nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2010‒05‒08
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Cheating, Emotions, and Rationality: An Experiment on Tax Evasion By Giorgio Coricelli; Matteus Joffily; Claude Montmarquette; Marie-Claire Villeval
  2. Social Ties and Subjective Performance Evaluations: An Empirical Investigation By Breuer, Kathrin; Nieken, Petra; Sliwka, Dirk
  3. Is there a relation between trust and trustworthiness? By Tamás Kovács; Marc Willinger
  4. What Determines Family Structure? By Blau, David M.; van der Klaauw, Wilbert
  5. Conflicting Identities and Social Pressure - Effects on the long-run evolution of female labor supply By Mannberg, Andréa; Sjögren, Tomas
  6. Joblessness and Perceptions about the Effectiveness of Democracy By Duha Altindag; Naci Mocan
  7. Is “economic freedom” strictly free market capitalism? A decompositional analysis of the Economic Freedom of the World index By Cohen, Joseph N
  8. The Relationship Between the Effects of a Wife’s Education on her Husband’s Earnings and her Labor Participation: Japan in the period 2000 -2003 By Yamamura, Eiji; Mano, Yukichi
  9. Money Talks? An Experimental Study of Rebate in Reputation System Design By Li, Lingfang (Ivy); Xiao, Erte
  10. Religious Peace Activism—The Rational Element of Religious Elites’ Decision-making Processes Revisiting the Oil-Violence Link in the Niger Delta By Alexander De Juan; Johannes Vüllers
  11. Evaluating Downside Risks in Reliable Networks By Sharma Megha; Ghosh Diptesh

  1. By: Giorgio Coricelli (ISC - Institut des Sciences Cognitives - CNRS : UMR5015 - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I); Matteus Joffily (ISC - Institut des Sciences Cognitives - CNRS : UMR5015 - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I); Claude Montmarquette (CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - Université du Québec à Montréal); Marie-Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)
    Abstract: The economics-of-crime approach usually ignores the emotional cost and benefit of cheating. In this paper, we investigate the relationships between emotions, deception, and rational decision-making by means of an experiment on tax evasion. Emotions are measured by skin conductance responses and self-reports. We show that the intensity of anticipated and anticipatory emotions before reporting positively correlates with both the decision to cheat and the proportion of evaded income. The experienced emotional arousal after an audit increases with the monetary sanctions and the arousal is even stronger when the evader's picture is publicly displayed. We also find that the risk of a public exposure of deception deters evasion whereas the amount of fines encourages evasion. These results suggest that an audit policy that strengthens the emotional dimension of cheating favors compliance.
    Keywords: deception ; tax evasion ; emotions ; physiological measures ; experiment
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Breuer, Kathrin (University of Cologne); Nieken, Petra (University of Cologne); Sliwka, Dirk (University of Cologne)
    Abstract: We empirically investigate possible distortions in subjective performance evaluations. A key hypothesis is that evaluations are more upward biased the closer the social ties between supervisor and appraised employee. We test this hypothesis with a company data set from a call center organization which contains not only subjective assessments but also several more objective measures of performance. Controlling for these performance measures, we find strong evidence that evaluations are upwards biased in smaller teams and some evidence that supervisors give better ratings to employees they themselves have evaluated before.
    Keywords: subjective performance evaluation, bias, social ties, team size, favoritism
    JEL: M52
    Date: 2010–04
  3. By: Tamás Kovács; Marc Willinger
    Abstract: We provide new evidence about a positive correlation between the own amount sent and the own amount returned in the investment game. Our analysis relies on experimental data collected under the strategy method for establishing our main result. While the percentage returned is independent of the amount received for most of our subjects, it is strongly correlated to their amount sent as a trustor. Our analysis is based on a two-way classification of subjects : according to their trusting type and according to their reciprocal type. We show the existence of a strong correlation between trusting types and reciprocal types within subjects.
    Date: 2010–03
  4. By: Blau, David M. (Ohio State University); van der Klaauw, Wilbert (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of policy and labor market variables on the fertility, union formation and dissolution, type of union (cohabiting versus married), and partner choices of the NLSY79 cohort of women. These demographic behaviors interact to determine the family structure experienced by the children of these women: living with the biological mother and the married or cohabiting biological father, a married or cohabiting step father, or no man. We find that the average wage rates available to men and women have substantial effects on family structure for children of black and Hispanic mothers, but not for whites. The tax treatment of children also affects family structure. Implementation of welfare reform and passage of unilateral divorce laws had much smaller effects on family structure for the children of this cohort of women, as did changes in welfare benefits. The estimates imply that observed changes from the 1970s to the 2000s in the policy and labor market variables considered here contributed to a reduction in the proportion of time spent living without a father by children of the NLSY79 cohort of women. This suggests that the observed increase in this non-traditional family structure in the U.S. in the last three decades was caused by other factors.
    Keywords: family structure
    JEL: J12
    Date: 2010–04
  5. By: Mannberg, Andréa (Department of Economics, Umeå University); Sjögren, Tomas (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: Over the last half-century female employment rates have increased significantly in many countries. This change has partly been attributed to a change in gender norms. The purpose of this paper is to present a dynamic model within which the evolution of female labor supply can be analyzed. Drawing on psychological literature, we let individuals define themselves in terms of different social identities, each of which prescribes a certain type of behavior. These prescriptions may imply conflicting incentives which provide agents with a motive to continuously revise the importance they attach to a given identity. Applying this approach within the context of a dynamic model of labor supply, we are able to make some novel predictions about what may cause labor supply to change over time. Our results suggest that the fear of becoming an outsider in society may have prevented a complete transition of women from housewives to breadwinners. In addition, we show that the discrepancy between personal and social norms may have interesting implications for labor supply: an increase in the hours of work prescribed by a working norm need not necessarily lead to more hours of work. Finally, our analysis shows that not recognizing that the weights attached to different social identities are endogenous may imply that the long-run effects on labor supply of a higher wage may be underestimated.
    Keywords: Female Labor Supply; Social Norms
    JEL: J21 J22
    Date: 2010–04–30
  6. By: Duha Altindag (Louisiana State University); Naci Mocan (Louisiana State University)
    Abstract: Using micro data on more than 130,000 individuals from 69 countries, we analyze the extent to which joblessness of the individuals and the prevailing unemployment rate in the country impact perceptions of the effectiveness of democracy. We find that personal joblessness experience translates into negative opinions about the effectiveness of democracy, and it increases the desire for a rouge leader. Evidence from people who live in European countries suggests that being jobless for more than a year is the main source of the impact. Joblessness-related negative attitude towards the effectiveness of democracy is not because of a general displeasure towards the government, but rather, it is targeted towards democracy. We also find that well-educated and wealthier individuals are less likely to indicate that democracies are ineffective. The beliefs about the effectiveness of democracy as system of governance are also shaped by the unemployment rate in countries with low levels of democracy. The results suggest that periods of high unemployment and joblessness would hinder the development of democracy.
    Keywords: Unemployment duration, Democracy, Education, Development, World Values Survey
    JEL: J2 O1 P1
    Date: 2010–05
  7. By: Cohen, Joseph N
    Abstract: The Frasier Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World is often taken as a metric of market capitalism. This paper argues that the index is an amalgam of measures capturing free markets and good governance, and analysts should remain cognizant of this conceptual conflation when using the index to develop policy prescriptions. Implicitly, the “economic freedom” literature suggests that countries embrace an “Anglo-Swiss” policy model, although the rich world offers alternative models that maximize good governance but not liberalization. Factor analyses suggest that the index’s Legal System & Property Rights component is more closely related to outside governance metrics that do not imply market liberalism than other “economic freedom” constituent measures.
    Keywords: Economic Freedom; Capitalism; Governance; Economic Policy; Economic Development
    JEL: O1 P5 P1
    Date: 2009–11
  8. By: Yamamura, Eiji; Mano, Yukichi
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore the relationship between the influence of wives’ human capital on their husbands’ earnings and their labor participation using individual level data for Japan in the period 2000–2003. We found that a wife’s human capital has a positive effect on her husband’s earnings regardless of her work status when the entire sample is used. Furthermore, we focused on couples with an age difference exceeding five years to remove the assortative mating effect. By using this subsample, the positive effect of a wife’s education is observed when a wife is a non-worker, that is she does not work outside the home, but disappears in those who are workers, that is they work outside the home. This suggests that a wife’s labor participation drastically reduces the positive effect of her human capital on her husband’s earnings after controlling for the assortative mating effect. It follows from this that an educated housewife improves her husband’s productivity, consequently increasing his earnings, whereas a working wife appears to not have enough time to do so. These findings are consistent with implications drawn from the situation in the United States (Jepsen 2005).
    Keywords: Wife’s education; husband’s earnings; human capital
    JEL: D13 J22 J16
    Date: 2010–05–02
  9. By: Li, Lingfang (Ivy); Xiao, Erte
    Abstract: Reputation systems that rely on feedback from traders are important institutions for helping sustain trust in markets, while feedback information is usually considered a public good. We apply both theoretical models and experiments to study how raters' feedback behavior responds to different reporting costs and how to improve market efficiency by introducing a pre-commitment device for sellers in reputation systems. In particular, the pre-commitment device we study here allows sellers to provide rebates to cover buyers' reporting costs before buyers make purchasing decisions. Using a buyer-seller trust game with a unilateral feedback scheme, we find that a buyer’s propensity to leave feedback is more sensitive to reporting costs when the seller cooperates than when the seller defects. The seller’s decision on whether to provide a rebate significantly affects the buyer’s decision to leave feedback by compensating for the feedback costs. More importantly, the rebate decision has a significant impact on the buyer's purchasing decision via signaling the seller's cooperative type. The experimental results show that the rebate mechanism improves the market efficiency.
    Keywords: reputation; trust; feedback mechanism; asymmetric information; public goods; experimental economics
    JEL: D02 H41 D82 L86 C91
    Date: 2010–04–29
  10. By: Alexander De Juan (University of Tübingen); Johannes Vüllers (GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies)
    Abstract: Religious elites are active for peace in many violent conflicts. Normative explanations often do not suffice to explain their engagement. In this paper we draw on the findings of social-movement research to identify the factors that induce rationally acting religious elites to be active for peace. It is their relationships to the government, other religious elites, and believers that can motivate them to call for peace. However, they will do so only if they anticipate—based on the overall influence of other religious peace (co-)activists, the structure of the religious community, and the frame environment—that they will not be penalized for their engagement. Religious norms are an important motivation behind religious peace activism, but rational decision-making also has to be taken into account if religious engagement for peace is to be explained fully.
    Keywords: Religion, conflict, peace, elites, rational choice, framing
    Date: 2010–04
  11. By: Sharma Megha; Ghosh Diptesh
    Abstract: Reliable networks are those in which network elements have a positive probability of failing. Conventional performance measures for such networks concern themselves either with expected network performance or with the performance of the network when it is performing well. In reliable networks modeling critical functions, decision makers are often more concerned with network performance when the network is not performing well. In this paper, we study the single-source single-destination maximum flow problem through reliable networks and propose two risk measures to evaluate such downside performance. We propose an algorithm called COMPUTE-RISK to compute downside risk measures, and report our computational experience with the proposed algorithm.
    Date: 2009–09–29

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