nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2011‒02‒19
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. Spatial versus Social Mismatch: The Strength of Weak Ties By Zenou, Yves
  2. Social Networks and Interactions in Cities By Helsley, Robert; Zenou, Yves
  3. Social Norm, Costly Punishment and the Evolution to Cooperation By Tongkui, Yu; Shu-Heng, Chen; Honggang, Li
  4. Looking back through a new pair of glasses: conflict and mediation in local development By Fragoso, António; Lucio-Villegas, Emilio
  5. Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player? By Liu, Xiaodong; Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves; Lee, Lung-Fei
  6. Effects of female labor participation on smoking behavior in Japan: Selection model approach By Yamamura, Eiji
  7. Virtual Socializing: Its Motives and Spread By Pillai, Rajasekharan; Rahul, Thoranath; Peringat, Beena Babu; Thilakarajan , Sindhya; Janardhanan, Neethu
  8. Has the origin of capitals a relevant impact on implementing corporate social responsibility? The Uruguayan case. By Ana Bogiloff; Natalia Melgar
  9. Inequality and Growth: The Role of Beliefs and Culture By Strieborny Martin
  10. Satisfacción con la vida, fe religiosa y asistencia al templo en Uruguay By Zuleika Ferre; Mariana Gerstenblüth; Máximo Rossi
  11. Job satisfaction and the individual educational level, re-assessing their relationship By Marisa Bucheli; Natalia Melgar; Máximo Rossi; Tom W. Smith
  12. Salud y felicidad en Uruguay By Mariana Gerstenblüth; Todd Jewell; Máximo Rossi
  13. The identity of sociology or what to do when the universe is unknown: qualitative solutions against the quantitative obsession By Gomez, José Andrés; Merino, Bernat Roig; Tur, Antonio Aledo

  1. By: Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University and Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Sweden, and GAINS)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide a new mechanism based on social interactions explaining why distance to jobs can have a negative impact on workers’ labor-market outcomes, especially ethnic minorities. Building on Granovetter’s idea that weak ties are superior to strong ties for providing support in getting a job, we develop a model in which workers who live far away from jobs tend to have less connections to weak ties. Because of the lack of good public transportation in the US, it is costly (both in terms of time and money) to commute to business centers to meet other types of people who can provide other source of information about jobs. If distant minority workers mainly rely on their strong ties, who are more likely to be unemployed, there is then little chance of escaping unemployment. It is therefore the separation in both the social and physical space that prevents ethnic minorities finding a job.
    Keywords: Weak ties; labor market; social networks; land rent
    JEL: A14 J15 R14 Z13
    Date: 2011–02–04
  2. By: Helsley, Robert (University of California, Berkeley); Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University and Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Stockholm, Sweden, and GAINS)
    Abstract: We examine how interaction choices depend on the interplay of social and physical distance, and show that agents who are more central in the social network, or are located closer to the geographic center of interaction, choose higher levels of interactions in equilibrium. As a result, the level of interactivity in the economy as a whole will rise with the density of links in the social network and with the degree to which agents are clustered in physical space. When agents can choose geographic locations, there is a tendency for those who are more central in the social network to locate closer to the interaction center, leading to a form of endogenous geographic separation based on social distance. Finally, we show that the market equilibrium is not optimal because of social externalities. We determine the value of the subsidy to interactions that could support the first-best allocation as an equilibrium and show that interaction effort and the incentives for clustering are higher under the subsidy program.
    Keywords: Social networks; urban-land use; Bonacich centrality
    JEL: D85 R14 Z13
    Date: 2011–02–14
  3. By: Tongkui, Yu; Shu-Heng, Chen; Honggang, Li
    Abstract: Both laboratory and field evidence suggest that people tend to voluntarily incur costs to punish non-cooperators. While costly punishment typically reduces the average payoff as well as promotes cooperation. Why does the costly punishment evolve? We study the role of punishment in cooperation promotion within a two-level evolution framework of individual strategies and social norms. In a population with certain social norm, players update their strategies according to the payoff differences among different strategies. In a longer horizon, the evolution of social norm may be driven by the average payoffs of of all members of the society. Norms differ in whether they allow or do not allow for the punishment action as part of strategies, and, for the former, they further differ in whether they encourage or do not encourage the punishment action. The strategy dynamics are articulated under different social norms. It is found that costly punishment does contribute to the evolution toward cooperation. Not only does the attraction basin of cooperative evolutionary stable state (CESS) become larger, but also the convergence speed to CESS is faster. These two properties are further enhanced if the punishment action is encouraged by the social norm. This model can be used to explain the widespread existence of costly punishment in human society.
    Keywords: social norm; costly punishment; cooperative evolutionary stable state; attraction basin; convergence speed
    JEL: C02 D64 C73
    Date: 2011–02–01
  4. By: Fragoso, António (University of Algarve); Lucio-Villegas, Emilio (University of Seville)
    Abstract: Local development processes include a complex social dynamic where, frequently, conflicts has an important role, namely blocking the cooperation modes between social actors or institutions. Mediation can have an important role in local development processes. In this paper we analyse data from long lasting processes of local development, focusing on the mediation structure in order to highlight some conclusive reflections
    Keywords: Local development; conflict; mediation; social change
    JEL: I29
    Date: 2010–12–30
  5. By: Liu, Xiaodong (University of Colorado at Boulder); Patacchini, Eleonora (La Sapienza University of Rome, EIEF and CEPR.); Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University, Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) and GAINS); Lee, Lung-Fei (The Ohio State University)
    Abstract: We analyze delinquent networks of adolescents in the United States. We develop a theoretical model showing who the key player is, i.e. the criminal who once removed generates the highest possible reduction in aggregate crime level. We also show that key players are not necessary the most active criminals in a network. We then test our model using data on criminal behaviors of adolescents in the United States (AddHealth data). Compared to other criminals, key players are more likely to be a male, have less educated parents, are less attached to religion and feel socially more excluded. They also feel that adults care less about them, are less attached to their school and have more troubles getting along with the teachers. We also find that, even though some criminals are not very active in criminal activities, they can be key players because they have a crucial position in the network in terms of betweenness centrality.
    Keywords: Crime; bonacich centrality; betweenness centrality; network characteristics; crime policies
    JEL: A14 D85 K42 Z13
    Date: 2011–02–11
  6. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: Using individual level data (the Japanese General Social Survey), this paper aims to explore how interaction between genders contributes to the cessation of smoking in Japan, where females are distinctly less inclined to smoke than males. Controlling for various socioeconomic factors and selection bias, I find through a Heckman-type selection estimation that rates of female employment in workplaces are negatively associated with male smoking but not with female smoking. These results suggest that male smokers are more inclined to cease smoking when they are more likely to have contact with nonsmokers of the opposite sex. Overall, this empirical study provides evidence that the psychological effect of the presence of people in one’s surroundings has a direct significant effect upon smoking behavior. However, this effect is observed only among males and not females.
    Keywords: Female labor participation; Labor market; Smoking behavior
    JEL: Z13 I10
    Date: 2011–02–02
  7. By: Pillai, Rajasekharan; Rahul, Thoranath; Peringat, Beena Babu; Thilakarajan , Sindhya; Janardhanan, Neethu
    Abstract: Virtual communities constitute an important attribute through which social dialogues are mediated. The emergence of online communities is the outcome of the prevalence of web based technologies. In the world of inter and intra connectedness individuals have the prerogative to get connected to the community of their choice. The present study examines the magnitude and motivations of online social networking through field survey method.
    Keywords: virtual socializing; online communities; social networking; virtual platforms; virtual communities
    JEL: P36 D71
    Date: 2011–02
  8. By: Ana Bogiloff (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, España); Natalia Melgar (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: We assess whether being socially responsible is influenced by the origin of capitals and we examine the different views of the firms regarding CSR, in the case of a small open economy, Uruguay. Our dataset comes from the 2007 Corporate Social Responsibility Survey. The contributions of this research are threefold. Firstly, while a great part of the research on this issue is based on special cases, we employ and draw conclusions from a representative survey. Secondly, we deal with an unexplored issue: the incidence of the origin of capitals in motivating social responsible behavior. Finally, we highlighted the need of strengthening the communication channels between the firms and the public.
    Keywords: corporate social responsibility, being socially responsible, Urugua
    JEL: M14
    Date: 2011–01
  9. By: Strieborny Martin
    Abstract: In egalitarian countries people believe that luck rather than hard work determines success in life and expect their government to provide both economic growth and social equity. This leads to a stronger dynamic interplay between government interventions, inequality and growth within such countries. The presented results thus confirm the importance of cultural factors and economic beliefs in shaping the inequality-growth link. More fundamentally, the paper demonstrates that cultural background does not only influence the long-run economic outcomes, but can also affect the joint dynamics of real economic variables within countries over time.
    Keywords: culture; inequality; growth
    JEL: O15 O40 P16 Z1
    Date: 2010–11
  10. By: Zuleika Ferre (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Mariana Gerstenblüth (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Máximo Rossi (Department of Economics, University of North Texas)
    Abstract: In this study, using data from the Religion, Health and Youth Emancipation survey, 2008 (DECON-FCS, Uruguay, ISSP), we estimate the probability of being happy with special emphasis on its relationship with religion and religiosity. We find that those who profess the Protestant faith are less happy than the rest. Those who attend religious services more frequently are more likely to be satisfied with life than those who do not.
    Keywords: happiness, religion, Uruguay
    JEL: D01 D60 Z12
    Date: 2010–10
  11. By: Marisa Bucheli (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Natalia Melgar (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Máximo Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Tom W. Smith (NORC, University of Chicago)
    Abstract: We examine the factors that shape job satisfaction and in particular, the direct and indirect effects of the educational level. Our motivation is based on extending a large body of researches that is focused on private sector data by employing a larger and widely heterogeneous set of micro-data and by including non-linear effects and indirect effects of education. Our dataset includes 25 countries and it comes from the 2007 survey carried out by the International Social Survey Program. We estimate a probit model which includes country-effects in order to control for specific environmental factors. Findings indicate that job satisfaction is negatively related to being male, living in a big city, the number of worked hours per week, and not being self-employed. We also find that age registers a non-linear impact and we provide evidence that individual educational level shows a positive effect but with a decreasing growth rate and also an indirect effect through earned income.
    Keywords: job satisfaction, cross-country research
    JEL: J28 J81 I31 Z13
    Date: 2010–08
  12. By: Mariana Gerstenblüth (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Todd Jewell (Department of Economics, University of North Texas); Máximo Rossi (Department of Economics, University of North Texas)
    Abstract: In this paper we study the relationship between individual happiness and self reported health status, using the Religion, Health and Young Emancipation ISSP survey for Uruguay in 2008. Probit estimates suggests that health status has the highest correlation with happiness. In order to control for the observed heterogeneity of this variable, we estimate using matching methods. Results show that reporting a good health rises the probability of being happy between 18 an 29 percentage points. Previous literature support this findings.
    Keywords: happiness, health, matching methods
    JEL: D60 I31 I12
    Date: 2010–09
  13. By: Gomez, José Andrés (University of Huelva); Merino, Bernat Roig (Polytechnic University of Valencia); Tur, Antonio Aledo (University of Alicante)
    Abstract: Social Sciences can, on occasions, be similar to the so called “hard” sciences. However, in many cases, neither the object nor the classical methods fit in with the objectives of the work. The object requires methodological and technical adjustments, which are often avoided by means of an improper rigidity of the object’s needs. These adjustments can even alter the original research idea. The main objective of this article consists of proving that those objects of study, less suitable to be addressed by rigid positivistic strategies, can be approached both scientifically and sociologically. This can be achieved with the use of different strategies and flexible methodologies to ensure validity and reliability standards. This paper will be posed, firstly, a reflection on the epistemological nature of the debate about the rigid-flexible perspectives. Secondly, the strategies and tools used by the research team to achieve the reduction of the uncertainty about the size and characteristics of the population studied will be described. Finally, some of the survey results obtained in this project will be compared to those provided by the FAMILITUR Survey (2008), conducted by the Spanish Institute of Tourist Studies (IET)
    Keywords: methodological flexibility; quantitative-qualitative approach; identity of social sciences; residential tourism
    JEL: C10
    Date: 2010–12–30

This nep-soc issue is ©2011 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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