nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2011‒06‒11
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. Who trusts Berlusconi? An econometric analysis of the role of television in the political arena By Fabio Sabatini
  2. Violence, social capital and economic development: Evidence of a microeconomic vicious circle By Leonardo Becchetti; Pierluigi Conzo; Alessandro Romeo
  3. The Emergence of Leadership in Social Networks By T. Clemson; T. S. Evans
  4. Community Matters: How the Volunteering of Others Affects One's Likelihood of Engaging in Volunteer Work By Theodoros M. Diasakos; Florence Neymotin
  5. Cooperative Attitudes in Nonprofit Firms. Evidence from An Artefactual Field Experiment with Workers of Social Cooperatives By Luigi Mittone; Matteo Ploner
  6. Child health and mothers’ social capital in Indonesia through crisis By Sujarwoto; Gindo Tampubolon
  7. Corruption and economic growth: A meta-analysis of the evidence on low-income countries and beyond By Ugur, Mehmet; Dasgupta, Nandini
  8. Bayesian group belief. By Dietrich, Franz
  9. When and how does corporate social responsibility encourage customer orientation? By Daniel Korschun; C.B. Bhattacharya; Scott D. Swain

  1. By: Fabio Sabatini
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature by carrying out the first econometric investigation into the role of television in the formation of political consensus in Italy. Based on probit and instrumental variables estimates, we find trust in television to be the most significant predictor of trust in the Italian prime minister. The latter is also strongly and negatively correlated with trust in the judicial system and tolerance towards immigrants.
    Keywords: Trust; institutions; democracy; television; media; social capital; Italy; instrumental variables.
    JEL: D72 D83 H8 L82 Z1 Z13
    Date: 2011–05–08
  2. By: Leonardo Becchetti (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Pierluigi Conzo (University of Rome Tor Vergata & EIEF); Alessandro Romeo (University of Rome Tor Vergata & World Bank)
    Abstract: We test with a randomized experiment in the slums of Nairobi whether violence suffered during the 2007 political outbreaks affects trustworthiness learning when participants live group experiences and face opportunism and free riding in public good games (PGGs) between two subsequent trust games (TGs). Our findings document that participants move toward balanced reciprocity after the PGG with the exception of those who have experienced directly or indirectly physical violence and/or forced relocation who exhibit significantly less trustworthiness in the second TG round. Results are robust to several robustness checks controlling for selection into victimization. Since in a framework of asymmetric information and incomplete contracts, trust games mimic sequential economic exchanges whose functioning is crucial to economic growth, we argue that our results identify a microeconomic nexus among socio-political instability, violence and growth helping to solve identification problems of the cross-country literature on the subject.
    Keywords: trust games, public good games, randomized experiment, social capital, socioeconomic instability and development.
    JEL: O12 C93 Z13
    Date: 2011
  3. By: T. Clemson; T. S. Evans
    Abstract: We study a networked version of the minority game in which agents can choose to follow the choices made by a neighbouring agent in a social network. We show that for a wide variety of networks a leadership structure always emerges, with most agents following the choice made by a few agents. We find a suitable parameterisation which highlights the universal aspects of the behaviour and which also indicates where results depend on the type of social network.
    Date: 2011–06
  4. By: Theodoros M. Diasakos; Florence Neymotin
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of the volunteering of others on the likelihood that an individual will also engage in volunteering activities. The theoretical part of our analysis is based on a sequential signaling framework, in which the decisions of others to volunteer are informative as to the benefit from volunteering. In this framework, the interaction between one's private information and the public belief when she is called upon to act makes it more likely that she will volunteer, given a higher average level of contributions by her predecessors. To test this empirically, we measure the effect of average volunteering in the community on the likelihood that an individual will volunteer, controlling for individual and community characteristics. We use Census 2000 Summary File 3 and Current Population Survey (CPS) 2004-2007 September supplement files. Our results are robust to various choices of sample, by years analyzed, working status, and whether or not the volunteering included religious activities. We account for reflection bias by means of an instrumental variables strategy which further verifies the pattern of our results.
    Keywords: volunteer; public good; signaling; community characteristics
    JEL: H4 D8
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Luigi Mittone; Matteo Ploner
    Abstract: We investigate strategic choices of individuals working for social cooperatives in Italy. Specifically, a 2-players Prisoner’s Dilemma is administered as an attachment to a nationwide survey of nonprofit organizations. We experimentally manipulate social proximity of the participants and efficiency of cooperation. We show that higher efficiency of cooperation has a significant positive impact on the cooperation rate in the game, while closer social proximity does not significantly affect choices. In addition, a positive correlation between perceived organizational fairness and self–reported intrinsic motivation is identified in the sample under investigation. This finding provides stimulating insights on the interplay between organizational features and workers’ motivational factors.
    Keywords: Cooperation, Field Experiments, Social Dilemmas, Nonprofit Organizations
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Sujarwoto; Gindo Tampubolon
    Abstract: Social capital has been shown to be positively associated with a range of health outcomes, yet few studies have explored the association between mothers’ social capital and child health. We examine the relationship between mothers' access to social capital via participations in community activities and their children's health. Instrumental variable estimator is used to deal with reverse causality. Data come from the Indonesian Family Life Surveys (IFLS) of 1997, 2000, and 2007. We find strong evidence for the association between mother's social capital and child health before and after the Asian financial crisis. In contrast, there is no relation between mother's social capital and child health during the crisis. The results suggest that the link between mother's social capital and child health is severely ruptured during the period of the crisis, possibly by reducing the number of available community activities and the ability of mothers to participate in such activities.
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Ugur, Mehmet; Dasgupta, Nandini
    Abstract: Corruption is a symptom and outcome of institutional deficiency, with potentially adverse effects on economic growth. This paper aims to provide a synthesis of the existing evidence on the relationship between corruption and economic growth - controlling for effect type, data sources, and country groupings. Using 32 key search terms and 43 low-income country names, we searched in 20 electronic databases and obtained 1,002 studies. Initial screening on the basis of PIOS (Population-Independent Variable-Outcome-Study Design) criteria and critical evaluation on the basis VRA (Validity-Reliability-Applicability) criteria led to inclusion of 115 studies for analysis. We conduct a meta-analysis of the empirical findings in 72 empirical studies, using fixed-effect and random-effect weighted means and testing for significance through precision-effect tests (PETs). Our findings indicate that corruption has a negative effect on per-capita GDP growth overall. We also report that corruption is relatively more detrimental in mixed countries as opposed to low-income countries only and that indirect effects of corruption on growth (through the human capital and public finance channels) are larger than its direct effects.
    Keywords: Corruption; institutions; governance; economic growth; meta-analysis; systematic reviews
    JEL: O11 O47 O43
    Date: 2011–04–20
  8. By: Dietrich, Franz
    Abstract: If a group is modelled as a single Bayesian agent, what should its beliefs be? I propose an axiomatic model that connects group beliefs to beliefs of the group members. The group members may have different information, different prior beliefs and even different domains (algebras) within which they hold beliefs, accounting for differences in awareness and conceptualisation. As is shown, group beliefs can incorporate all information spread across individuals without individuals having to explicitly communicate their information (that may be too complex or personal to describe, or not describable in principle in the language). The group beliefs derived here take a simple multiplicative form if people's information is independent (and a more complex form if information overlaps arbitrarily). This form contrasts with familiar linear or geometric opinion pooling and the (Pareto) requirement of respecting unanimous beliefs.
    Date: 2010–10
  9. By: Daniel Korschun (LeBow College of Business, Drexel University); C.B. Bhattacharya (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Scott D. Swain (Northeastern University)
    Abstract: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an asset that companies can leverage to improve relationships with both customers and employees. This paper extends prior research by examining when and how CSR improves an employee’s relationship with customers. More specifically, we develop a model linking CSR activity to one of marketing’s most central constructs – the customer orientation of frontline employees. Drawing from social identity theory, the model predicts that the effect of CSR activity on customer orientation is mediated by the dual identities of frontline employees: identification with customers and identification with the company. Moreover, the model predicts that distinct aspects of CSR are related to each of these identities; the extent to which an employee senses that customers share his or her “demand” for CSR contributes to identification with customers, while the perceived efficacy of CSR activities and the employee’s participation in CSR contribute to organizational identification. A field study of 534 customer-contact employees from multiple companies in the hospitality and retail industries provides empirical support for the model.
    Keywords: corporate social responsibility, employee-customer relationships, organizational identification, customer orientation
    Date: 2011–05–31

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