and unboundedly grows. Such result may follow from a range of particular conditions, under which the economy behaves as if there was no substitutability between relational activities and material consumption.
    Keywords: Economic Growth, Technical Progress, Social Interactions, Social Capital
    JEL: A13 O43 Z13
    Date: 2009–03
  2. By: Alesina, Alberto (Harvard University); Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles)
    Abstract: We establish an inverse relationship between family ties, generalized trust and political participation. The more individuals rely on the family as a provider of services, insurance, transfer of resources, the lower is civic engagement and political participation. The latter, together with trust, are part of what is known as social capital, therefore in this paper we contribute to the investigation of the origin and evolution of social capital over time. We establish these results using within country evidence and looking at the behavior of immigrants from various countries in 32 different destination places.
    Keywords: family ties, trust, culture
    JEL: Z10 Z13
    Date: 2009–04
  3. By: Gundi Knies
    Abstract: This research examines the strength of people¿s ties with close neighbours and the sensitivity thereof to changes in residential mobility, access to modes of public and private transport, and changes in the availability of modern communications technologies using the German Socio-economic Panel Study (SOEP). All forms of mobility have increased over time and are negatively associated with visiting neighbours. With further increases in mobility, close neighbours may become less relevant. Nevertheless, presently the incidence of visits with neighbours is sizeable; in contrast to the frequent assertion in the literature that the neighbourhood is of no importance.
    Keywords: Neighbourhood, Social interactions, Mobility, Transport, Internet, Family ties
    JEL: J19 R29 Y8 Z13
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Angelo Antoci; Paolo Russu; Luca Zarri
    Abstract: An oft-cited and robust result from Public Goods Game experiments is that, when subjects start playing, the aggregate level of contributions is significantly different from zero. At the same time, a sizeable proportion of players free ride from the outset. Behavioural economics has persuasively shown that these laboratory findings are compatible with the presence of motivationally heterogeneous agents, displaying both standard, self-centred preferences and non-standard, interdependent preferences. However, at the theoretical level, economists would prefer to account for motivational heterogeneity endogenously, instead of simply assuming it from the outset. Our work provides such endogenisation, by assuming that social evolution is driven by material payoffs only. By separately focusing on different types of ‘experimentally salient’ pro-social players (such as Reciprocators, Strong Reciprocators and Altruists), we are able to shed light – to our knowledge, for the first time, within the public good framework – on the evolutionary stability of two-type populations consisting of positive proportions of both ‘nice’ and ‘mean’ guys.
    Keywords: Free Riding; Strong Reciprocity; Altruism; Nonstrategic Punishment; Public Goods Game; Evolutionary Game Theory.
    JEL: C7 D6 H8 Z1
    Date: 2009–05
  5. By: Angelo Antoci; Paolo Russu; Luca Zarri
    Abstract: Experimental evidence indicates that free riders and strongly reciprocal papers coexist in the public goods game framework. By means of an evolutionary analysis, we provide an endogenization of this behavioral regularity.
    Keywords: Free Riding, Cooperation, Strong Reciprocity, Public Goods Game, Evolutionary Game Theory.
    JEL: B41 C73 D74 Z13
    Date: 2009–05
  6. By: Das, Nimai; Sarker, Debnarayan
    Abstract: This empirical exercise examines the impact of network externalities of social capital in a gender sensitive planning on Joint Forest Management Programme in West Bengal. One impact is that the pre-existing traditional characteristics of community solidarity, mutual trust and coordinated actions are the inner dynamic of the development for higher level social capital in JFM compared with non-JFM villages after JFM situation. The positive complementary effect of network externalities is also higher for the former villages. These two effects are more pronounced in women FPC villages in general and among very poor categories of households in particular within JFM villages.
    Keywords: Social capital; joint forest management villages; forest protection committee villages; productivity; equity; sustainability.
    JEL: Q23 A13 D78 J16
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Das, Nimai
    Abstract: This paper presents an empirical investigation to measure the level of social capital in a gender sensitive planning on joint forest management programme in West Bengal. The study suggests that the pre-existing traditional characteristics of community solidarity, mutual trust and coordinated action are the inner dynamic for the development of social capital in JFM villages compared with non-JFM villages. Within JFM villages such a dynamics of social capital is more pronounced in female FPC-villages in general and among very poor (landless) category of households in particular, and the food livelihood insecurity cannot destroy such institution of social capital.
    Keywords: Joint forest management programme; forest protection committee villages; social capital; productivity; equity; sustainability.
    JEL: Q23 D71 E22 Q56 P32
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Robert Dur; Arjan Non; Hein Roelfsema
    Abstract: We study optimal incentive contracts for workers who are reciprocal to management attention. When neither worker¿s effort nor manager¿s attention can be contracted, a double moral-hazard problem arises, implying that reciprocal workers should be given weak financial incentives. In a multiple-agent setting, this problem can be resolved using promotion incentives. We test these predictions using German Socio-Economic Panel data. We find that workers who are more reciprocal are significantly more likely to receive promotion incentives, while there is no such relation for individual bonus pay.
    Keywords: Reciprocity, social exchange, incentive contracts, double moral hazard, GSOEP
    JEL: D86 J41 M51 M52 M54 M55
    Date: 2009
  9. By: Jeanne Hagenbach (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Frédéric Koessler (Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques (PSE))
    Abstract: We consider situations in which individuals would like to choose an action which is close to that of others, as well as close to a state of nature, with the ideal proximity to the state varying across agents. Before this coordination game is played, a cheap-talk communication stage is offered to the indivisuals who decide to whom they reveal their private information about the state. The information transmission occurring in the communication stage is characterized by a strategic communication network. We provide an explicit link between players' preferences and the equilibrium strategic communication networks. A key feature of our equilibrium characterization is that whether communication takes place between two agents not only depends on the conflict of interest between these agents, but also on the number and preferences of the other agents with whom they communicate. Apart from some specific cases, the equilibrium communication networks are quite complex despite our simple one-dimensional description of preference heterogeneity. In general, strategic communication networks cannot be completely Pareto-ranked, but expected social welfare always increases as the communication network expands.
    Keywords: Cheap talk, coordination, incomplete information, networks.
    JEL: C72 D82 D83 D85
    Date: 2009–02
  10. By: Tobias Regner (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)
    Abstract: We analyse pricing, effort and tipping decisions in the online service "Google Answers" While users set a price for the answer to their question ex ante, they can additionally give a tip to the researcher ex post. In line with the related experimental literature we find evidence that tipping is motivated by reciprocity, but also by reputation concerns among frequent users. Moreover, researchers seem to adjust their effort based on the user's previous tipping behaviour. An efficient sorting takes place when enough tip history is available. Users known for tipping in the past receive higher effort answers, while users with an established reputation for non-tipping tend to get low effort answers. In addition, we analyse how tipping is adopted when the behavioural default is not to tip and estimate minimum levels for the fraction of genuine reciprocator and imitator types.
    Keywords: social preferences, reciprocity, moral hazard, reputation, Internet, psychological game theory
    JEL: C24 C70 C93 D82 L86
    Date: 2009–05–11
  11. By: Svensson, Mikael (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)
    Abstract: Are adolescents who attend schools with a high level of alcohol use more likely to use alcohol themselves? This paper analyzes peer-effects in adolescent alcohol use based on a survey of 13,337 adolescents in Sweden in 2005. The empirical analysis uses multi-level logistic model to handle non-observable heterogeneity between the schools and the results show that attending a school with a high level of alcohol use is a strong predictor of alcohol use for the individual. However, a positive association is only seen within Swedes and within non-Swedes (1st and 2nd generation immigrants). Between Swedes and non-Swedes there is actually a negative association, i.e. if many Swedes drink in a certain school, alcohol use among non-Swedes is lower (and vice-versa). An exception to these results are schools with a very low share of non-Swedish adolescents, where non-Swedes alcohol use also is positively associated with Swedish peers’ alcohol use.
    Keywords: Alcohol use; Adolescents; Peer-effects; Immigrants; Sweden
    JEL: D10 I12
    Date: 2009–05–13
  12. By: Jeanne Hagenbach (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: In the dynamic game we consider, players are the members of a fixed network. Everyone is initially endowed with an information item that he is the only paper to hold. Players are offered a finite number of periods to centralize the initially dispersed items in the hands of any one member of the network. In every period, each agent strategically chooses whether or not to transmit the items he holds to this neighbors in the network. The sooner all the items are gathered by any individual, the better it is for the group of players as a whole. Besides, the agent who first centralizes all the items is offered an additional reward that he keeps for himself. In this framework where information transmission is strategic and physically restricted, we provide a necessary and sufficient condition for a group to pool information items in every equilibrium. This condition is independent of the network structure. The architecture of links however affects the time needed before items are centralized in equilibrium. This paper provides theoretical support to Bonacich (1990)'s experimental results.
    Keywords: Social network, social dilemma, dynamic network game, strategic communication.
    JEL: D83 C72 L22
    Date: 2009–03
  13. By: Franck Delaplace (IBISC - Informatique, Biologie Intégrative et Systèmes Complexes - CNRS : FRE3190 - Université d'Evry-Val d'Essonne); Pierre Lescanne (LIP - Laboratoire de l'Informatique du Parallélisme - INRIA - CNRS : UMR5668 - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon - ENS Lyon)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a new framework for cooperative games based on mathematical relations. Here cooperation is defined as a supportive partnerships represented by a directed network between players (aka hedonic relation). We examine in a specific context, modeled by abstract games how a change of supports induces a modification of strategic interactions between players. Two levels of description are considered: the first one describes the support network formation whereas the second one models the strategic interactions between players. Both are described in a unified formalism, namely CP~game. Stability conditions are stated, emphasizing the connection between these two levels. We also stress the interaction between updates of supports and their impact on the evolution of the context.
    Keywords: Cooperative Game, Network, Stability, Hedonic Relation
    Date: 2009–05–15

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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