nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2010‒10‒30
fourteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. Different effects of social capital on health status among residents: evidence from modern Japan By Eiji Yamamura
  2. Impact Of Social Capital On Individual Well-Being In Poland. Proxy-Based Approach By Anna Grochowska; Paweł Strawiński
  3. Friends' Networks and Job Finding Rates By Cappellari, Lorenzo; Tatsiramos, Konstantinos
  4. The Role of Family in Suicide Rate in Italy By Claudio Detotto; V. Sterzi
  5. I Would if I Could: Precarious Employment and Childbearing Intentions in Italy By Modena, Francesca; Sabatini, Fabio
  6. Is conformism desirable? Network effects, location choice, and social welfare in a duopoly By L. Savorelli
  7. On the Correlation between Research Performance and Social Network Analysis Measures Applied to Research Collaboration Networks By Alireza Abbasi; Jorn Altmann
  8. Women's Autonomy and Subjective Well-Being in India: How Village Norms Shape the Impact of Self-Help Groups By De Hoop, Thomas; Van Kempen, Luuk; Linssen, Rik; Van Eerdewijk, Anouka
  9. Endogenous Social Networks in the Labor Market By Tolga U. Kuzubas
  10. Bend It Like Beckham: Ethnic Identity and Integration By Bisin, Alberto; Patacchini, Eleonora; Verdier, Thierry; Zenou, Yves
  11. Identification of Interaction Effects in Survey Expectations: A Cautionary Note By Alfarano, Simone; Milakovic, Mishael
  12. On the Feasibility of Power and Status Ranking in Traditional Setups By Petros Sekeris; Jean-Philippe Platteau
  13. Subsidizing Religious Participation through Groups: A Model of the "Megachurch" Strategy for Growth By von der Ruhr, Marc; Daniels, Joseph P.
  14. Akin to my teacher: Does caste, religious or gender distance between student and teacher matter? Some evidence from India By Shenila Rawal; Geeta Kingdon

  1. By: Eiji Yamamura
    Abstract: This paper aims to explore how social capital is related to self-rated health status in Japan and how this relationship depends on the extent to which a person is embedded into the community. This study used data from 3079 adult participants in Japan’s Social Policy and Social Consciousness (SPSC) survey conducted in 2000. Controlling for unobserved city size- and area-specific fixed effects, I find through Ordered Probit estimations that social capital has a significantly positive effect on health status for long-time but not for short-time residents. Results also suggested that the experience of divorce is negatively associated with health status for long- time but not short-time residents. People can enjoy a social network, a kind of social capital, if they are a member of such a network. Nevertheless, people appear to be negatively influenced if they are excluded from networks. Such positive and negative effects of social capital are more obvious when people are more deeply integrated into a community. Empirical study provided evidence that social capital and socio-economic effects on health status are significantly influenced by the extent to which respondents are integrated into a community.
    Keywords: Social capital; health status.
    JEL: I19 Z13 R58
    Date: 2010–09–29
  2. By: Anna Grochowska (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Paweł Strawiński (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: In this paper we attempt to quantify the impact of social capital on individual well-being. We follow the Putnam (1995) approach and select five key social capital components to construct a synthetic index for social capital using a multivariate probit model. Social capital is considered as one of the three crucial individual endowments: physical capital, human capital and social capital. The impact of the synthetically constructed social capital index on individual’s well-being is estimated using a Mincer type earning equation. The results show that social capital explains up to 20% of income variation both at individual and household level. However, human capital and physical capital remain the critical determinants of individual income.
    Keywords: social capital, income, well-being, local community, household
    JEL: A14
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Cappellari, Lorenzo (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Tatsiramos, Konstantinos (IZA)
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of social interactions on labor market outcomes using a direct measure of social contacts based on information about individuals’ three best friends and their characteristics. We examine the effect of the number of employed friends on the transition from non-employment to employment, and we find the existence of significant network effects at the individual level. An additional employed friend increases the probability of finding a job by 3.7 percentage points. This finding is robust to specifications that address the endogeneity of friends’ employment status, which may be induced by correlation with unobserved individual attributes and feedback effects. Considering labor market outcomes, we find evidence of higher wages and employment stability for those with more employed friends, which is consistent with networks acting as an information transmission mechanism.
    Keywords: friendship ties, unemployment, networks
    JEL: J64
    Date: 2010–10
  4. By: Claudio Detotto; V. Sterzi
    Abstract: We use national panel data at provincial level to investigate the relationship between suicide rates and socio-economic factors in Italy. The role of family, drug and alcohol consumption, social conformism and population density are the main factors in explaining the suicide rate in Italy. In a further step, we check for the differences in the suicide determinants between southern and northern provinces. The findings show that the number and size of families as well as alcohol or drug abuse play a key role in the northern provinces, while density and social conformism appear to be the main factors in the South.
    Keywords: suicide rate; socio-economic determinants; role of family
    JEL: D10 K00 R00
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Modena, Francesca; Sabatini, Fabio
    Abstract: This paper carries out an investigation into the socio-economic determinants of childbearing decisions made by couples in Italy. The analysis accounts for the characteristics of both possible parents. Our results do not support established theoretical predictions according to which the increase in the opportunity cost of motherhood connected to higher female labour participation is responsible for the fall in fertility. On the contrary, the instability of women’s work status (i.e. having occasional, precarious, and low-paid positions) is revealed as a significant dissuasive factor in the decision to have children. Couples in which there is an unemployed woman are less likely to plan childbearing as well. Other relevant explanatory variables are women’s age, men’s work status and education, women’s citizenship, marital status and perceived economic well-being.
    Keywords: Fertility; family planning; parenthood; childbearing; participation; job instability; precarious employment; Italy
    JEL: J13 J71 J12 Z13 C25
    Date: 2010–10–22
  6. By: L. Savorelli
    Abstract: In this paper we study a duopoly where the network e¤ect is nonmonotone and the network can be overloaded. The firms choose prices and locations endogenously, and the agent's utility is influenced by the number of people patronizing the same firm she does. We determine the market equilibrium, and we study how the network effect influences social welfare. We compare this setting with the standard horizontal differentiation model with no network effects to understand whether and how conformism is socially desirable. The results show that whether network effects are desirable depends on how people are conformist, and whether overloading is feasible. If overloading is not possible (in either of the firm's network), and the total consumers' mass is sufficiently high, a network effect which is slightly concave increases social welfare. By contrast, if overloading is feasible, and the total consumers' mass is sufficiently small, social welfare is increased if the network effect is more concave than in the previous case.
    JEL: L14 D62
    Date: 2010–10
  7. By: Alireza Abbasi (Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program (TEMEP), Seoul National University); Jorn Altmann (Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program (TEMEP), Seoul National University)
    Abstract: In this study, we develop a theoretical model based on social network theory to understand how the collaboration (co-authorship) network of scholars correlates to the research performance of scholars. For this analysis, we use social network analysis (SNA) measures (i.e., normalized closeness centrality, normalized betweenness centrality, efficiency, and two types of degree centrality). The analysis of data shows that the research performance of scholars is positively correlated with two SNA measures (i.e., weighted degree centrality and efficiency). In particular, scholars with strong ties (i.e., repeated co-authorships, i.e., high weighted degree centrality) show a better research performance than those with low ties (e.g., single co-authorships with many different scholars). The results related to efficiency show that scholars, who maintain a strong co-authorship relationship to only one co-author of a group of linked co-authors (i.e., co-authors that have joined publications), perform better than those researchers with many relationships to the same group of linked co-authors.
    Keywords: Social Network Analysis, Co-authorship Network, Researchers' Performance.
    JEL: C43 C44 C65 D80 D85 M12 M21
    Date: 2010–10
  8. By: De Hoop, Thomas; Van Kempen, Luuk; Linssen, Rik; Van Eerdewijk, Anouka
    Abstract: This paper presents quasi-experimental impact estimates of women self-help groups on subjective well-being in Orissa, India. We find that, on average, self-help group membership does not affect subjective well-being. However, our results at the same time reveal that subjective well-being sharply declines for those members whose newly gained autonomy meets with relatively conservative social gender norms among non-members. We interpret this finding as evidence for heterogeneous losses of feelings of identity for self-help group members. Identity losses loom larger when women’s enhanced autonomy implies a stronger violation of social gender norms at the community level. Social sanctioning mechanisms play an important role in the heterogeneous negative impact on subjective well-being, as evidenced by qualitative accounts of women’s empowerment trajectories in the research area.
    Keywords: Autonomy; Subjective Well-Being; Impact Evaluation; Identity; Sanctioning; India
    JEL: I31 I38 Z13 O12
    Date: 2010–10–13
  9. By: Tolga U. Kuzubas
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Bisin, Alberto (New York University); Patacchini, Eleonora (Sapienza University of Rome); Verdier, Thierry (Paris School of Economics); Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We propose a theoretical framework to study the determinants of ethnic and religious identity along two distinct motivational processes which have been proposed in the social sciences: cultural conformity and cultural distinction. Under cultural conformity, ethnic identity is reduced by neighborhood integration, which weakens group loyalties and prejudices. On the contrary, under cultural distinction, ethnic minorities are more motivated in retaining their own distinctive cultural heritage the more integrated are the neighborhoods where they reside and work. Data on ethnic preferences and attitudes provided by the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities in the UK enables us to test the relative significance of these two identity processes. We find evidence consistent with intense ethnic and religious identity mostly formed as a cultural distinction mechanism. Consistently, we document that ethnic identities are more intense in mixed than in segregated neighborhoods.
    Keywords: ethnicity, identity, intermarriage, cultural transmission
    JEL: A14 J15
    Date: 2010–10
  11. By: Alfarano, Simone; Milakovic, Mishael
    Abstract: A growing body of literature reports evidence of social interaction effects in survey expectations. In this note, we argue that evidence in favor of social interaction effects should be treated with caution, or could even be spurious. Utilizing a parsimonious stochastic model of expectation formation and dynamics, we show that the existing sample sizes of survey expectations are about two orders of magnitude too small to reasonably distinguish between noise and interaction effects. Moreover, we argue that the problem is compounded by the fact that highly correlated responses among agents might not be caused by interaction eects at all, but instead by model-consistent beliefs. Ultimately, these results suggest that existing survey data cannot facilitate our understanding of the process of expectations formation.
    Keywords: Survey expectations; model-consistent beliefs; social inter- action; networks.
    JEL: D84 D85
    Date: 2010–10
  12. By: Petros Sekeris (CRED - Center of Research in the Economics of Development - Facultés Universitaire Notre-Dame de la Paix, Namur - Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix); Jean-Philippe Platteau (CRED - Center of Research in the Economics of Development - Facultés Universitaire Notre-Dame de la Paix, Namur - Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix)
    Abstract: This paper aims at a better understanding of the conditions under which unequal rank or power positions may get permanently established through asymmetric gift exchange when a gift brings pride to the donor and shame to the recipient. Such a framework matches numerous observations reported in the sociological and anthropological literature dealing with patronage relations in traditional setups. A central result derived from our model is that an asymmetric gift exchange equilibrium can occur only if the importance attached to social shame by a recipient is smaller than that attached to social esteem by a donor. Moreover, if this (necessary) condition is fulfilled, an asymmetric gift exchange will take place only if the recipient's productivity is neither too high nor too low. Finally, the possibility of a parasitic response of the gift recipient is more likely to be observed when the donee's sensitivity to social shame is low, or when his productivity is high.
    Keywords: Social esteem; status; power; patronage; gift exchange
    Date: 2010–09–01
  13. By: von der Ruhr, Marc (St. Norbert College); Daniels, Joseph P. (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: Either despite or because of their non-traditional approach, megachurches have grown significantly in the United States since 1980. This paper models religious participation as an imperfect public good which, absent intervention, yields suboptimal participation by members from the church’s perspective. Megachurches address this problem by employing secular based group activities to subsidize religious participation in an effort to increase attendees’ religious investment. This strategy not only allows megachurches to attract and retain new members when many traditional churches are losing members, but also results in higher levels of individual satisfaction thereby allowing the megachurch to raise levels of commitment and faith practices. Data from the FACT2000 survey provide evidence that megachurches employ groups more extensively than other churches and this approach is consistent with a strategy to use the provision of groups to help subsidize individuals’ religious investment. Religious capital rises among members of megachurches relative to members of non-megachurches as a result of this strategy.
    Keywords: megachurches, religious investment, subsidy, Economics
    JEL: Z12
    Date: 2010–07
  14. By: Shenila Rawal (Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL.); Geeta Kingdon (Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL.)
    Abstract: This paper uses a unique data set from 5028 primary school children in rural India to examine whether the demographic interactions between students and teachers influence student outcomes and whether social distance between student and teacher exacerbates gender, caste and religious gaps in children's achievement. One would expect this to be the case if discrimination and/or role model effects persist in the classroom. School and individual fixed effects methodology are used. In the pupil fixed effects model, across subject variation is used to test whether having a teacher whose gender, caste and religion are the same as that of the student improves student test scores. We find statistically significant positive effects of matching student and teacher characteristics. We find that a student's achievement in a subject in which the teacher shares the same gender, caste and religion as the child is, on average, nearly a quarter of a SD higher than the same child's achievement in a subject taught by a teacher who does not share the child's gender, caste or religion. Policy implications are considered.
    Keywords: education, religion, gender
    JEL: I2 I21
    Date: 2010–10–21

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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