nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2011‒02‒05
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. To Give or Not To Give? Equity, Efficiency and Altruistic Behavior in a Survey-Based Experiment By Vittorio Pelligra; Luca Stanca
  2. A multidimensional assessment of social cohesion in 47 European countries By DICKES Paul; VALENTOVA Marie; BORSENBERGER Monique
  3. Do we need social cohesion to be happy? By KLEIN Carlo
  4. Social-Family Network and Self-Employment: Evidence from Temporary Rural-Urban Migrants in China By Zhang, Junfu; Zhao, Zhong
  5. Voluntary Contribution in the Field: An Experiment in the Indian Himalayas By Sujoy Chakravarty; Carine Sebi; E. Somanathan; E. Theophilus
  6. Dynamic Aspects of Teenage Friendships and Educational Attainment By Patacchini, Eleonora; Rainone, Edoardo; Zenou, Yves
  7. Local and Personal Networks in Employment and the Development of Labor Markets:Evidence from the Cut Flower Industry in Ethiopia By Yukichi Mano; Takashi Yamano; Aya Suzuki; Tomoya Matsumoto
  8. Caste, local networks and lucrative jobs: Evidence from rural Nepal By Magnus Hatlebakk; Vegard Iversen; Gaute Torsvik
  9. Measuring and validating social cohesion: a bottom-up approach By ACKET Sylvain; BORSENBERGER Monique; DICKES Paul; SARRACINO Francesco
  10. The Economic Effects of the Protestant Reformation: Testing the Weber Hypothesis in the German Lands By Davide Cantoni
  11. Homemaking and women's well-being in Europe. Effect of divorce risk, selection and dominating gender-role attitudes By MIKUCKA Malgorzata

  1. By: Vittorio Pelligra; Luca Stanca
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of a survey-based experiment on the role of equity and efficiency for altruistic behavior. Using simple binary decisions for a representative pool of subjects, we find that both equity and efficiency are relevant for the decision to give. However, contrary to the findings in several laboratory experiments, our results indicate that equity plays a major role for altruistic behavior. Differ- ences in relative payoffs have a significant effect on the decision to give. When giving is not costly, more than half of the subjects prefer equal payoffs to a socially efficient but unequal allocation. When giving is Pareto-improving, half the subjects choose to sacrifice a higher payoff in order to avoid payoff inequality. We also find that preferences, as revealed by experimental choices, are largely consistent with re- ported pro-social activities, while only weakly related to self-reported well-being.
    Keywords: Altruism, Inequality-Aversion, SocialWelfare, Envy, Large-Scale Experiment
    JEL: D63 C78 C91
    Date: 2010–12
    Abstract: This paper presents a theoretically based, multidimensional and comparable measurementof social cohesion applicable in 47 European countries using the most recent micro-level data of European Value Study (EVS) from 2008. The analysis is conducted in four steps. In the first part, we create a set of measurable intermediate indicators that correspond to social cohesion dimensions suggested by the theory. In the second part, we verify whether these indicators empirically corroborate the multidimensional structure of the concept proposed by the theory. The third part examines whether the obtained intermediate indicators of social cohesion form the same constructs across countries and whether they can yield a cross country equivalent measure of social cohesion. In the fourth step, composite scores of all dimensions of social cohesion are calculated for all 47 countries to demostrate applicability of this constructed measurement in comparative research.
    Keywords: social cohesion; measurement equivalence; multidimensional scaling; LISREL; multidimensional indicators
    JEL: D63 Z13
    Date: 2011–01
  3. By: KLEIN Carlo
    Abstract: We consider in a first step, that social cohesion will be a determinant of income and, in a second step, income will be a determinant of subjective well-being (SWB) along with social cohesion. We propose to use the weighted Three-Stage Least Squares (3SLS) method to estimate our two steps model, based on EVS wave 2008 data for Luxembourg. The impact of social cohesion on SWB is confirmed by the effect of the socio-cultural domain of social cohesion on SWB. The formal character of the political domain, has a positive impact on SWB. Considering the economic aspect of social cohesion we conclude that this domain should be included in any further research studying the relationship between social cohesion and SWB. Nous considérons dans une première étape que la cohésion sociale sera un déterminant du revenu individuel et dans une deuxième étape que le revenu individuel sera un déterminant du bien-être subjectif à côté de la cohésion sociale. Nous proposons d?estimer ce modèle en appliquant la méthode « des triples moindres carrés pondérés (3SLS) » aux données EVS 2008 pour le Luxembourg. L?impact de la cohésion sociale sur le bien-être subjectif est confirmé par l?effet du domaine socio-culturel de la cohésion sociale sur le bien-être subjectif. De même, le caractère formel du domaine politique de la cohésion sociale a un effet positif sur le bien-être subjectif. En considérant l?aspect économique de la cohésion sociale, nous concluons que ce domaine devrait être inclus dans toute recherche future concernant la relation entre cohésion sociale et bien-être subjectif.
    Keywords: subjective well-being; social cohesion; European Value study wave 2008 Luxembourg
    JEL: A10 D60 I30
    Date: 2011–01
  4. By: Zhang, Junfu (Clark University); Zhao, Zhong (Renmin University of China)
    Abstract: We hypothesize that individuals with a larger social-family network are more likely to choose self-employment. We test this hypothesis using data on temporary rural-urban migrants in China. The size of a migrant’s social-family network is measured by the number of relatives and friends this migrant greeted during the past Spring Festival. Our empirical analysis faces two challenges. First, there is an endogeneity problem in that a migrant may want to develop and maintain a large social-family network exactly because he is self-employed. For this reason, a simple correlation between the probability of being self-employed and the size of the migrant’s social-family network cannot be interpreted as causal. Second, the size of the social-family network is measured using survey data, which is subject to measurement error. To overcome these problems, we take an instrumental variable (IV) approach. More specifically, we examine the distance an individual migrated when he first moved to a city and use this variable to instrument for the current size of the social-family network. We establish the credibility of the IV by emphasizing the unique institutional context of rural-urban migration in China and focusing on the sample of migrants who originally started as wage workers in urban areas and currently are not in their first jobs. Our IV results indeed show that a rural-urban migrant with a larger social-family network is more likely to be self-employed in the city. This finding is robust to alternative model specifications and various restrictions on the sample used in estimation.
    Keywords: social-family network, self-employment, rural-urban migrants
    JEL: J23 J61 D85
    Date: 2011–01
  5. By: Sujoy Chakravarty; Carine Sebi; E. Somanathan; E. Theophilus
    Abstract: The public goods problem (Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons,1968), either viewed as a problem of extraction and optimal use of a resource, or that of shared contributions to the cost of a resource, has had a long history in the social sciences. Our experimental design, using methods in experimental economics, uses a standard Voluntary Contributions Mechanism (VCM) game with a moderately large group of ten and face-to-face communication between the participants. The subjects, who are villagers in the Gori-Ganga Basin of the Central Himalayas, are not re-matched every period. Our results are somewhat different from laboratory experiments using a similar design such as Isaac and Walker (1988a, 1988b). [Occasional paper 29].
    Keywords: communication, participants, VCM, economics, public goods problems, INDIAN HIMALAYAS, villagers, resource, gori-ganga, social sciences
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Patacchini, Eleonora (La Sapienza University of Rome, EIEF, IZA and CEPR.); Rainone, Edoardo (La Sapienza University of Rome); Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University, Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), GAINS, IZA and CEPR. Email:)
    Abstract: We study peer effects in education. We first develop a network model that predicts a relationship between own education and peers’ education as measured by direct links in the social network. We then test this relationship using the four waves of the AddHealth data, looking at the impact of school friends nominated in the first wave in 1994-1995 on own educational outcome reported in the fourth wave in 2007-2008. We find that there are strong and persistent peer effects in education since a standard deviation increase in peers’ education attainment translates into roughly a 10 percent increase of a standard deviation in the individual’s education attainment (roughly 3.5 more months of education). We also find that peer effects are in fact significant only for adolescents who were friends in grades 10-12 but not for those who were friends in grades 7-9. This might indicate that social norms are important in educational choice since the individual’s choice of college seems to be influenced by that of friends in the two last years of high school.
    Keywords: Social networks; education; peer effects; identification strategy
    JEL: C21 I21 Z13
    Date: 2011–01–25
  7. By: Yukichi Mano (Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development; National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Takashi Yamano (Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development; National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Aya Suzuki (Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development; National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Tomoya Matsumoto (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: We examine the roles of local and personal networks in the employment process and the emergence and development of the labor market in Ethiopia’s growing cut flower industry. Using primary survey data of 320 workers randomly sampled from all 64 farms, we find that workers who were recruited informally using the social ties were paid less than the formally-recruited workers at hiring. However, these workers quickly increased their productivity, and the effect of social ties on wages disappeared over time. Further, we find that the development of labor market for this newly-emerged industry took place particularly within the industrial clusters (100 words).
    Keywords: Labor, Market, Cluster, Cut Flower, Ethiopia, Africa
    Date: 2011–01
  8. By: Magnus Hatlebakk; Vegard Iversen; Gaute Torsvik
    Abstract: We study how local connections to persons in influential positions affect access to lucrative international migrant jobs and attractive government employment. In rural Nepal, it would not be surprising if social status, captured by a household’s caste but also by wealth or education, strongly influenced or perhaps even exclusively determined the access to attractive labour market opportunities.  This is not the case. Although much of the variation in migration can be attributed to wealth, education and social identity, household networks have a separate impact on external employment. Well-connected households are more likely to get government jobs and appear to have favorable access to the manpower agencies and the informal loans required to finance migration to the Persian Gulf or Malaysia.  
    Date: 2010
  9. By: ACKET Sylvain; BORSENBERGER Monique; DICKES Paul; SARRACINO Francesco
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide a synthetic macro index of social cohesion based on the observation of several individual level variables. Based on the definition of social cohesion by Bernard (1999) and Chan et al. (2006) an index of social cohesion (henceforth VALCOS Index) was created. It covers the political and sociocultural domains of life in their formal and substantial relations. Results suggest that the VALCOS-Index of social cohesion is strongly and significantly correlated with other macro indicators largely used by the scientific community. The aggregation of EVS 2008 data on social cohesion together with many macro indicators of several dimensions of social life (including economic, socio-demographic, health and subjective well-being indicators) allowed us to rank social cohesion across 39 European countries and to explore differences across groups of countries. Subsequently, we validated our index by correlating it with many national level variables.
    Keywords: social cohesion; methodology; macro index; micro index; EVS
    JEL: A10 D60 I30 Z13
    Date: 2011–01
  10. By: Davide Cantoni
    Abstract: Many theories, most famously Max Weber’s essay on the “Protestant ethic,” have hypothesized that Protestantism should have favored economic development. With their considerable religious heterogeneity and stability of denominational affiliations until the 19th century, the German Lands of the Holy Roman Empire present an ideal testing ground for this hypothesis. Using population figures in a dataset comprising 272 cities in the years 1300–1900, I find no effects of Protestantism on economic growth. The finding is robust to the inclusion of a variety of controls, and does not appear to depend on data selection or small sample size. In addition, Protestantism has no effect when interacted with other likely determinants of economic development. I also analyze the endogeneity of religious choice; instrumental variables estimates of the effects of Protestantism are similar to the OLS results.
    Keywords: Protestantism, Culture, Economic Growth, Historical Development, Germany
    JEL: N13 N33 O11 Z12
    Date: 2010–12
  11. By: MIKUCKA Malgorzata
    Abstract: Whereas it is known that employment affects individual well-being, the literature on the effect of homemaking is so far inconclusive. The paper investigates the effect of being a housewife on well-being of women, using European Values Study data for 36 European countries (year 2008) and multilevel regression methodology. Results show that the effect of homemaking on well-being is overall positive and it varies across countries. Three possible explanations of this variation are examined. First hypothesis concerns traditional gender-role attitudes in a country. Results confirm that in more traditional countries homemakers have higher wellbeing, but only in western Europe. Effect of individual norms is strong: housewives with traditional gender-role attitudes declare higher well-being. Second hypothesis refers to the economic risk of specialization to homemaking, and states that higher divorce risk decreases well-being of housewives. Contrary to expectations, higher divorce risk in a country is accompanied by higher well-being of housewives. I interpret this as a sign of equality concerns incorporated into legal divorce procedures. Third hypothesis concerns positive and negative selection to homemaking. Results show that the relationship between prevalence of homemaking and the well-being of housewives is curvilinear. Highest well-being gains from homemaking occur in countries with lowest and highest prevalence of homemaking.
    Keywords: well-being; homemaking; housewife; women's employment
    Date: 2011–01

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