nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2010‒06‒04
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Social Relationships and Trust By Christine Binzel; Dietmar Fehr
  2. Closing the gap: the link between social capital and microfinance services By Lopez-Rodriguez, Patricia; De la Torre Garcia, Rodolfo
  3. Reconciling Pro-Social vs. Selfish Behavior: Evidence for the Role of Self-Control By Kristian Ove R. Myrseth; Peter Martinsson; Conny Wollbrant
  4. Social Norms and Preferences By Andrew Postlewaite
  5. Differences in the effect of social capital on health status between workers and non-workers By Yamamura, Eiji
  6. Priming Cooperation in Social Dilemma Games By M Drouvelis; R Metcalfe; N Powdthavee
  7. Clusters vs. Networks – a literature based approach towards an integrated concept By Bode, Alexander; Talmon l'Armee, Tobias; Alig, Simon
  8. Volunteers and conditions under which crowd-out effect could appear. An empirical evidence of psychological self-determination theory By Fiorillo, Damiano
  9. Building Sustainable Organizations: The Human Factor By Pfeffer, Jeffrey

  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
  2. By: Lopez-Rodriguez, Patricia; De la Torre Garcia, Rodolfo
    Abstract: The social capital has strengthened the solidarity funds when the legal mechanisms and institutions for monitoring and assistance would not have been present. The aim of this paper is to analyze the effect of social capital on productivity and performance of the Mexican solidarity funds. For this it is obtained an estimator indirectly associated with inequality, through which it follows that if the social capital rises 1% the loans number increases by 0.2877% and the savings number increases by 0.4598%, and for each additional producer that activate his social capital with his partners they will be generated increases in loans recoveries amounting to 597.41 pesos. In this sense, a greater investment in social capital will recover a larger amount of borrowed funds and will increase savings and loans to poor producers
    Keywords: Keywords: social capital; microfinances; financial cooperatives; market failures; asimetric information; relationships; networks.
    JEL: O18 D63 D02 Z13 N26 O17 O16 C81 G21
    Date: 2000–07
  3. By: Kristian Ove R. Myrseth (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Peter Martinsson (University of Gothenburg); Conny Wollbrant (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: We test the proposition that individuals may experience a self-control conflict between short-term temptation to be selfish and better judgment to act pro-socially. Using a dictator game and a public goods game, we manipulated the likelihood that individuals identified self-control conflict, and we measured their trait ability to implement self-control strategies. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that trait self-control exhibits a positive and significant correlation with pro-social behavior in the treatment that raises likelihood of conflict identification, but not in the treatment that reduces likelihood of conflict identification.
    Keywords: self-control, pro-social behavior, altruism, experiment
    JEL: D01 D64 D70
    Date: 2010–05–19
  4. By: Andrew Postlewaite (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: Social norms are often posited as an explanation of differences in economic behavior and performance of societies that are difficult to explain by differences in endowments and technology. Economists are often reluctant to incorporate social aspects into their analyses when doing so leads to models that depart from the “standard” model. I discuss ways that agents’ social environment can be accommodated in standard models and the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
    Keywords: Social norms, social preferences
    JEL: D01
    Date: 2010–05–01
  5. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship of social capital to self-rated health status in Japan, and how this is affected by the labor market. Data of 3075 adult participants in the 2000 Social Policy and Social Consciousness (SPSC) survey were used. Controlling for endogenous bias, the main finding is that social capital has a significant positive influence on health status for people without a job but not for those with. This empirical study provides evidence that people without a job can afford to allocate time to accumulate social capital and thereby improve their health status.
    Keywords: health status; social capital; labor market
    JEL: I19 J22 Z13
    Date: 2010–05–27
  6. By: M Drouvelis; R Metcalfe; N Powdthavee
    Abstract: Research on public goods mainly focuses its attention on the ability of incentives, beliefs and group structure to affect behaviour in social dilemma interactions. This paper investigates the pure effects of a rather subtle mechanism on social preferences in a one-shot linear public good game. Using priming techniques from social psychology, we activate the concept of cooperation and explore the extent to which this intervention brings about changes in people's voluntary contributions to the public good and self-reported emotional responses. Our findings suggest that priming cooperation increases contribution levels, controlling for subjects' gender. Our priming effect is much stronger for females than for males. This difference can be explained by a shift in subjects' beliefs about contributions. We also find a significant impact of priming on mean positive emotional responses.
    Keywords: Priming, contributions, beliefs, emotional responses, public goods experiments
    JEL: C92 D01 H41
  7. By: Bode, Alexander; Talmon l'Armee, Tobias; Alig, Simon
    Abstract: The cluster concept has steadily increased its importance during the past years – both from practitioners’ and researchers’ perspective. Simultaneously many corporate networks have been established. Researchers from different areas (business management, economics, social and geographical science) are trying to explain both phenomena. As a result of different disciplines’ varying research objects many definitions of clusters exist. Furthermore, the terms cluster and network are often not clearly distinguished. Some authors even merge the terms. Based on a profound literature review, our paper structures the manifold definitions, differentiating between clusters and networks, and provides first practical insights at the case of the Hessenmetall Cluster-Initiative how to integrate the two concepts.
    Keywords: Cluster, Network, Cooperation, Organization, Cluster-Management, Porter, Porter Diamond, Social Network, Value Chain, Industrial District, Cluster-Initiative, Social Relationship
    Date: 2010–05–26
  8. By: Fiorillo, Damiano
    Abstract: The paper analyses if monetary rewards to continuative Italian volunteers decrease their intrinsic motivation undermining the satisfaction of psychological needs for autonomy and competence. It uses a Survey on Employment in the Social Care and Educational Services conducted by FIVOL-FEO in 1998. The paper shows that monetary rewards increase the satisfaction of psychological needs for autonomy and competence, but the satisfaction of psychological needs for autonomy and competence does not mediate between monetary rewards and intrinsic motivation.
    Keywords: Self-determination; self-evaluation; intrinsic motivation; monetary rewards
    JEL: C13 D71 C31 Z13 C25
    Date: 2010–05
  9. By: Pfeffer, Jeffrey (Stanford University)
    Abstract: Although most of the research and public pressure concerning sustainability has been focused on the effects of business and organizational activity on the physical environment, companies and their management practices profoundly affect the human and social environment as well. This article briefly reviews the literature on the direct and indirect effects of organizations and their decisions about people on human health and mortality. It then considers some possible explanations for why social sustainability has received relatively short shrift in management writing, and outlines a research agenda for investigating the links between social sustainability and organizational effectiveness as well as the role of ideology in understanding the relative neglect of the human factor in sustainability research.
    Date: 2010–01

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