nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2011‒03‒26
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. Homeownership and Social Capital in New Zealand By Matthew Roskruge; Arthur Grimes; Philip McCann; Jacques Poot
  2. What drives women out of entrepreneurship? The joint role of testosterone and culture By Luigi Guiso; Aldo Rustichini
  3. Trust in Public Institutions over the Business Cycle By Stevenson, Betsey; Wolfers, Justin
  4. Hormones and Social Preferences By Thomas Buser
  5. Networks and Anti-Poverty Programs: The NREG Experience By Shylashri Shankar; Raghav Gaiha
  6. Differences in the effect of social capital on health status between workers and non-workers By Yamamura, Eiji
  7. Does corruption affect suicide? Empirical evidence from OECD countries By Yamamura, Eiji; Andres, Antonio R
  8. Does Cultural Diversity Help Innovation in Cities: Evidence from London Firms By Neil Lee; Max Nathan
  9. How Important is the Family?: Evidence from Sibling Correlations in Permanent Earnings in the US, Germany and Denmark By Daniel D. Schnitzlein
  10. Laboratory and Field Experiments on Social Dilemmas. By Stoop, J.T.R.
  11. Reproduction of institutions through people’s practices: Evidences from a Gram Panchayat in Kerala By Rajesh , K
  12. Democratization and Civil Liberties: The Role of Violence During the Transition By Cervellati, Matteo; Fortunato, Piergiuseppe; Sunde, Uwe
  13. Determinants for community participation in conservation efforts of a endemic species through cultivation: the experience in three rural communities of Guatemala By Miguel Quiroga; Mario Villatoro Martin Velasquez; José Pablo Prado Córdova

  1. By: Matthew Roskruge (University of Waikato); Arthur Grimes (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Philip McCann (University of Groningen); Jacques Poot (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Does homeownership affect individual social capital and thereby influence local outcomes? Following DiPasquale and Glaeser, a body of literature suggests that homeownership is positively related to social capital formation. Homeowners have an incentive to engage in the local community in order to preserve or enhance the value of their housing asset. Moreover, homeownership creates barriers to geographic mobility, which increases the present value of the expected stream of benefits from local community social capital. We test the homeownership hypothesis alongside other individual, household and locational determinants of social capital using unique data created by merging the 2006 and 2008 samples of the New Zealand Quality of Life survey. The measures of social capital used in our analysis include trust in others, participation in social networks, attitude towards local governance and sense of community. Since homeownership is not randomly assigned, we complement our regression models with propensity score matching to control for selection effects. The results confirm that homeownership exerts considerable positive impact in the formation of social capital in New Zealand communities. In raising accountability of local government it does, however, lead to reduced satisfaction by homeowners in the performance of local councils.
    Keywords: social capital, homeownership, New Zealand, matching methods
    JEL: H54 R11 Z13
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: Luigi Guiso; Aldo Rustichini
    Abstract: The ratio of second to fourth digit (2D4D) has been shown to correlate negatively with entrepreneurial skills and financial success. We document that in a sample of entrepreneurs women have a lower 2D4D ratio than men, in sharp contrast with the features of the distribution in random samples. Exploiting variation across communities in indices correlated with women emancipation, we show that in regions where women are less emancipated their average DR is lower than that of men compared to regions with higher indices. This finding is consistent with the existence of gender related obstacles into entrepreneurship so that only women with well above average entrepreneurial skills find it attractive to self-select into entrepreneurship. This finding can rationalize three facts: a) fewer women than men are entrepreneurs; b) the proportion of women among entrepreneurs tends to be higher in countries with higher women emancipation; c) women who break the barrier into entrepreneurship seem to show more masculine traits. We also find that once women enter entrepreneurship, they are equally able than man to translate their ability into outcomes for the firm.
    Keywords: Women emancipation, Entrepreneurial ability, Digit Ratio, Testosterone, Entrepreneurship
    JEL: L26 L21 L25
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Stevenson, Betsey (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania); Wolfers, Justin (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: We document that trust in public institutions – and particularly trust in banks, business and government – has declined over recent years. U.S. time series evidence suggests that this partly reflects the pro-cyclical nature of trust in institutions. Cross-country comparisons reveal a clear legacy of the Great Recession, and those countries whose unemployment grew the most suffered the biggest loss in confidence in institutions, particularly in trust in government and the financial sector. Finally, analysis of several repeated cross-sections of confidence within U.S. states yields similar qualitative patterns, but much smaller magnitudes in response to state-specific shocks.
    Keywords: trust, institutions, confidence, survey data, congress, banks, big business, media, courts
    JEL: D72 E32 E65 K0 O4 P52 Z13
    Date: 2011–03
  4. By: Thomas Buser (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We examine whether social preferences are determined by hormones. We do this by investigating whether markers for the strength of prenatal testosterone exposure (finger length ratios) and current exposure to progesterone and oxytocin (the menstrual cycle) are correlated with choices in social preference games. We find that subjects with finger ratios indicating high prenatal testosterone exposure give less in the trust, ultimatum and public good games and return a smaller proportion in the trust game. The choices of female subjects vary over the menstrual cycle according to a pattern consistent with a positive impact of oxytocin on giving in the trust and ultimatum games and a positive impact of progesterone on altruism. We find no impact for subjects taking hormonal contraceptives. We conclude that both prenatal and current exposure to hormones play an important role in shaping social preferences.
    Keywords: social preferences; 2D:4D; testosterone; progesterone; oxytocin
    JEL: C91 D87
    Date: 2011–02–24
  5. By: Shylashri Shankar; Raghav Gaiha
    Abstract: Governments struggle with the reality that the beneficiaries of anti-poverty programs are powerless to influence policies and stem the possibility of capture of benefits by the nonpoor. Networks – social and political – are supposed to increase the ability of the lesspowerful to access their entitlements. The paper assesses whether socially and politically networked households do in fact have better awareness of the components of the program and of the processes of decision making, and whether such networking makes them more likely to vocalize their dissatisfaction when their entitlements are threatened. India's national rural employment guarantee scheme's (NREG) institutional design (mandating village assemblies to authorize decisions on the projects) makes it a good test case. Our results show that links to social and political networks do significantly increase the awareness of the villagers on the program's components and enhances their ability to seek redress of their grievances.
    Keywords: Networks, anti-poverty programs, NREG, India
    JEL: C21 C81 D31 D60 L14
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship of social capital to self-rated health status in Japan, and how this is affected by the labor market. Data of 3075 adult participants in the 2000 Social Policy and Social Consciousness (SPSC) survey were used. Controlling for endogenous bias, the main finding is that social capital has a significant positive influence on health status for people without a job but not for those with. This empirical study provides evidence that people without a job can afford to allocate time to accumulate social capital and thereby improve their health status.
    Keywords: health status; social capital; labor market.
    JEL: I19 J22 Z13
    Date: 2011–03–06
  7. By: Yamamura, Eiji; Andres, Antonio R
    Abstract: Panel data regressions for 24 OECD countries showed that the less corrupt a society is, the lower the total suicide rate. This effect was approximately three times larger for males than for females. It follows that corruption has a detrimental effect on social well-being.
    Keywords: Corruption; Panel data; Suicide; OECD
    JEL: D73 H75 I18
    Date: 2011–03–08
  8. By: Neil Lee; Max Nathan
    Abstract: London is one of the world's major cities, and one of its most diverse. London's cultural diversity is widely seen as a social asset, but there is little hard evidence on its importance for the city's businesses. Theory and evidence suggest various links between urban cultural diversity and innovation, at individual, firm and urban level. This paper uses a sample of 7,400 firms to investigate, exploiting the natural experiment of A8 accession. The results, which are robust to most endogeneity challenges, suggest there is a small but significant 'diversity bonus' for London firms. Diverse management teams are particularly important for ideas generation, reaching international markets and serving London's cosmopolitan population.
    Keywords: cities, innovation, entrepreneurship, cultural diversity, migration, London
    JEL: J61 L21 M13 O11 O31 R23
    Date: 2011–02
  9. By: Daniel D. Schnitzlein
    Abstract: This paper is the first to analyze intergenerational economic mobility based on sibling correlations in permanent earnings in Germany and to provide a cross-country comparison of Germany, Denmark, and the US. The main findings are as follows: the importance of family and community background in Germany is higher than in Denmark and comparable to that in the US. This holds true for brothers and sisters. In Denmark 20 percent of the inequality in permanent earnings can be attributed to family and community factors shared by brothers while the corresponding estimates are 43 percent in Germany and 45 percent in the US. For sisters the estimates are 19 percent for Denmark, 39 percent for Germany and 29 percent for the US. This ranking is shown to be robust against alternative approaches.
    Keywords: Sibling correlations, intergenerational mobility, inequality, REML
    JEL: J62
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Stoop, J.T.R. (Tilburg University)
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Rajesh , K
    Abstract: This paper analyses the dynamics of participatory institutions in Kudayathur Gram Panchayat in Kerala. It also explores how the different fields of society in panchayat internalised and reproduced these institutions through their actual practices. The study has adopted a relational methodology, linking the subjective stand point of individuals or groups, affiliated to institutions, with their objective position in the society. It has applied methods like in-depth dialogues with informants along with group discussions and document analysis. The study reached the conclusion that institutions in GP largely failed in achieving their objectives. Apathetic approach of the political parties, aversion of the middle and upper middle class groups towards public institutions, and inability of the marginalised groups in involving such institutions were the major hurdles in achieving their ideal objectives.
    Keywords: participatory institutions; marginalised groups
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2010–02–01
  12. By: Cervellati, Matteo (University of Bologna); Fortunato, Piergiuseppe (UNCTAD); Sunde, Uwe (University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of violent civil conflicts during the process of democratization for the quality of emerging democracies, and in particular, the protection of civil (political and economic) liberties. A simple theory in which different groups may engage in violent conflict in order to become the ruler predicts a crucial role of the democratization scenario. A peaceful democratization leads to democracies with a high degree of civil liberties, reflecting a social contract according to which all groups are politically represented and the rulers deliberately abstain from wasteful rent extraction. A transition to democracy under a violent conflict is less likely to lead to a system with a high degree of civil liberties. Empirical evidence from the third wave of democratization based on a difference-in-difference methodology supports the theoretical predictions. The findings suggest that violent conflicts during the democratic transition have persistent negative effects on the quality of the emerging democracies.
    Keywords: democratization, civil conflict, violent democratization, civil liberties
    JEL: H10 O20 N10
    Date: 2011–03
  13. By: Miguel Quiroga (Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Concepción, Chile); Mario Villatoro Martin Velasquez (Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Concepción, Chile); José Pablo Prado Córdova (Faculty of Agronomy, University of San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala)
    Keywords: : Abies guatemalensis; Pinabete; Cultivation; Conservation; Contribution, Participation
    Date: 2010

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