nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2010‒08‒28
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Euricse and University of Trento

  1. Word of Mouth Advertising, Credibility and Learning in Networks By Chatterjee, Kalyan; Dutta, Bhaskar
  2. Information-Sharing in Academia and the Industry: A Comparative Study By Haeussler, Carolin
  3. Businesses, buddies and babies: social ties and fertility at work By Hensvik, Lena; Nilsson, Peter
  4. The Strength of Direct Ties: Evidence from the Electronic Game Industry By Claussen, Jörg; Falck, Oliver; Grohsjean, Thorsten
  5. Does Culture Matter? By Fernández, Raquel
  6. Poverty and Inequality in Standards of Living in Malawi: Does Religious Affiliation Matter? By Mussa, Richard
  7. Is Tolerance Good or Bad for Growth? By Berggren, Niclas; Elinder, Mikael
  8. A model of influence in a social network By Michel Grabisch; Agnieszka Rusinowska
  9. Binding stakeholders into moral communities: A review of studies on social responsibility of business By Nair, Tara S.; Pradhan, Rachayeeta
  10. La gestion des ressources forestières au Maroc: Une approche par le capital social By Adil ROUMANE; Augendra BHUKUTH; Damien BAZIN
  11. Migration and Culture By Epstein, Gil S.; Gang, Ira N.
  12. The 2010 World Cup High-Frequency Data Economics: Effects on International Awareness and (Self-Defeating) Tourism By Stan Du Plessis; Wolfgang Maennig
  13. Endogenous Voter Turnout and Income Redistribution By Go Kotera

  1. By: Chatterjee, Kalyan (Department of Economics, The Pennsylvania State University); Dutta, Bhaskar (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Social networks representing the pattern of social interactions - who talks to or who observes whom- play a crucial role as a medium for the spread of information, ideas, diseases, products. Someone in the population may struck with an infection or may adopt a new technology, and it can then either die out quickly or spread throughout the population, depending possibly on the location of the initial appearance, the structure of the network - for instance, how dense it is. The dynamics of adoption -the extent to which individuals are in uenced by their neighbours, the impact of "word of-mouth" communication- also plays a role in determining the speed of diffusion. Given the large range of contexts in which social learning is important, it is not surprising that researchers from various disciplines have studied processes of diffusion from a variety of perspectives.
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Haeussler, Carolin
    Abstract: This paper investigates how scientists decide whether to share information with their colleagues or not. Detailed data on the decisions of 1,694 bio-scientists allow to detect similarities and differences between academia-based and industry-based scientists. Arguments from social capital theory are applied to explain why individuals share information even at (temporary) personal cost. In both realms, the results suggest that the likelihood of sharing decreases with the competitive value of the requested information. Factors related to social capital, i.e., expected reciprocity and the extent to which a scientist’s community conforms to the norm of open science, either directly affect information-sharing or moderate competitive interest considerations on information-sharing. The effect depends on the system to which a scientist belongs.
    Keywords: information-sharing; social capital; reciprocity; open science; bio-sciences; IP protection mechanisms
    JEL: D21 L2 D02 D8 Z13
    Date: 2010–07–17
  3. By: Hensvik, Lena (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation); Nilsson, Peter (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: We examine the influence that co-workers’ have on each other’s fertility decisions. Using linked employer employee panel data for Sweden we show that female individual fertility increases if a co-worker recently had a child. The timing of births among co-workers of the same sex, educational level and co workers who are close in age is even more influential. Consistent with models of social learning we find that the peer effect for first time mothers is similar irrespective of the birth order of the co-worker’s child, while for higher order births within-parity peer effects are strong but cross-parity peer effects are entirely absent. A causal interpretation of our estimates is strengthened by several falsification tests showing that neither unobserved common shocks at the workplace level, nor sorting of workers between workplaces are likely to explain the observed peer effect. We also provide evidence suggesting that peers not only affect timing of births but potentially also completed fertility, and that fertility peer influences spills over across multiple networks. Our results forward the understandings of how individual fertility timing decisions are made and suggest that social interactions could be an important factor behind the strong inter-temporal fluctuations in total fertility rates observed in many countries.
    Keywords: Peer effects; social preferences; co-workers
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2010–06–30
  4. By: Claussen, Jörg; Falck, Oliver; Grohsjean, Thorsten
    Abstract: We analyze the economic effects of a developer’s connectedness in the electronic game industry. Knowledge spillovers between developers should be of special relevance in this knowledge-based industry. We calculate measures for a developer’s connectedness to other developers at multiple points in time. In a regression with developer, developing firm, publishing firm, and time fixed effects, we find that the number of a developer’s direct ties, i.e., common past experience, has a strong effect on both a game’s revenues and critics’ scores. The intensity of indirect ties makes no additional contribution to the game’s success.
    Keywords: network analysis; game industry; knowledge spillovers
    JEL: L14 L86 D83
    Date: 2010–08–18
  5. By: Fernández, Raquel (New York University)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on culture and economics, focusing primarily on the epidemiological approach. The epidemiological approach studies the variation in outcomes across different immigrant groups residing in the same country. Immigrants presumably differ in their cultures but share a common institutional and economic environment. This allows one to separate the effect of culture from the original economic and institutional environment. This approach has been used to study a variety of issues, including female labor force participation, fertility, labor market regulation, redistribution, growth, and financial development among others.
    Keywords: culture, beliefs, preferences, norms
    JEL: O10 Z1 D01 D1
    Date: 2010–08
  6. By: Mussa, Richard
    Abstract: This paper looks at whether or not there are differences in consumption, health, and education poverty and inequality among Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and followers of indigenous religions in Malawi. Poverty dominance tests show that Catholics have the lowest levels of consumption and education poverty. Inequality dominance tests indicate that Muslims are more equal in terms of consumption than Catholics, however, Catholics are more health equal than Protestants. Protestants are found to be the largest contributors to national poverty and inequality in the three dimensions of well being. Within religious grouping inequalities (vertical inequalities) are the major driver of national consumption and health inequality. In contrast, most of the national education inequality is due to between religious grouping inequalities (horizontal inequalities).
    Keywords: Stochastic dominance; vertical and horizontal inequalities; Malawi
    JEL: D30
    Date: 2010–08–15
  7. By: Berggren, Niclas (The Ratio Institute); Elinder, Mikael (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: We investigate to what extent tolerance, as measured by attitudes toward different types of neighbors, affects economic growth. Data from the World Values Survey enable us to investigate tolerance–growth relationships for 54 countries. We provide estimates based on cross-sectional as well as panel-data regressions. In addition we test for robustness with respect to model specification and sample composition. Unlike previous studies, by Richard Florida and others, we find that tolerance toward homosexuals is negatively related to growth. For tolerance toward people of a different race, we do not find robust results, but the sign of the estimated coefficients is positive, suggesting that inclusion of people irrespective of race makes good use of productive capacity. We propose mechanisms to explain these divergent findings, which clarify why different kinds of tolerance may be of different economic importance.
    Keywords: Tolerance; Growth; Diversity; Human Capital; Creativity; Innovatio
    JEL: O40 Z13
    Date: 2010–08–16
  8. 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
  9. By: Nair, Tara S.; Pradhan, Rachayeeta
    Abstract: This paper revisits the issue of business social responsibility with a view to reiterate its relevance in the contemporary scenario characterised by an overarching presence of private businesses and blurring of the barriers between not-for-profit and for-profit enterprises. The paper reviews the evolution of major theoretical positions of business social responsibility to demonstrate how the basic understanding of the term traversed through time and alongside changes in forms of business organisation and interpretations of the morality of private property. It draws on stakeholding and social contract theories to underscore the moral and social responsibility of businesses to broaden their vision beyond profit and stakeholder value.
    Keywords: social responsibility; stakeholder; social contract; moral communities
    JEL: A13 A12 B00
    Date: 2010–01–02
  10. By: Adil ROUMANE; Augendra BHUKUTH; Damien BAZIN (Fonds pour la Recherche en Ethique Economique)
    Abstract: Social capital appears only very rarely in the nomenclature related to the management of forest resources in Morocco. Far from being a semantic detail, this lexical omission comes as a revelation of a policy change. Public authorities have established, in spite of the positive externalities that social capital generates, a bureaucratic management source of heaviness and ineffectiveness. The proof is a recession of the wooded surfaces accompanied by an irreversible degradation of the natural environment on one hand and of the intrinsic quality of the forests on the other hand. This political position raises questions. Thereby, we suggest that the management of forest resources could be optimized if handled through an approach coming from social capital. Our hypothesis is to set forth that this caesura took place through the disappearance of the local traditional organizations, certainly a vector of social capital but also protector of the natural environment. It is possible, by questioning the past, to find an opening in the forest crisis by rehabilitating the Jemaâ in a modern vision.
    Keywords: Common management, Forestry, Jemaâ, Morocco, Social capital
    JEL: O15 O18 Q57
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Epstein, Gil S. (Bar-Ilan University); Gang, Ira N. (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: Culture is not new to the study of migration. It has lurked beneath the surface for some time, occasionally protruding openly into the discussion, usually under some pseudonym. The authors bring culture into the open. They are concerned with how culture manifests itself in the migration process for three groups of actors: the migrants, those remaining in the sending areas, and people already living in the recipient locations. The topics vary widely. What unites the authors is an understanding that though actors behave differently, within a group there are economically important shared beliefs (customs, values, attitudes, etc.), which we commonly refer to as culture. Culture and identify play a central role in our understanding of migration as an economic phenomenon; but what about them matters? Properly, we should be looking at the determinants of identity and the determinants of culture (prices and incomes, broadly defined). But this is not what is done. Usually identity and culture appear in economics articles as a black box. Here we try to begin to break open the black box.
    Keywords: migration, culture
    JEL: R23 O15 F22
    Date: 2010–08
  12. By: Stan Du Plessis (Department of Economics, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Stellenbosch); Wolfgang Maennig (Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: Without a doubt, the 2010 World Cup of soccer in South Africa was a great experience for both soccer fans, who enjoyed a safe and efficiently-run tournament, and their South African hosts. The sporting and social spectacle was broadcast around the world and focused unprecedented media attention on South Africa. Despite the manifest success of the tournament, its short-term effects on international tourism, which are the nucleus of all other short-term positive effects on economic variables such as employment, income and taxes, have turned out to be of a much smaller magnitude than expected or even as reported during the tournament. This may be attributable to self-defeating prophecy effects. This study is a warning against the abuse of economic impact studies, especially those pertaining to major sporting events. It is also a call to use the “correct” arguments of measurable awareness effects and potential long-term development effects in discussing major sporting events. Methodologically, this study is innovative in its economic analysis of major sporting events because it (i) uses data from social networks and (ii) uses high-frequency daily data on tourism.
    Keywords: FIFA World Cup, Mega sporting events, Sport economics, Tourism, South Africa 2010, Self-defeating prophecies, Awareness, Google, Facebook, Social networks
    JEL: L83 R53 R58
    Date: 2010–08–15
  13. By: Go Kotera (Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University)
    Abstract: In this paper, a simple model is proposed to endogenize voting behavior that incorporates a sense of duty to vote. We assume that a sense of duty to vote is an increasing function of a person’s human capital and the public faith in politics, and those with a higher sense of duty often vote. Then, we examine the relationship between income redistribution policy and human capital accumulation. From our assumption, the voter turnout is expected to gradually increase as human capital accumulates. However, we show that, in some cases, the positive relationship between voter turnout and human capital accumulation is not necessarily hold. In addition, the effect of growing inequality on the redistribution policy is investigated.
    Keywords: Voter turnout, Human capital, Income distribution, Redistribution
    JEL: D31 D72
    Date: 2010–08

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