nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2010‒07‒10
twelve papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Euricse and University of Trento

  1. Social Norms and Behavior in the Local Commons Through the Lens of Field Experiments By Cardenas, Juan-Camilo
  2. How are social ties formed? : Interaction of neighborhood and individual immobility By Yamamura, Eiji
  3. On the Acceptance of Apologies By Urs Fischbacher; Verena Utikal
  4. Don't Tell Me What to Do, Tell Me Who to Follow! Field Experiment Evidence on Voluntary Donations By Alpizar, Francisco; Martinsson, Peter
  5. Social Influence in Stockmarkets: A Conceptual Analysis of Social Influence Processes in Stock Markets By Biel, Anders; Andersson, Maria; Hedesström, Martin; Jansson, Magnus; Sundblad, Eva-Lotta; Gärling, Tommy
  6. The Effects of Information and Interactions on Contagion Processes By Simon Angus; Virginie Masson
  7. Bank lending networks, experience, reputation, and borrowing costs. By Christophe J. Godlewski; Bulat Sanditov; Thierry Burger-Helmchen
  8. Cooperation norms in multiple-stage punishment By Andreas Nicklisch; Irenaeus Wolff
  9. A model of influence in a social network By Michel Grabisch; Agnieszka Rusinowska
  10. Happy House: Spousal weight and individual well-being By Clark, A.;; Etilé, F.;
  11. Networks Effects in International Migration : Education versus Gender By Michel BEINE; Sara SALOMONE
  12. China's marriage market and upcoming challenges for elderly men By Das Gupta, Monica; Ebenstein, Avraham; Sharygin, Ethan Jennings

  1. By: Cardenas, Juan-Camilo
    Abstract: Behavior in the local commons is usually embedded in a context of regulations and social norms that the group of users face. Such norms and rules affect how individuals value material and non-material incentives and therefore determine their decision to cooperate or over extract the resources from the common-pool. This paper discusses the importance of social norms in shaping behavior in the commons through the lens of experiments, and in particular experiments conducted in the field with people that usually face these social dilemmas in their daily life. Through a large sample of experimental sessions with around one thousand people between villagers and students, I test some hypothesis about behavior in the commons when regulations and social norms constrain the choices of people. The results suggest that people evaluate several components of the intrinsic and material motivations in their decision to cooperate. While responding in the expected direction to a imperfectly monitored fine on over extraction, the expected cost of the regulation is not a sufficient explanatory factor for the changes in behavior by the participants in the experiments. Even with zero cost of violations, people can respond positively to an external regulator that issues a normative statement about a rule that is aimed at solving the social dilemma.
    Keywords: social norms, regulations, cooperation, collective action, common-pool resources, experimental economics, field experiments., Public Economics, D71, Q0, Q2, C9, H3, H4,
    Date: 2009–11–05
  2. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: Using individual data from Japan, this paper investigates how a neighbor’s immobility is associated with individual investment in social capital. It is found that local homeownership has a positive effect on individual investment and that this effect for individual homeowners is about 2.5 times larger than for renters.
    Keywords: Social ties; Social capital; homeownership; length of residence
    JEL: D71 Z13 R11 R23
    Date: 2010–06–26
  3. By: Urs Fischbacher; Verena Utikal
    Abstract: An apology is a strong and cheap device to restore social or economic relationships that have been disturbed. In a laboratory experiment we find that harmdoers use apologies in particular if they fear punishment and when their intentions cannot be easily inferred. After offenses with ambiguous intentionality apologizers are punished less often than nonapologizers. Victims expect an apology and punish if they do not receive one. If an apology is possible, harmdoers who apologize are punished with lower probability. An apology only affects the event of punishment but not the level of punishment. An apology does not help at all after clearly intentionally committed offenses. On the contrary, after such offenses harmdoers do better not to apologize since sending an apology in this situation strongly increases punishment compared to remaining silent.
    Keywords: Apology, Intentions, Experiment
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Alpizar, Francisco; Martinsson, Peter
    Abstract: We conducted a field experiment in a protected area to explore the effects of conformity to a social reference versus a comparable, but imposed, suggested donation. As observed before, we see visitors conforming to the changing social reference. On the other hand, the treatment in which we suggested a donation resulted in lower shares of visitors donating, compared to the social reference treatment, and lower conditional donations even compared to the control. We concluded that visitors look at their peers as a reference to conform to, but partially reject being confronted with an imposed suggestion on how to behave.
    Keywords: conformity, donation, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D10 D60 Q50
    Date: 2010–06–18
  5. By: Biel, Anders (Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden); Andersson, Maria (Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden); Hedesström, Martin (Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden); Jansson, Magnus (Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden); Sundblad, Eva-Lotta (Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden); Gärling, Tommy (Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the role of social factors for booms-bubbles-busts cycles in stock markets. It is argued that indirect and direct social influences are important contributors by reinforcing stock investors’ cognitive biases exaggerated by affective influences. A review of herding research primarily undertaken by financial economists is followed by a demonstration that psychological theories of direct social influence (imitation) have bearings on the understanding of the herding phenomenon in stock markets. How to continue this research with relevance for regulations of stock markets is discussed.
    Keywords: Social influence; stock investments; conceptual analysis
    Date: 2010–07–01
  6. By: Simon Angus (School of Economics, Monash University); Virginie Masson (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)
    Abstract: The network literature commonly neglects the importance of a clear distinction between interactions and information exchanges. Although convenient, this oversight is not innocuous and may lead to erroneous conclusions when looking at mechanisms such as contagion processes. We use simulation methods and conduct a systematic analysis of the implications of such omission. We show that the lack of distinction between information and interaction structures is not without consequences. More precisely, when agents use a myopic best response, only information exchanges matter and interactions can be ignored. With imitation however, both information and interactions play important yet different roles in contagion.
    Keywords: contagion, networks, coordination games, scale-free, small-worlds, best response, imitation
    JEL: C73 D85
    Date: 2010–06
  7. By: Christophe J. Godlewski; Bulat Sanditov; Thierry Burger-Helmchen
    Abstract: We investigate the network structure of syndicated lending markets and evaluate the impact of lenders’ network centrality, considered as measures of their experience and reputation, on borrowing costs. We show that the market for syndicated loans is a “small world” characterized by large local density and short social distances between lenders. Such a network structure allows for better information and resources flows between banks thus enhancing their social capital. We then show that lenders’ experience and reputation play a significant role in reducing loan spreads and thus increasing borrower’s wealth.
    Keywords: agency costs, bank syndicate, experience, loan syndication, reputation, small world, social network analysis.
    JEL: G21 G24 L14
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Andreas Nicklisch; Irenaeus Wolff
    Abstract: We analyze the interplay between cooperation norms and people's punishment behavior in a social-dilemma game with multiple pun- ishment stages. By combining multiple punishment stages with self- contained episodes of interaction, we are able to disentangle the e ects of retaliation and norm-related punishment. An additional treatment provides information on the norms bystanders use in judging punish- ment actions. Partly con rming previous ndings, punishment behav- ior and bystanders' opinions are guided by an absolute norm. This norm is consistent over decisions and punishment stages and requires full contributions. In the rst punishment stage, our results suggest a higher personal involvement of punishers, leading to a non-linearity de ned by the punishers' contribution. In later punishment stages, the personal-involvement e ect vanishes and retaliation kicks in. By- standers generally apply the same criteria in all stages, also favoring retaliation in response to harsh punishment actions.
    Keywords: Experiment, public-good, punishment, social norms, volun- tary cooperation
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Michel Grabisch (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Agnieszka Rusinowska (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: In the 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: 2010–07
  10. By: Clark, A.;; Etilé, F.;
    Abstract: We use life satisfaction and Body Mass Index (BMI) information from three waves of the GSOEP to test for social interactions in BMI between spouses. Semi-parametric regressions show that partner’s BMI is, beyond a certain level, negatively correlated with own satisfaction. Own BMI is positively correlated with satisfaction in thin men, and negatively correlated with satisfaction after some threshold. Critically, this latter threshold increases with partner’s BMI when the individual is overweight. The negative well-being impact of own BMI is thus lower when the individual’s partner is heavier. This is consistent with social contagion effects in weight. However, this cross-partial effect is insignificant in instrumental variable regressions, suggesting that the uninstrumented relationship reflects selection on the marriage market or omitted variables, rather than contagion.
    Keywords: Obesity; subjective well-being; BMI; social interactions
    JEL: C14 I12 I3
    Date: 2010–06
  11. By: Michel BEINE (CREA,University of Luxembourg, IRES and CES-Ifo); Sara SALOMONE (IRES, UniversitŽ catholique de Louvain and Tor Vergata University)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of networks on the structure of international migration flows to OECD countries. In particular, we look at whether diaspora effects are different across education levels and gender. Using new data allowing to include both dimensions, we are able to analyze the respective impact of networks on the proportion of each category of migrant. Therefore, unlike the preceding literature on macro determinants of international migration, we can identify the factors that influence the selection in terms skills and in terms of gender. We find that network effects vary by education level but not by gender.
    Keywords: Migration,Human capital, network/diaspora externalities, Gender
    JEL: F22 O15
    Date: 2010–05–26
  12. By: Das Gupta, Monica; Ebenstein, Avraham; Sharygin, Ethan Jennings
    Abstract: Fertility decline has fueled a sharp increase in the proportion of'missing girls'in China, so an increasing share of males will fail to marry, and will face old age without the support normally provided by wives and children. This paper shows that historically, China has had nearly-universal marriage for women and a very competitive market for men. Lower-educated men experience higher rates of bachelorhood while women favor men with better prospects, migrating if needed from poorer to wealthier areas. The authors examine the anticipated effects of this combination of bride shortage and hypergamy, for different regions of China. Their projections indicate that unmarried males will likely be concentrated in poorer provinces with low fiscal ability to provide social protection to their citizens. Such geographic concentration of unmarried males could be socially disruptive, and the paper’s findings suggest a need to expand the coverage of social protection programs financed substantially by the central government.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Population&Development,Demographics,Gender and Law,Gender and Health
    Date: 2010–06–01

This nep-soc issue is ©2010 by Fabio Sabatini. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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