nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2011‒11‒01
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. Teaching Practices and Social Capital By Algan, Yann; Cahuc, Pierre; Shleifer, Andrei
  2. Living under the ‘right’ government: does political ideology matter to trust in political institutions? By Justina AV Fischer
  3. Does Internet Use Crowd Out Face-To-Face Ties? Empirical Evidence from the Cumulative General Social Survey Data By Hun Myoung Park
  4. Like What You Like or Like What Others Like? - Conformity and Peer Effects on Facebook By Egebark, Johan; Ekström, Mathias
  5. Trust, reciprocity and altruism: An impossible addition By Di Bartolomeo Giovanni; Stefano Papa
  6. The Old Boy Network: Gender Differences in the Impact of Social Networks on Remuneration in Top Executive Jobs By Lalanne, Marie; Seabright, Paul
  7. Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment? By Peter Kuhn; Marie-Claire Villeval
  8. Neighborhood Effects and Individual Unemployment By Bauer, Thomas; Fertig, Michael; Vorell, Matthias
  9. Social networks: Prestige, centrality, and influence (Invited paper) By Agnieszka Rusinowska; Rudolf Berghammer; Harrie De Swart; Michel Grabisch
  10. An Agent-Based Model of Centralized Institutions, Social Network Technology, and Revolution By Michael D. Makowsky; Jared Rubin
  11. Social Approval, Competition, and Cooperation By Xiaofei Pan; Daniel Houser
  12. Diversity and Public Goods: a Natural Experiment with Exogeneous Residential Allocation By Algan, Yann; Hémet, Camille; Laitin, David
  13. Self-Confidence and Teamwork : An Experimental Test By Isabelle Vialle; Luis Santos-Pinto; Jean-Louis Rullière

  1. By: Algan, Yann; Cahuc, Pierre; Shleifer, Andrei
    Abstract: We use several data sets to consider the effect of teaching practices on student beliefs, as well as on organization of firms and institutions. In cross-country data, we show that teaching practices (such as copying from the board versus working on projects together) are strongly related to various dimensions of social capital, from beliefs in cooperation to institutional outcomes. We then use micro-data to investigate the influence of teaching practices on student beliefs about cooperation and students’ involvement in civic life. A two-stage least square strategy provides evidence that teaching practices have an independent sizeable effect on student social capital. The relationship between teaching practices and student test performance is nonlinear. The evidence supports the idea that progressive education promotes social capital.
    Keywords: Education; Social Capital; Teaching Practices
    JEL: I2 Z1
    Date: 2011–10
  2. By: Justina AV Fischer (Faculty of Economics, University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: This paper asks whether trust in political institutions depends on individual’s political leaning and the political ideology of the national government. We employ information on 140'000 individuals in 30 democratic OECD countries from the World Values Survey, 1981 – 2007, and estimate so-called micro-based pseudo-panel two-way fixed effects models. Distinguishing between extreme and moderate versions of leftist and rightist political leaning, our estimates reveal that political trust increases non-linearly in the degree of individual’s conservatism. We also find that political leaning is not instrumental to improving one's own socio-economic situation, thus rather constituting an expressive behavior. If government ideology matches individual’s political preferences, trust in political institutions is increased. In contrast, the ‘apolitical’ appears to distrust the political system as such. We also find evidence for a symmetric, but incomplete convergence of party ideologies to the median voter position. Implications for vote abstention are discussed.
    Keywords: political trust, government ideology, political leaning, World Values Survey
    JEL: D72 H11 Z13
    Date: 2011–10–14
  3. By: Hun Myoung Park (International University of Japan)
    Abstract: This study examines if Internet use crowds out or facilitates face-to-face ties by analyzing the cumulative General Social Survey data. Assumed is that the impact of Internet use varies according to types of Internet services and modes of Internet use. GSS data show that face-to-face engagements measured in spending a social evening, friends, and relatives staying in contact with, and voluntary membership remained almost unchanged for the past four decades. No sharp slash or jump was observed before and after the late 1990s. Spending a social evening with relatives, neighbors, and friends are not influenced by Internet use regardless of whether they are email, WWW, or deliberative and entertaining purposes. Emailing and deliberative use of WWW are positively related to the number of friends and relatives keeping in touch with by face-to-face, meetings or events, telephone, and U.S. postal mail, while the time spent for WWW has the negative effect. Finally, voluntary membership is positively associated with deliberative use of WWW and not with email and WWW use for entertainment. The Internet is not necessarily a technology culprit of the decline in social capital but its impact depends how effectively people use for society and themselves.
    Date: 2011–10
  4. By: Egebark, Johan (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Ekström, Mathias (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Users of the social networking service Facebook have the possibility to post status updates for their friends to read. In turn, friends may react to these short messages by writing comments or by pressing a Like button to show their appreciation. Making use of five Swedish accounts, we set up a natural field experiment to study whether users are more prone to Like an update if someone else has done so before. We distinguish between three different treatment conditions: (i) one unknown user Likes the update, (ii) three unknown users Like the update and (iii) one peer Likes the update. Whereas the first condition had no effect, both the second and the third increased the probability to express a positive opinion by a factor of two or more, suggesting that both number of predecessors and social proximity matters. We identify three reasonable explanations for the observed herding behavior and isolate conformity as the primary mechanism in our experiment.
    Keywords: Herding Behavior; Conformity; Peer Effects; Field Experiment
    JEL: A14 C93 D83
    Date: 2011–10–22
  5. By: Di Bartolomeo Giovanni; Stefano Papa
    Abstract: This paper attempts to measure conditional and unconditional other-regarding preferences in two versions of an investment game: a canonical one and a cheap-talk variant where some pre-play is also allowed (i.e., non-binding unilateral messages). We find that counter-factual measures, as the well-known triadic design (Cox, 2004 [G&EB]) may systematically fail in distinguishing between conditional and unconditional other-regarding preferences due to the existence of frame effects. Specifically, by using indirect methods, we document conditional other-regarding preferences that are systematically neglected by the triadic approach. By inspecting result from the cheap-talk variant of the game, we also find that messages have no effect on average, but they affect the participants’ behavior leading to a polarization of their choices.
    Keywords: Conditional and unconditional other-regarding preferences, trust, reciprocity, investment game, frame effect, polarization effect, cheap talk
    JEL: C91 D83
    Date: 2011–10
  6. By: Lalanne, Marie; Seabright, Paul
    Abstract: Using an original dataset describing the career history of some 16,000 senior executives and members of the non-executive board of US, UK, French and German companies, we investigate gender differences in the use of social networks and their impact on earnings. There is a large gender wage gap: women (who make up 8.8% of our sample) earned average salaries of $168,000 in 2008, only 70% of the average $241,000 earned by men. This is not due to differences in age, experience or education levels. Women are more likely than men to be non-executives, whose salaries are lower; nevertheless, a substantial gender gap still exists among executives. We construct measures of the number of currently influential people each individual has encountered previously in his or her career. We find that executive men's salaries are an increasing function of the number of such individuals they have encountered in the past while women's are not. Controlling for this discrepancy, there is no longer a significant gender gap among executives. These findings are robust to the use of different years, to the use of salaried versus non-salaried remuneration, and to the use of panel estimation to control rigorously for unobserved individual heterogeneity. In contrast to executives, the salaries of non-executive board members do not display a significant gender wage gap, nor any gender difference in the effectiveness with which men and women leverage their links into salaries. This suggests that adoption of gender quotas for board membership, as has been enacted or proposed recently in several European countries, is unlikely to reduce the gender gap in earnings so long as such quotas do not distinguish between executive and non-executive board members.
    Keywords: executive compensation; gender wage gap; social networks
    JEL: A14 J16 J31 J33
    Date: 2011–10
  7. By: Peter Kuhn (Department of Economics, University of California - University of California, Santa Barbara); Marie-Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure de Lyon)
    Abstract: Are women disproportionately attracted to work environments where cooperation rather than competition is rewarded? This paper reports the results of a real-effort experiment in which participants choose between an individual compensation scheme and a team-based payment scheme. We find that women are more likely than men to select team-based compensation in our baseline treatment, but women and men join teams with equal frequency when we add an efficiency advantage to team production. Using a simple structural discrete choice framework to reconcile these facts, we show that three elements can account for the observed patterns in the team-entry gender gap: (1) a gender gap in confidence in others (i.e. women are less pessimistic about their prospective teammates' relative ability), (2) a greater responsiveness among men to instrumental reasons for joining teams, and (3) a greater "pure" preference for working in a team environment among women.
    Keywords: Gender; cooperation; self-selection; confidence; experiment
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Bauer, Thomas (RWI); Fertig, Michael (ISG, Cologne); Vorell, Matthias (RWI)
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset for Germany that links individual longitudinal data from the GSOEP to regional data from the federal employment agency and data of real estate prices, we evaluate the impact of neighborhood unemployment on individual employment prospects. The panel setup and richness of the data allows us to overcome some of the identification problems which are present in this strand of literature. The empirical results indicate that there is a significant negative impact of neighborhood unemployment on the individual employment probability.
    Keywords: social interactions, unemployment, neighborhood characteristics
    JEL: J64 R23
    Date: 2011–10
  9. By: Agnieszka Rusinowska (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Rudolf Berghammer (Institut für Informatik - Universitat Kiel); Harrie De Swart (Faculteit Wijsbegeerte-Logica en taalanalyse - Universiteit van Tilburg); Michel Grabisch (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: We deliver a short overview of di erent centrality measures and influence concepts in social networks, and present the relation-algebraic approach to the concepts of power and influence. First, we briefly discuss four kinds of measures of centrality: the ones based on degree, closeness, betweenness, and the eigenvector-related measures. We consider centrality of a node and of a network. Moreover, we give a classi cation of the centrality measures based on a topology of network flows. Furthermore, we present a certain model of influence in a social network and discuss some applications of relation algebra and RelView to this model.
    Keywords: social network ; centrality ; prestige ; influence ; relation algebra ; RelView
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Michael D. Makowsky (Department of Economics, Towson University); Jared Rubin (Department of Economics, Chapman University)
    Abstract: Recent uprisings in the Arab world consist of individuals revealing vastly different preferences than were expressed prior to the uprisings. This paper sheds light on the general mechanisms underlying large-scale social and institutional change. We employ an agent-based model to test the impact of authority centralization and social network technology on preference revelation and falsification, social protest, and institutional change. We find that the amount of social and institutional change is decreasing with authority centralization in simulations with low network range but is increasing with authority centralization in simulations with greater network range. The relationship between institutional change and social shocks is not linear, but rather is characterized by sharp discontinuities. The threshold at which a shock can “tip” a system towards institutional change is decreasing with the geographic reach of citizen social networks. Farther reaching social networks reduce the robustness and resilience of central authorities to change. This helps explain why highly centralized regimes frequently attempt to restrict information flows via the media and Internet. More generally, our results highlight the role that information and communication technology can play in triggering cascades of preference revelation and revolutionary activity in varying institutional regimes.
    Keywords: preference falsification, revolution, protest, network technology, agent-based model.
    JEL: C63 Z13 D83 D85 D71 H11
    Date: 2011–10
  11. By: Xiaofei Pan; Daniel Houser
    Date: 2011–10–20
  12. By: Algan, Yann; Hémet, Camille; Laitin, David
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates the effects of ethnic and religious diversity on the quality of public spaces. Its identification strategy relies on the exogeneity of public housing allocations in France, and thereby eliminates the bias from endogenous sorting. The paper uses micro evidence of social interactions within housing blocks from the representative French Housing survey, which allows for a detailed identification of the channels through which diversity operates. Differentiating among three channels of public goods provision, the paper finds that heterogeneity in the housing block leads to low levels of sanctions for anti-social behavior and low levels of collective action to improve housing conditions, but no losses in public safety.
    Keywords: Discrimination; Fractionalization; Public Good
    JEL: H10 H41
    Date: 2011–10
  13. By: Isabelle Vialle (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France); Luis Santos-Pinto (Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Lausanne, Internef 535, CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland); Jean-Louis Rullière (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: We use a laboratory experiment to study how perceptions of skill influence teamwork. Our design is based on Gervais and Goldstein (2007) theory of teams. Team output is increasing in skill and in effort, skill and effort are complements, and workers’ effort choices are complements. An overconfident agent thinks that his skill is higher than it actually is. We find that the presence of overconfi-dent workers in teams is beneficial for firms since it raises effort provision and team output. We also find that overconfidence leads to a Pareto improvement in workers’ payoffs. In contrast, underconfidence is detrimental to firms as well as workers.
    Keywords: Teamwork; Self-Confidence, Laboratory Experiment
    JEL: D81 C91
    Date: 2011

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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