nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2010‒05‒29
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Social Relationships and Trust By Christine Binzel; Dietmar Fehr
  2. Social Interaction and Stock Market Participation: Evidence from British Panel Data By Sarah Brown; Karl Taylor
  3. A Social Network System for Analyzing Publication Activities of Researchers By Alireza Abbasi; Jorn Altmann
  4. What does a comparison between Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan tell about the cognition and institutions as social capital in the extended market order? By Baafi Antwi, Joseph
  5. Does disclosure crowd out cooperation? By Martinsson, Peter; Villegas-Palacio, Clara
  6. Social Capital and Economic Development By Marina Della Giusta
  7. Beliefs and actions in the trust game: creating instrumental variables to estimate the causal effect. By Costa-Gomes, M.A.; Huck, S.; Weizsäcker, G.
  8. Group Composition and Conditional Cooperation By Alexander Smith
  9. An Experimental Investigation of Intrinsic Motivations for Giving By Tonin, Mirco; Vlassopoulos, Michael
  10. Sports Participation and Happiness: Evidence from U.S. Micro Data By Huang, Haifang; Humphreys, Brad
  11. Who is left-wing, and who just thinks they are? By James Rockey

  1. By: Christine Binzel; Dietmar Fehr
    Abstract: While social relationships play an important role for individuals to cope with missing market institutions, they also limit individuals' range of trading partners. This paper aims at understanding the determinants of trust at various social distances when information asymmetries are present. Among participants from an informal housing area in Cairo we find that the increase in trust following a reduction in social distance comes from the fact that trustors are much more inclined to follow their beliefs when interacting with their friend. When interacting with an ex-ante unknown agent instead, the decision to trust is mainly driven by social preferences. Nevertheless, trustors underestimate their friend's intrinsic motivation to cooperate, leading to a loss in social welfare. We relate this to the agents' inability to signal their trustworthiness in an environment characterized by strong social norms.
    Keywords: trust, hidden action, social distance, solidarity, reciprocity, economic development
    JEL: C72 C93 D82 O12
    Date: 2010–05
  2. By: Sarah Brown (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield Author-Person=pbr160); Karl Taylor (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield Author-Person=pta44)
    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
  3. By: Alireza Abbasi; Jorn Altmann (Technology Management, Economics and Policy Program (TEMEP), Seoul National University)
    Abstract: Social networks play an increasingly important role in knowledge management, information retrieval, and collaboration. In order to leverage the full potential of social networks, social networks need to be supported through technical systems. Within this paper, we introduce such a technical system. It is called AcaSoNet. It is a system for identifying and managing social networks of researchers. In particular, AcaSoNet employs a combination of techniques to extract co-author relationships between researchers and to detect groups of persons with similar interest. Past systems have used either search engines to extract information about social networks from the Web (Web mining) or have required people¡¯s effort to enter their relationships to others into the system (as being done by most social network services). AcaSoNet, instead, uses a combination of these two types, thereby achieving data reliability and scalability. It extracts and collects data of researchers from the Web but allows researchers to modify the data. In the current version, our system can identify the social network based on publication lists and evaluate the publication activities of users within an academic community.
    Keywords: Social network systems, academic community, co-author relationship, publication analysis, productivity analysis, knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer, Web mining, performance analysis, and social network analysis.
    JEL: C43 C88 D83 L86
    Date: 2010–04
  4. By: Baafi Antwi, Joseph
    Abstract: This paper considers cognition and institution as social capital. Its starts from the freedom of Economic report. It was noticed that the core tenants of the freedom of Economics are deeply embedded in the core tenants of social capital which also has strong linkages to culture. Culture also relates to the mind of the people and their way of thinking, by setting the framework within which all interaction that take place can be viewed as crucial elements underlying the of lives in the larger social existence. Quantitative indicators of culture and institutions as social capital was imputed from the World value Survey and was considered in the four countries under consideration, it was noticed that trust among Latvians though may take time but once given, is very strong. This same cannot be said for Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. This can explain to some extent trust in public institution and high rate of economic growth in Latvia than the other countries.
    Keywords: Social Capital; Institution; Culture
    JEL: Z13 P52
    Date: 2010–02–15
  5. By: Martinsson, Peter (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Villegas-Palacio, Clara (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether disclosure crowds out pro-social behavior using a public goods experiment. In a between-subject design, we investigate different degrees of disclosure. We find a small positive but insignificant effect of disclosure treatments on contributions to the public good. Thus, our empirical findings are consistent with crowding theory.<p>
    Keywords: Disclosure; image motivation; public goods experiment
    JEL: C91 H41
    Date: 2010–05–18
  6. By: Marina Della Giusta (School of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: The paper reviews the literature on social capital and development and identifies key properties of this concept that are then used in a model illustrating the potential welfare effects from social capital, in terms of both wellbeing and economic benefits. The model focuses on access to inputs into the growth process and identifies necessary conditions for benefits from social capital in terms of the availability of the right kind of intermediary making access to capital resources possible, and the presence of supportive institutions which make minimum human capital and complementary goods available.
    Keywords: social capital, institutions, group lending, development
    JEL: O16 O43 Z13
    Date: 2010–05–07
  7. By: Costa-Gomes, M.A.; Huck, S.; Weizsäcker, G.
    Abstract: In many economic contexts, an elusive variable of interest is the agent's expectation about relevant events, e.g. about other agents' behavior. Recent experimental studies as well as surveys have asked participants to state their beliefs explicitly, but little is known about the causal relation between beliefs and other behavioral variables. This paper discusses the possibility of creating exogenous instrumental variables for belief statements, by shifting the probabilities of the relevant events. We conduct trust game experiments where the amount sent back by the second player (trustee) is exogenously varied by a random process, in a way that informs only the …first player (trustor) about the realized variation. The procedure allows detecting causal links from beliefs to actions under plausible assumptions. The IV estimates indicate a signi…ficant causal effect, comparable to the connection between beliefs and actions that is suggested by OLS analyses.
    Date: 2010–02
  8. By: Alexander Smith
    Abstract: This paper examines how group composition affects conditional cooperation in a repeated voluntary contribution mechanism linear public good game. Identity was created using a team-building activity and subjects were assigned to groups of six consisting of a varying number of subjects from two teams. Contributions to the public good were decreasing in polarization within the group and were higher among majority members than minority members. Also, the relationships between contributions and beliefs about the contributions of others indicate that conditional cooperation was stronger among subjects from the same team than among subjects from different teams.
    JEL: C7 C9 H4
    Date: 2010–01–19
  9. By: Tonin, Mirco; Vlassopoulos, Michael
    Abstract: This paper presents results from a modified dictator experiment aimed at distinguishing and quantifying the two intrinsic motivations for giving: warm glow and pure altruism. In particular, we implemented a within-subject experimental design with three treatments: (i) one, where the recipient is the experimenters, which measures altruistic feelings towards the experimenters (T1), (ii) the Crumpler and Grossman (2008) design in which the recipient is a charity, and the dictator's donation crowds out one-for-one a donation by the experimenters, which aims at measuring warm glow giving (T2), (iii) a third one, with a charity recipient and no crowding out, which elicits both types of altruism (T3). We use T1 to assess to what extent altruistic feelings towards the experimenters are a potential confound for measuring warm glow in T2. We find giving in T1 not to be significantly different from T2, suggesting that the Crumpler and Grossman test is an upper bound estimate of warm glow giving. We provide a lower bound estimate based on the behavior of subjects whose estimate of warm glow giving in T2 is not confounded, that is, those who do not display altruistic feelings towards the experimenters in T1. We use these two estimates to decompose giving in T3 into warm glow and pure altruism and find them to be almost equally important. We also propose a new method of detecting warm glow motivation based on the idea that in a random-lottery incentive (RLI) scheme, such as the one employed here, warm glow benefits accumulate and may lead to satiation, whereas purely altruistic motivation does not. <br><br> Keynames; Dictator game, Warm glow, Pure altruism, Charitable giving <br><br> JEL Classification: C91, D03, D64
    Date: 2010–05–01
  10. By: Huang, Haifang (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Humphreys, Brad (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between participation in physical activity and self reported happiness in the United States. IV estimates based on data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and County Business Patterns indicate that individuals living in a county with greater access to sports facilities are more likely to participate in physical activity and also report higher life satisfaction. The contribution of participation in physical activity to increased happiness is three times the size of the loss in happiness associated with being unemployed. Both men and women gain happiness from participation, and men appear to benefit more.
    Keywords: happiness; physical activity; instrumental variables
    JEL: C39 D60 I18 L83
    Date: 2010–04–01
  11. By: James Rockey
    Abstract: This paper suggests that there are consistent patterns in how different groups of individuals perceive their relative ideological position. Using data from a large-scale cross-country survey on individuals views and personal characteristics it compares who reports themselves as being left(right) wing and who on an objective measure are actually left(right) wing. It finds, for example, the more educated on average believe themselves to be more left wing than their actual beliefs on a substantive issue might suggest.
    Keywords: Ideology, Voter Preferences
    Date: 2009–09

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