nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2011‒03‒05
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. A Roy Model of Social Interactions By Cicala, Steve; Fryer, Roland G.; Spenkuch, Jörg L.
  2. Leaving home and housing prices. The experience of Italian youth emancipation By Francesca Modena; Concetta Rondinelli
  3. The Development of Egalitarianism, Altruism, Spite and Parochialism in Childhood and Adolescence By Fehr, Ernst; Rützler, Daniela; Sutter, Matthias
  4. Evaluation of social capital promotion in rural development programmes: a methodological approach By Pisani, Elena; Franceschetti, Giorgio
  5. Trust in the USâEU Fruit and Vegetable Chain: Do US Exporters Understand EU Importers? By Ameseder, Christoph; House, Lisa; Haas, Rainer; Meixner, Oliver; Fritz, Melanie; Dahl, Ellie; Hofstede, Gert Jan
  6. Myopic or Farsighted? An Experiment on Network Formation By Marco Mantovani; Georg Kirchsteiger; Ana Mauleon; Vincent Vannetelbosch
  7. Monetary Rewards, Image Concern, and Intrinsic Motivation: Evidence from a Survey on Blood Donation By Lan Shi
  8. Individual Heterogeneity in Punishment and Reward By Leibbrandt, Andreas; López-Pérez, Raúl
  9. 'Hiding behind a small cake' in a newspaper dictator game By Axel Ockenfels; Peter Werner
  10. Innovation Trajectories in Hondurasâ Coffee Value Chain? â Public and the Private Influence on the Use of new Knowledge and Technology among Coffee Growers â By Fromm, Ingrid; Hartwich, Frank; Romero, Gustavo
  11. The social costs of responsibility By Steven J. Humphrey; Elke Renner
  12. Empathy as Added Value in Predicting Donation Behavior By G. A. VERHAERT; D. VAN DEN POEL
  13. A study on the socio-economic determinants of suicide: Evidence from 13 European OECD countries By Okada, Keisuke; Samreth, Sovannroeun

  1. By: Cicala, Steve; Fryer, Roland G.; Spenkuch, Jörg L.
    Abstract: We develop a Roy model of social interactions in which individuals sort into peer groups based on comparative advantage. Two key results emerge: First, when comparative advantage is the guiding principle of peer group organization, the effect of moving a student into an environment with higher-achieving peers depends on where in the ability distribution she falls and the effective wages that clear the social market. In this sense our model may rationalize the widely varying estimates of peer effects found in the literature without casting group behavior as an externality in agents’ objective functions. Second, since a student’s comparative advantage is typically unobserved, the theory implies that important determinants of individual choice operate through the error term and may, even under random assignment, be correlated with the regressor of interest. As a result, linear in means estimates of peer effects are not identified. We show that the model’s testable prediction in the presence of this confounding issue–an individual’s ordinal rank predicts her behavior, ceteris paribus–is borne out in two data sets
    Keywords: social interactions; peer effects; roy model; idenitification
    JEL: I20 J01
    Date: 2011–02
  2. By: Francesca Modena; Concetta Rondinelli
    Abstract: This paper provides an explanation for the postponement of the youth emancipa- tion in the Italian context mainly characterized by a sharp increase in both house and rent prices together with a stagnant disposable income over the last decade. We first assemble a unique database related to the housing and rental market value which is then matched with household characteristics. We find a significant effect of the real estate market: the probability of moving out decreases by about 0.45% and 1.18% for males and females respectively for a one-standard-deviation increase in house prices. Together with property prices, local labour markets play a prominent role in determin- ing unemployed youth decisions to postpone the transition. The youngest cohort was mainly affected by the real estate market evolution occurred in the last decade
    Keywords: coresidence, moving out, real estate market, discrete time duration model
    JEL: C41 D1 J12 R2
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Fehr, Ernst (University of Zurich); Rützler, Daniela (University of Innsbruck); Sutter, Matthias (University of Innsbruck)
    Abstract: We study how the distribution of other-regarding preferences develops with age. Based on a set of allocation choices, we can classify each of 717 subjects, aged 8 to 17 years, as either egalitarian, altruistic, or spiteful. Varying the allocation recipient as either an in-group or an out-group member, we can also study how parochialism develops with age. We find a strong decrease in spitefulness with increasing age. Egalitarianism becomes less frequent, and altruism much more prominent, with age. Women are more frequently classified as egalitarian than men, and less often as altruistic. Parochialism first becomes significant in the teenage years.
    Keywords: other-regarding preferences, egalitarianism, altruism, spite, parochialism, experiments with children and adolescents
    JEL: C91
    Date: 2011–02
  4. By: Pisani, Elena; Franceschetti, Giorgio
    Abstract: The academic literature makes evident that the main immaterial contribution of the LEADER approach (LA) consists in the promotion of social capital in rural areas. Therefore the insertion of LA in the framework of Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) should be considered as a powerful opportunity to promote rural development initiatives by means of a bottom-up methodology, much more focused on social relationships among local actors. These aspects open new opportunities also in terms of evaluations of RDPs and of LA, in the context of the already established Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (CMEF). The objective of this paper is to present a methodology for the definition of the Relative Index of Social Capital Promotion (RISCP) to be used in the ongoing evaluation of RDPs. The RISCP doesnât represent an impact indicator, but it measures the potential social capital that could be promoted by means of the logic of intervention of selected measures of the RDPs.
    Keywords: social capital, rural development programmes, evaluation, index, Agricultural and Food Policy, Z0,
    Date: 2011–02–10
  5. By: Ameseder, Christoph; House, Lisa; Haas, Rainer; Meixner, Oliver; Fritz, Melanie; Dahl, Ellie; Hofstede, Gert Jan
    Abstract: Research on organizational and interâorganizational trust has become an important field in management and marketing literature, as it is perceived as a pivotal aspect of business transactions. However, clarifications are still needed on the issue of whom we trust; is the person whom we are trading with trusted, or the organization, or just the productâquality? Not only has this question not been answered within this field of research, neither have cultural differences have been described to any great extent. Additionally, if the perceived factors important to establish trusting relationships may or may not be the same on the buyers and the sellers side in international business transaction in food chains. The primary objective of this research study therefore is to identify how well US exporters understand the elements of trust that establish strong relationships with EU importers. The Analytical Hierarchy Process was used to evaluate the importance of different trust elements in interviews conducted with US exporters and EU importers of fruits and vegetables. Results are compared, providing both a picture of the important facets of trust, as well as whether the partners understand the perspectives of the other partner.
    Keywords: trust, perceived trust, importance of trust factors business transaction, supply chain, fruit and vegetable, US, EU, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Farm Management, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Marketing, Production Economics, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2010–10
  6. By: Marco Mantovani; Georg Kirchsteiger; Ana Mauleon; Vincent Vannetelbosch
    Abstract: Pairwise stability (Jackson and Wolinsky, 1996) is the standard stability concept in network formation. It assumes myopic behavior of the agents in the sense that they do not forecast how others might react to their actions. Assuming that agents are farsighted, related stability concepts have been proposed. We design a simple network formation experiment to test these theories. Our results provide support for farsighted stability and strongly reject the idea of myopic behavior.
    Keywords: Network fomation; Experiment; Myopic and farsighted stability
    JEL: D85 C91 C92
    Date: 2011–02
  7. By: Lan Shi
    Date: 2011–02
  8. By: Leibbrandt, Andreas (Department of Economics, University of Chicago); López-Pérez, Raúl (Departamento de Análisis Económico (Teoría e Historia Económica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.)
    Abstract: We design experiments to study the extent to which individuals differ in their motivations behind costly punishment and rewarding. Our findings qualify existing evidence and suggest that the largest fraction of players is motivated by a mixture of both inequity-aversion and reciprocity, while smaller fractions are primarily motivated by pure inequity-aversion and pure reciprocity. These findings provide new insights into the literature on other-regarding preferences and may help to reconcile important phenomena reported in the experimental literature on punishment and reward.
    Keywords: Heterogeneity; inequity aversion; monetary punishment/reward; reciprocity; social norms.
    JEL: C70 C91 D63 D74 Z13
    Date: 2011–01
  9. By: Axel Ockenfels; Peter Werner
    Abstract: We conduct an Internet dictator game experiment in collaboration with the popular German Sunday paper "Welt am Sonntag", employing a wider and more representative subject pool than standard laboratory experiments. Recipients either knew or did not know the size of the cake distributed by the dictator. We find that, in case of incomplete information, some dictators 'hide behind the small cake', supporting the notion that some agents' beliefs directly enter the social utility function.
    Keywords: dictator game, psychological games, incomplete information, newspaper experiment
    Date: 2011–02–25
  10. By: Fromm, Ingrid; Hartwich, Frank; Romero, Gustavo
    Abstract: In this paper we present results from a study on the use of improved coffee production technology schemes among smallholder coffee producers in three prominent coffee producing regions in Honduras. We analyze the impact of various schemes (trajectories) in which different agents influence the producersâ decision to use new technologies. In particular, we distinguish the influence of a) private coffee buying organizations and b) government and public development agencies on the innovation behavior of coffee growers. Drawing from network data that depict the internal and outbound connectedness of producers in three village communities in main coffee producing zones in Honduras, we applied tools of social network analysis to find out how interactions with certain agents, separately and cumulatively, has influenced their use of improved methods in coffee production and marketing. The results suggest that there are significant differences in the way that various providers of knowledge and technology, especially private buyers and development agencies, influence the farmersâ behavior towards innovation. The influence of buyers, according to our data, is focused on certification and quality aspects, whereas development agents focus on improved agronomic practices. We also find that farmers who communicate with the extension branch of input providers tend to be more innovative. These results suggest that development programs should take more seriously into account the role of private actors in innovation among agricultural producers and, hence, design development programs in such a way to allow for collaboration with these agents.
    Keywords: Coffee production, innovation, upgrading, social networks, Honduras, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Farm Management, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, International Relations/Trade, Marketing, Production Economics, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2010–10
  11. By: Steven J. Humphrey (Fachbereich Wirtschaftwissenschaften, Universitaet Osnabrueck); Elke Renner (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: We use an experimental lottery choice task and public goods game to examine if responsibility for the financial welfare of others affects decisionmaking behaviour in two different types of decision environments. We find no evidence that responsibility affects individual risk preferences. Responsibility does, however, crowd-out cooperation in a public goods game.
    Keywords: responsibility, risk attitudes, social preferences, public goods game
    JEL: C72 C91 D74 H41
    Date: 2011–02
    Abstract: Past behavior and sociodemographics represent traditional predictors of charitable giving. The present study examines, in a real fundraising setting, whether measures of empathy (i.e., empathic concern and personal distress) can improve these predictions. The findings confirm the relevance of traditional predictor sets and the added value of including measures of empathy. Empathic concern positively affects the donation decision. In addition, empathy negatively affects the donor’s generosity toward one charity. However, for people with high empathic concern, considering only generosity toward one charity could be misleading because such people are more likely to donate to different charities. This result has implications for overall generosity. Therefore, a clear distinction between both personality traits is necessary.
    Keywords: charitable giving, field study, personality traits, empathy, fundraising, hierarchical regression
    Date: 2010–12
  13. By: Okada, Keisuke; Samreth, Sovannroeun
    Abstract: This paper examines the factors affecting suicide in 13 European OECD countries from a socio-economic perspective. We use the autoregressive distributed lag approach to cointegration as the estimation methodology. Our results reveal that an increasing impact of divorce rates and a decreasing effect of per capita real GDP on suicide are confirmed in 9 countries. However, the evidence on the effects of fertility rates and per capita alcohol consumption are relatively less. For fertility rates, the results reveal that its increase leads to a decrease in suicide rates in four countries and a rise in suicide rates in one country. As for per capita alcohol consumption, the evidence supporting its significantly increasing effects on suicide rates is only confirmed in three countries. In addition, the tests of the cumulative sum and the cumulative sum of squares of the recursive residuals provide evidence indicating the stability of the estimated model.
    Keywords: Suicide; European OECD Countries; Socio-economic Factors
    JEL: I12 J17 C22
    Date: 2011–02

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