nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2010‒05‒02
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. How Would Your Kids Vote if I Open my Doors? Evidence from Venezuela By Francisco Rodriguez; Rodrigo Wagner
  2. The impact of human and social capital on entrepreneurs' knowledge of finance alternatives By Seghers, A.; Manigart, S.; Vanacker,T.
  3. Social Interaction and Stock Market Participation: Evidence from British Panel Data By Brown, Sarah; Taylor, Karl
  4. Cultural Identity, Mobility, and Decentralization By Christopher-Johannes Schild; Matthias Wrede
  5. A short survey of network economics By Oz Shy
  6. Social fragmentation and public goods : polarization, inequality and patronage in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar By Catherine Bros
  7. Income Aspirations and Cooperation: Experimental Evidence By Dalton, P.S.
  8. Profit Sharing and Reciprocity: Theory and Survey Evidence By Thomas Cornelissen; John S. Heywood; Uwe Jirjahn
  9. Choosing your object of benevolence: a field experiment on donation options By Aretz, Bodo; Kube, Sebastian
  10. Leadership Skills and Wages Revisited: Is There a Causal Relation? By Ozkan Eren; I. Serkan Ozbeklik

  1. By: Francisco Rodriguez (Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme); Rodrigo Wagner (Economics Department of Harvard University)
    Abstract: For how long does cultural heritage persist? Do the culturally inherited values of immigrants dilute as generations pass? We answer these question by studying the relationship between revealed political behavior of immigrant families and the culture of the place where they migrated from, either one or many generations ago. Using surnames as indicators of region of origin of Italians in Venezuela, we study the effect of cultural heritage on two indicators of revealed political behavior: (i) propensity for civic engagement, and (ii) propensity for redistribution. A well established literature documents greater propensity for civic engagement and lower propensity for redistribution among Northern Italians. In Venezuela, we measure the former by turnout before the era of political polarization and the latter by signing behavior against Hugo Chávez in the 2004 recall referendum drive. Despite the fact that the wave of Italian immigration to Venezuela occurred more than half a century before the events studied in this paper, we do not find a greater propensity for civic engagement nor preference against redistribution among descendants from Northern as opposed to Southern Italians, suggesting that cultural assimilation may be a strong determinant of political behavior in the long run.
    Keywords: Social capital, political incorporation of immigrants, family economics, redistribution, political preferences, civic engagement, Latin America
    JEL: Z1 F22 P26
    Date: 2009–08
  2. By: Seghers, A.; Manigart, S.; Vanacker,T. (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)
    Abstract: This paper examines how entrepreneurs’ human and social capital influence their knowledge of finance alternatives. For this purpose, we use survey data from 125 Belgian start-ups. Results demonstrate that entrepreneurs with a business education and entrepreneurs with experience in accountancy or finance have a broader knowledge of finance alternatives. Having a strong network in the financial community further enhances the knowledge of finance alternatives. However, more generic human capital has almost no impact on the knowledge of finance alternatives. Overall, this study demonstrates how not only supply-side factors, but also demand-side factors may constrain entrepreneurs in their search for finance.
    Date: 2009–11–19
  3. By: Brown, Sarah (University of Sheffield); Taylor, Karl (University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the British National Child Development Study to investigate the relationship between social interaction and participation in the stock market through holding stocks and/or shares at the individual level. In accordance with the existing literature, the results reveal that a positive relationship exists between social interaction and stock market participation, when both are measured concurrently. Furthermore, this relationship prevails across a range of measures of social interaction and social capital. In addition, we make a potentially important contribution to the existing literature by exploiting the panel nature of the data in order to explore the robustness of the cross-sectional findings. We find that the positive relationship between stock market participation and social interaction prevails within a fixed effects logit framework, which controls for time invariant unobserved effects.
    Keywords: social capital, social interaction, stock market participation
    JEL: D12 D14 D71
    Date: 2010–04
  4. By: Christopher-Johannes Schild (University of Marburg); Matthias Wrede (University of Marburg and CESifo)
    Abstract: Regional cultural identity increases trust and facilitates interaction between native citizens ("social capital"). At the same time, it also affects non-native's migration decisions and their utility as it excludes non-native mobile workers from economic interaction within the region. Policies to increase regional cultural identity thus exert an externality that is negative for a basic model where future local productivity is exogenous and random, leading to the result of oversupply of regional culture under decentralization. If migration affects productivity, the basic result of oversupply may be reversed, depending on production technology and the government's objective function. Some positive and normative conclusions for cultural policy are derived.
    Keywords: Decentralization, Labor Mobility, Cultural Policy, Cultural Identity, Social Capital
    JEL: H72 H73 J61 Z13
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Oz Shy
    Abstract: This paper surveys a variety of topics related to network economics. Topics covered include: consumer demand under network effects, compatibility decisions and standardization, technology advances in network industries, two-sided markets, information networks and intellectual property, and social influence.
    Keywords: Consumers' preferences ; Telecommunication ; Technology
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Catherine Bros (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, CSH - Centre de Sciences Humaines)
    Abstract: A vast recent literature has stressed social fragmentation's negative impact on the provision of public goods. It has been established theoretically that social fragmentation engenders discord and thereby undermines public goods provision. Empirical research has produced mixed results about this relationship. On the one hand it rarely holds for all the goods and on another hand it appears attenuated at the micro-level. Three points ought to be considered. First, the negative role attributed to social fragmentation rests upon the actuality of a relationship between social antagonisms and ethnic diversity. Yet, such an actuality is to be proved. Second, should such a relationship exist, polarization indices would be more appropriate than the traditional fractionalization index used so far in the literature. Third, theoretical works have set aside the possibility of ethnic patronage in accessing public goods. Nevertheless, it is a central issue as patronage is common in developing countries. In this event, a positive relationship could be found between social fragmentation and the presence of public goods. This article aims at showing that such a positive relationship does exist, at least in parts of India, as a consequence of caste patronage. It also shown that polarization is irrelevant as social antagonisms do not seem to be an obstacle to the provision of public goods.
    Keywords: Political economy, patronage, public goods, collective action, inequality, caste, India.
    Date: 2010–03
  7. By: Dalton, P.S. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: This article is the first attempt to study the empirical link between income aspirations and cooperation in a one shot public good game. By combining experimental with survey data, we find evidence that the more frustrated people are with their income, the lower is their propensity to cooperate with foreigners and compatriots. The quantitative effect is remarkable: participants who are most frustrated are 46 percent more likely to free-ride on foreigners than those who are satisfied with their income.
    Keywords: Social Preferences;Aspirations;Cooperation;Maslow
    JEL: D01 D6 H4 C9
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Thomas Cornelissen; John S. Heywood; Uwe Jirjahn
    Abstract: The 1/n problem potentially limits the effectiveness of profit sharing in motivating workers. While the economic literature suggests that reciprocity can mitigate this problem, it remains silent on the optimal degree of reciprocity. We present a representative model demonstrating that reciprocity may increase productive effort but may also increase unproductive effort such as socializing on the job. The model implies that reciprocity increases profit up to a point but decreases profit beyond that point. Using detailed survey measures of worker reciprocity, we show that the probability of receiving profit sharing takes an inverse U-shape as reciprocity increases. This supports the general implication of the model and is shown to exist for both positive and negative reciprocity and to remain when a series of ability proxies and detailed industry indicators are included.
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Aretz, Bodo; Kube, Sebastian
    Abstract: In a large natural field experiment, we explore the effect of providing donors with the opportunity to choose the target country for their donations. We find that only a small fraction of donors use the option, which might reflect a reluctance to consider tradeoffs when those concern important, 'protected', values. However, those donors who choose their object of benevolence give significantly more, even when controlling for their donation history. In view of the latest research on identifable-victim effects, our findings underline that less inclusive targets can evoke more intense feelings than more inclusive ones stressing that altruistic motivation seems to be mediated by aroused empathetic emotions. --
    Keywords: charitable giving,identifiable victim,field experiment,altruism,contingent valuation
    JEL: D64 C93
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Ozkan Eren (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Las Vegas); I. Serkan Ozbeklik (Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, Claremont McKenna College)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of holding a leadership position in high school on adult earnings and assesses the sensitivity of the previously found positive association to nonrandom selection bias. Using a recently developed procedure, we show that a substantial part of this relation is causal. Moreover, our results indicate evidence in favor of the hypothesis that leadership skills are acquired during high school.
    Keywords: Implied Ratio, Noncognitive Skills and Selection on Unobservables.
    JEL: J24 J30 I20
    Date: 2010–04

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