nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2011‒01‒30
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. Dominance and Submission: Social Status Biases Economic Sanctions By von Essen, Emma; Ranehill, Eva
  2. Group Norms and Consumer Behaviour By Pillai, Rajasekharan; Rajan, Jainey S.; Variyamveettil, Sunitha; Mathew, Dhanu E.; Nath , Subodh S.
  3. Trust, Salience and Deterrence: Evidence from an Antitrust Experiment By Bigoni, Maria; Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof; Le Coq, Chloe; Spagnolo, Giancarlo
  4. Indirect Effects of a Policy Altering Criminal Behaviour: Evidence from the Italian Prison Experiment By Drago, Francesco; Galbiati, Roberto
  5. Groups and information disclosure: Evidence on the Olson and Putnam Hypotheses in Japan By Yamamura, Eiji
  6. Search and Homophily in Social Networks By Sergio Currarini; Fernando Vega Redondo
  7. Bilateral and Community Enforcement in a Networked Market with Simple Strategies By Itay P. Fainmesser; David A. Goldberg
  8. How do African populations perceive corruption: microeconomic evidence from Afrobarometer data in twelve countries By Gbewopo Attila
  9. Does Information Network Affect Technology Diffusion? By Goswami, Rupak; Basu, Debabrata
  10. Spillover Effects in Healthcare Programs: Evidence on Social Norms and Information Sharing By Ciro Avitabile; Vincenzo Di Maro
  11. Employed but Still Unhappy?: On the Relevance of the Social Work Norm By Adrian Chadi
  12. Cultural Transmission, Discrimination and Peer Effects By Sáez-Martí, Maria; Zenou, Yves
  13. Analyzing community responses to HIV and AIDS : operational framework and typology By Rodriguez-Garcia, Rosalia; Bonnel, Rene; N'Jie, N'Della; Olivier, Jill; Pascual, F. Brian; Wodon, Quentin

  1. By: von Essen, Emma (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Ranehill, Eva (Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Social hierarchy is persistent in all almost all societies. Social norms and their enforcement are part of sustaining hierarchical systems. This paper combines social status and norm enforcement, by introducing status in a dictator game with third party punishment. Status is conveyed by surname; half of the third parties face dictators with a noble name and half face dictators with a common name. Receivers all have common names. We find that social status has an impact on behavior. Our results indicate that low status men are punished to a greater extent than low status women, high status men, or high status women. Interestingly, discrimination occurs only in male to male interaction. For offers below half, or almost half of the allocated resource, male third parties punish male dictators with common names almost twice as much as their noble counterparts. We find no support for female discrimination. This result suggests that social status has important implications for men’s decisions to use economic punishment, and that this holds true in situations where reputation or strategic concerns have no importance.
    Keywords: Status; punishment; discrimination
    JEL: C91
    Date: 2011–01–17
  2. By: Pillai, Rajasekharan; Rajan, Jainey S.; Variyamveettil, Sunitha; Mathew, Dhanu E.; Nath , Subodh S.
    Abstract: The impact of group norms on forming consumer behaviour is an important attribute of man’s social life. The market segmentation principles acknowledge the presence of this phenomenon. People belong to different age group, professional status, income levels, educational status etc. are seemed to display some specific consumer behaviour that can be attributed to a particular group. The present study attempts to find the influence of certain selected group norms on consumption pattern.
    Keywords: Group norms; peer influence; consumer behaviour; culture and consumption; social norms
    JEL: M31
    Date: 2011–01
  3. By: Bigoni, Maria (University of Bologna); Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Le Coq, Chloe (Stockholm School of Economics); Spagnolo, Giancarlo (University of Rome)
    Abstract: We present results from a laboratory experiment identifying the main channels through which different law enforcement strategies deter organized economic crime. The absolute level of a fine has a strong deterrence effect, even when the exogenous probability of apprehension is zero. This effect appears to be driven by distrust or fear of betrayal, as it increases significantly when the incentives to betray partners are strengthened by policies offering amnesty to “turncoat whistleblowers”. We also document a strong deterrence effect of the sum of fines paid in the past, which suggests a significant role for salience or availability heuristic in law enforcement.
    Keywords: Betrayal; Collusion; Corruption; Distrust; Fraud; Organized Crime; Whistleblowers
    JEL: C92 D80 K21 K42 L41
    Date: 2011–01–17
  4. By: Drago, Francesco (University of Naples, Parthenope); Galbiati, Roberto (CNRS)
    Abstract: We exploit the Collective Clemency Bill passed by the Italian Parliament in July 2006 to evaluate the indirect effects of a policy that randomly commutes actual sentences to expected sentences for 40 percent of the Italian prison population. We estimate the direct and indirect impact of the residual sentence – corresponding to a month less time served in prison associated with a month of expected sentence – at the date of release on individual recidivism. Using prison, nationality and region of residence to construct reference groups of former inmates, we find large indirect effects of this policy. In particular, we find that the reduction in the individuals' recidivism due to an increase in their peers’ residual sentence is at least as large as their response to an increase in their own residual sentence. From this result we estimate a social multiplier in crime of 2.
    Keywords: crime, social interactions, indirect effects
    JEL: K00 C90
    Date: 2010–12
  5. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: There is controversy between Putnam and Olson concerning the role of group. Putnam argued that small group makes a contribution to economic growth whereas Olson asserted that small group hampers the economic growth through rent-seeking behavior. Since the end of the 1990s in Japan, there has been a remarkable rise in the rate of enactment of public information-disclosure ordinances by local governments. This paper uses the panel data of Japan to compare the effects of Putnam-type horizontally structured groups and Olson-type vertically structured groups on government information disclosures. The Arellano-Bond type dynamic panel model is employed to control for unobserved fixed effects and endogeneity bias. The major findings are as follows: (1) the Putnam-type group has a positive influence on information disclosure; (2) the Olson-type group has a detrimental effect on information disclosure. These support not only Putnam hypothesis but also Olson Hypothesis. The characteristics of groups should be considered carefully when the influence of group is examined.
    Keywords: Putnam; Olson; interest group; social capital; information-disclosure ordinance.
    JEL: G38 P48 Z13
    Date: 2011–01–08
  6. By: Sergio Currarini (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Fernando Vega Redondo (European University Institute)
    Abstract: We study the formation of social ties among heteogeneous agents in a model where meetings are governed by agents' directed search. The aim is to shed light on the important issue of homophily (the tendency of agents to connect with others of the same type). The essential contribution of the model is to provide a basic microfoundation for the opportunity/meeting biases that, as the literature highlights, are a crucial element of the phenomenon. Under the assumption that search is more effective in large pools, the equilibrium is characterized by a threshold in terms of group size: large groups only search among similar agents while smaller groups search in the whole population. This threshold behavior is consistent with the empirical evidence observed in a range of social environments such as high school friendships and interethnic marriages. And assuming that search is subject to small frictions, it also generates the bell-shaped form of the so-called Coleman index observed in the data. Other implications of the model supported by the evidence concern the pattern of cross-group ties among small groups, the linearity of excess homophily for large groups, and the positive effect on it of overall population size.
    Keywords: Homophily, search, social networks, segregation.
    JEL: D7 D71 D85 Z13
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Itay P. Fainmesser; David A. Goldberg
    Abstract: We present a model of repeated games in large buyer-seller networks in the presence of reputation networks via which buyers share information about past transactions. The model allows us to characterize cooperation networks - networks in which each seller cooperates (by providing high quality goods) with every buyer that is connected to her. To this end, we provide conditions under which: [1] the incentives of a seller s to cooperate depend only on her beliefs with respect to her local neighborhood - a subnetwork that includes seller s and is of a size that is independent of the size of the entire network; and [2] the incentives of a seller s to cooperate can be calculated as if the network was a random tree with seller s at its root. Our characterization sheds light on the welfare costs of relying only on repeated interactions for sustaining cooperation, and on how to mitigate such costs.
    Keywords: Networks, moral hazard, graph theory, repeated games
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Gbewopo Attila (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the microeconomic determinants of the perception of corruption in twelve Sub-Saharan African countries. Unlike the indicators of corruption based on the opinion of international experts, the study focuses on corrupt practices as experienced by the African people themselves. The results of our estimates, using an ordered probit indicate that the individual characteristics such as age and sex significantly affect the perception people have of corruption as do social and political factors like access to information (press, media, radio). However, neither democracy nor participation in demonstrations, seem to affect the attitude of individuals towards corruption.
    Keywords: corruption;Sub-Saharan Africa;Ordered Probit
    Date: 2011–01–17
  9. By: Goswami, Rupak; Basu, Debabrata
    Keywords: technology transfer, agricultural information network, social network analysis, adoptiondecision, India, Consumer/Household Economics, Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2010–11
  10. By: Ciro Avitabile (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF); Vincenzo Di Maro (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: Cervical cancer is considered to be one of the most preventable types of cancer, but cervical cancer mortality rates in Mexico have been dramatically high by international standards for many years. This paper exploits the randomized research design of a large welfare program - Progresa - to study the size and determinants of spillover effects in cervical cancer screening in rural Mexico. We find significant evidence of spillover effects in demand for Papanicolaou cervical cancer screening, yet there is no evidence of similar spillovers in non-gender specific tests, such as blood pressure and blood sugar. When we study the mechanisms that drive spillover effects we are able to distinguish between the roles of social norms and information sharing. For women living in male headed households there is increased demand for screening as Progresa undermines the social norm associated with husbands' opposition. Among women in female headed households screening is more frequent as a result of information sharing between those eligible and those not eligible for the program.
    Keywords: Cervical cancer, Social norm, Information sharing, Progresa, Indirect treatment effect
    JEL: D83 I12 J16
    Date: 2011–01–19
  11. By: Adrian Chadi
    Abstract: In the modern welfare state, people who cannot make a living usually receive financial assistance from public funds. Accordingly, the so-called social work norm against living off other people is violated, which may be the reason why the unemployed are so unhappy. If so, however, labour market concepts based on the notion of promoting low-paid jobs that are subsidised if necessary with additional payments would appear far less favourable. It could be that people are employed, but still unhappy. Using German panel data, this paper examines the relevance of the social work norm and finds a significant disutility effect of living off public funds. Although this is true for employed people as well, the results show that the individual is generally better off having a job that requires additional assistance, than having no job at all. On the other hand, such policies as the recent German labour market reforms can trigger undesired side-effects, if policy-makers ignore the issue of the social work norm.
    Keywords: Unemployment, Social benefits, Low-wages, Labour market policies, Social norms, Well-being
    JEL: I31 J38 J60
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Sáez-Martí, Maria (University of Zurich); Zenou, Yves (Department of Economics, Stockholm University and Research Institute of Industrial Economics)
    Abstract: Workers can have good or bad work habits. These traits are transmitted from one generation to the next through a learning and imitation process which depends on parents’ investment on the trait and the social environment where children live. We show that, if a high enough proportion of employers have taste-based prejudices against minority workers, their prejudices are always self-fulfilled in steady state. Affirmative Action improves the welfare of minorities whereas integration is beneficial to minority workers but detrimental to workers from the majority group. If Affirmative Action quotas are high enough or integration is strong enough, employers’ negative stereotypes cannot be sustained in steady-state.
    Keywords: Ghetto culture; overlapping generations; rational expectations; multiple equilibria; peer effects
    JEL: J15 J71
    Date: 2011–01–24
  13. By: Rodriguez-Garcia, Rosalia; Bonnel, Rene; N'Jie, N'Della; Olivier, Jill; Pascual, F. Brian; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: This paper presents a framework for analyzing the community response to HIV and AIDS. On the basis of a review of the literature, six criteria are proposed for characterizing such community responses: (1) the types of organizations and structures implementing the response, (2) the types of activities or services implemented and the beneficiaries of these, (3) the actors involved in and driving community responses, (4) the contextual factors that influence community responses, (5) the extent of community involvement in the response, and (6) the extent to which community responses involve wider partnerships and collaboration.
    Keywords: Disability,Civil Society,Community Development and Empowerment,HIV AIDS,Health Monitoring&Evaluation
    Date: 2011–01–01

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