nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2009‒09‒11
twelve papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. A model of influence in a social network By Michel Grabisch; Agnieszka Rusinowska
  2. The economic analysis of social norms: A reappraisal of Hayek's legacy By Agnès Festré; Pierre Garrouste
  3. The Effect of Motivations on Social Indirect Reciprocity: an Experimental Analysis By Luca Stanca; Luigino Bruni; Marco Mantovani
  4. Gender, education and reciprocal generosity: Evidence from 1,500 experiment subjects By Pablo Brañas-Garza; Juan C. Cárdenas; Máximo Rossi
  5. Playing with the Good Guys: A Public Good Game with Endogenous Group Formation By Brekke, Kjell Arne; Hauge, Karen Evely; Lind, Jo Thori; Nyborg, Karine
  6. Culture Values Entrepreneurship and Growth By Jellal, Mohamed
  7. Psychological Influences on Investors Intention to be Socially Responsible Investors: A comparison what influences SRI intentions among different types of investors By Jansson, Magnus; Biel, Anders
  8. Socio-economic status, gender, and spouse’s earnings: affect of family background on matching. By Yamamura, Eiji
  9. Life Satisfaction and Relative Income: Perceptions and Evidence By Guy Mayraz; Gert G. Wagner; Jürgen Schupp
  10. Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration By Thierry Warin; Andrew Blakely
  11. Investment Institutions’ Beliefs about and Attitudes toward Socially Responsible Investment (SRI): A Comparison between SRI and non-SRI Management By Jansson, Magnus; Biel, Anders
  12. How to Measure the Rule of Law By Stefan Voigt

  1. By: Michel Grabisch (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, LIP6 - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Paris 6 - CNRS : UMR7606 - Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI); Agnieszka Rusinowska (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study a model of influence in a social network. It is assumed that each player has an inclination to say YES or NO which, due to influence of other players, may be different from the decision of the player. The point of departure here is the concept of the Hoede-Bakker index—the notion which computes the overall decisional ‘power' of a player in a social network. The main drawback of the Hoede-Bakker index is that it hides the actual role of the influence function, analyzing only the final decision in terms of success and failure. In this paper, we separate the influence part from the group decision part, and focus on the description and analysis of the influence part. We propose among other descriptive tools a definition of a (weighted) influence index of a coalition upon an individual. Moreover, we consider different influence functions representative of commonly encountered situations. Finally, we propose a suitable definition of a modified decisional power.
    Keywords: Influence function ; Influence index ; Decisional power ; Social network
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Agnès Festré (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR6227 - Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis); Pierre Garrouste (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: This paper is organized as follows : First we show that the reference to the notion of group selection is coherent with the other parts of Hayek's thought. Second we develop the idea that recent works in terms of the emergence and evolution of social norms corroborate in part Hayek's theses in this domain. Finally we put to the fore some drawbacks in Hayek's approach and propose means to solve them.
    Keywords: Hayek ; social norms ; emergence and evolution ; coherence ; relevance
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Luca Stanca; Luigino Bruni; Marco Mantovani
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of motivations on the perceived kindness of an action within the context of strong social indirect reci- procity. We test experimentally the hypothesis that, for a given dis- tributional outcome, an action is perceived by a third party to be less kind if it can be strategically motivated. The results do not support this hypothesis: social indirect reciprocity is indeed found to be signif- icantly stronger when strategic motivations cannot be ruled out. We interpret these findings as an indication of the role played by team reasoning in explaining reciprocal behavior.
    Keywords: Indirect Reciprocity, Motivations, Social Preferences, Laboratory Experiments
    JEL: D63 C78 C91
    Date: 2009–08
  4. By: Pablo Brañas-Garza (Universidad de Granada); Juan C. Cárdenas (Universidad de los Andes); Máximo Rossi (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
    Abstract: There is not general consensus about if women are more or less generous than men. Although the number of papers supporting more generous females is a bit larger than the opposed it is not possible to establish any definitive and systematic gender bias. This paper provides new evidence on this topic using a unique experimental dataset. We used data from a field experiment conducted under identical conditions (and monetary payoffs) in 6 Latin American cities, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lima, Montevideo and San José. Our dataset amounted to 3,107 experimental subjects who played the Trust Game. We will analyze the determinants of behavior of second movers, that is, what determines reciprocal generosity. In sharp contrast to previous papers we found that males are more generous than females. In the light of this result, we carried out a systematic analysis of individual features (income, education, age, etc.) for females and males separately. We found differential motivations for women and men. Third, we see that (individual) education enhances pro-social behavior. Lastly, we see that subjects’ expectations are crucial.
    Keywords: Reciprocal altruism, gender, education
    JEL: C93 D64 J16
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Brekke, Kjell Arne (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo); Hauge, Karen Evely (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo); Lind, Jo Thori (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo); Nyborg, Karine (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: In public good games, voluntary contributions tend to start o high and decline as the game is repeated. If high contributors are matched, however, contributions tend to stay high. We propose a formalization predicting that high contributors will selfselect into groups committed to charitable giving. Testing this experimentally, we let subjects choose between two group types, where one type donate a xed amount to a charity. Contributions in these groups stayed high, whereas contributions in the other groups showed the well known declining pattern. One implication is that corporate social responsibility may attract more responsible employees.
    Keywords: Altruism; conditional cooperation; self-selection
    JEL: D11 D12 D64 H41
    Date: 2009–04–17
  6. By: Jellal, Mohamed
    Abstract: We integrate a social norm which associates status to accumulation of capital and consumption into a simple model of endogenous growth. We show that societies which place a greater weight of cultural values on stock of accumulated capital as opposed to consumption will experience fast growth. Our results are consistent with those obtained by Baumol (1990) in the context of entrepreneurship and by Fershtman and Weiss (1991).
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship;Culture Values;Social Status;Growth
    JEL: O1 A13 Z13
    Date: 2009–09–03
  7. By: Jansson, Magnus (University of Gothenburg); Biel, Anders (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: This study investigates determinants of equity investments according to socially responsible criteria among Swedish investors such as investment institutions, institutional investors and private investors. In total 38 investment institutions, 60 employees from 19 investment institutions, 453 private investors and 71 institutional investors participated in a questionnaire study. The aim of the study was to investigate financial beliefs and psychological factors that may promote or impede SRI among different types of investors. It was found that while Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) among private and institutional investors was guided by self-transcendent values (environmental and social values), this was not the case among fund managers working in investment institutions. Fund managers were affected by beliefs about long-term returns of SRI. Private investors were, in addition, influenced by beliefs about long-term returns, while institutional investors were motivated by an effort to reduce financial risks. Finally, investment institutions tended to overrate the importance of financial returns among their beneficiaries (private and institutional beneficiaries) and underestimate the importance of ethical, environmental and social aspects for beneficiaries. The results indicate that private and institutional investors/beneficiaries give a wider interpretation of fiduciary duty than institutional investors do.
    Keywords: Socially responsible investment; Investment decisions; Ethical investments; Values; Beliefs
    Date: 2009–09–02
  8. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: This paper uses individual level data (the Japanese General Social Surveys 2000-2003) to examine how socio-economic status influences own and spouse’s earnings. After controlling for own and spouse’s characteristics such as human capital and age, I found: (1) childhood economic condition considered as socio-economic status is not associated with own income for both males and females. (2) The better a female’s childhood economic condition was, the higher her husband’s income. On the other hand, a male’s childhood economic condition was not related to his wife’s income. This suggests that social stratification persists through marriage for females but not for males.
    Keywords: Status; identity of genders; spouse’s income; marriage market
    JEL: J22 J12
    Date: 2009–09–03
  9. By: Guy Mayraz; Gert G. Wagner; Jürgen Schupp
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset we study both the actual and self-perceived relationship between subjective well-being and income comparisons against a wide range of potential comparison groups, enabling us to investigate a broader range of questions than in previous studies. In questions inserted into a 2008 module of the German-Socio Economic Panel Study we ask subjects to report (a) how their income compares to various groups, such a co-workers, friends, and neighbours, and (b) how important these income comparisons are to them. We find substantial gender differences, with income comparisons being much better predictors of subjective well-being in men than in women. Generic (same-gender) comparisons are the most important, followed by within profession comparisons. Once generic and within-profession comparisons are controlled for, income relative to neighbours has a negative coefficient, implying that living in a high-income neighbourhood increases happiness. The perceived importance of income comparisons is found to be uncorrelated with its actual relationship to subjective well-being, suggesting that people are unconscious of its real impact. Subjects who judge comparisons to be important are, however, significantly less happy than subjects who see income comparisons as unimportant. Finally, the marginal effect of relative income on subjective well-being does not depend on whether a subject is below or above the reference group income.
    Keywords: Income Comparisons, Relative Income, Life Satisfaction, German Socio Economic Panel Study, SOEP
    JEL: D31 D62 D63 I3 I31 Z13
    Date: 2009
  10. By: Thierry Warin; Andrew Blakely
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of herd behavior (mimetism) and network effects as determinants of bilateral migration flows to thirteen of the EU-15 countries. Using an adapted gravity model controlling for economic activity, welfare progressivity, geospatial, and historic relationships, the results force us to question the ways in which we explain migration flows. Herd behavior influences positively the flows of migrants to Europe, whereas the existence of network complementarities in the receiving country does not consistently predict and may in some cases reduce the likelihood of immigrant inflows. Moreover, economic activity and particularly labor market conditions play a lesser role in migrants’ choice of location than was previously thought. The introduction of herd behavior as a determinant of European Migration in our empirical analysis changes the paradigm for understanding migration and suggests that prior definitions of social perceptions are inadequate. <P>Cet article étudie le rôle des comportements mimétiques et des effets de réseaux dans les décisions de migration vers treize pays de l’Union européenne. En utilisant un modèle de gravité adapté à cette question et incluant des indicateurs mesurant l’activité économique, le progrès social, et les relations historiques, les résultats de cette étude précisent les méthodes traditionnelles d’évaluation des flux migratoires. Les comportements mimétiques influencent positivement les flux migratoires vers l’Europe, alors que les effets de réseaux dans le pays hôte ne prédisent pas de façon toujours satisfaisante les flux d’immigration. De plus, l’activité économique, et en particulier les conditions du marché du travail, jouent un rôle moindre que ceux mis en évidence dans des études précédentes. La prise en compte des comportements mimétiques en tant que déterminant des flux migratoires en Europe vient donc changer le paradigme pour l’étude des flux migratoires.
    Keywords: migration, herd behavior, network effects, flux migratoires, comportements mimétiques, effets de réseaux
    JEL: J6 O15 Z13
    Date: 2009–08–01
  11. By: Jansson, Magnus (University of Gothenburg); Biel, Anders (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: This paper investigates psychological drivers and financial motives that may influence major Swedish investments institutions to adopt Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). Based on an instrument that captures concepts in the Value-Belief-Norm theory by Stern et al. (1999), and potential financial beliefs that may influence investors’ SRI intentions, a survey was addressed to all major Swedish investments institutions. Fifty-eight respondents from 17 different investment institutions participated in the survey among those, 31 were conventional (non-SRI investors) and 27 socially responsible investors. Our results show that conventional and SRI investors share similar beliefs about short- and long-term performance on SRI investments in that SRI gives less return in the short term but slightly more than conventional investments in the longer run. However, SRI investors express significantly more interest in increasing their future SRI investments than conventional investors do. We discover that future SRI is not influenced by social and environmental concerns. Rather, financial beliefs about risk and beliefs about increased market shares drive SRI forward. The business case for SRI seems thus to be the only reason for major investment institutions to adopt SRI.
    Keywords: Investment decisions; financial markets; socially responsible investments; values; intentions
    Date: 2009–09–02
  12. By: Stefan Voigt (MACIE (Philipps University Marburg), Barfüßertor 2, 35032 Marburg, Germany; CESifo; ICER, Torino)
    Abstract: I argue that the rule of law consists of many dimensions and that much information is lost when variables proxying for these dimensions are simply aggregated. I draw on the most important innovations from various legal traditions to propose a concept of the rule of law likely to find general support. To make the concept measurable, an ideal approach is contrasted with a pragmatic one. The pragmatic approach consists of eight different dimensions. I show that the bivariate correlations between them are usually very low, evidence that more fine-grained indicators of the rule of law, rather than a single hard-to-interpret one, are necessary for its measurement. The paper presents a list of desirable variables that could improve the measurement of various aspects of the rule of law.
    Keywords: Rule of Law, Institutions, Governance, Measurement, Formal vs. Informal Institutions
    JEL: B41 H11 K00 O17 O43 O57
    Date: 2009

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