nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2012‒03‒08
fifteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. Does Family Composition Affect Social Networking? By Heizler (Cohen), Odelia; Kimhi, Ayal
  2. You Can Pick Your Friends, But You Need to Watch Them: Loan Screening and Enforcement in a Referrals Field Experiment By Gharad T. Bryan; Dean Karlan; Jonathan Zinman
  3. Toward an Understanding of Why People Discriminate: Evidence from a Series of Natural Field Experiments By Uri Gneezy; John List; Michael K. Price
  4. From Property Rights and Institutions, to Beliefs and Social Orders: Revisiting Douglass North’s Approach to Development. By Dellepiane-Avellaneda, Sebastian
  5. Segregation, Choice Based Letting and Social Housing: How Housing Policy Can Affect the Segregation Process By van Ham, Maarten; Manley, David
  6. Do Reported Attitudes towards Immigrants Predict Ethnic Discrimination? By Carlsson, Magnus; Eriksson, Stefan
  7. Desert and inequity aversion in teams By David, Gill; Rebecca, Stone
  8. Does Generosity Beget Generosity? Alumni Giving and Undergraduate Financial Aid By Jonathan Meer; Harvey S. Rosen
  9. The choice of domestic policies in a globalized economy By Fischer, Justina A.V.
  10. From the lab to the field: envelopes, dictators and manners By Stoop, Jan
  11. A noncooperative model of network formation with decreasing productivity By Charoensook, Banchongsan
  12. Technological learning in the Silicon Valleys of Latin America. By Ciravegna, Luciano
  13. Capital social y políticas públicas: análisis del efecto del programa de coinversión social sobre las organizaciones de la sociedad civil By Patricia López Rodríguez; Isidro Soloaga; Rodolfo de la Torre García
  14. Service Encounter Model Focused on Customer Benefits and Satisfaction: Reconsideration of Psychological Model By Takahiro Chiba
  15. Experience of technological and natural disasters and their impact on the perceived risk of nuclear accidents after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan 2011: A cross-country analysis. By Yamamura, Eiji

  1. By: Heizler (Cohen), Odelia (Hebrew University, Jerusalem); Kimhi, Ayal (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of family composition, and in particular the number of children, the age gap between the oldest and youngest child and the age of the youngest child, on parents' involvement in social networks. The predictions of a simple theoretical model are confirmed by an empirical analysis of Israeli Social Survey data for 2002-2006. The number of children has a U -shaped effect on parents' involvement in social networks, with substantial differences between fathers and mothers. The negative effect is dominant on the mothers' involvement in social networks, while the positive effect is dominant on the father's involvement in social networks. The age gap between children has a positive effect on both parents' involvement in social networks, while the age of the youngest child has a positive effect on the father's involvement in social networks. These results imply that social network considerations might be important for fertility decisions.
    Keywords: social networks, family composition, children
    JEL: J12 J13 D85
    Date: 2012–02
  2. By: Gharad T. Bryan; Dean Karlan; Jonathan Zinman
    Abstract: We examine a randomized trial that allows separate identification of peer screening and enforcement of credit contracts. A South African microlender offered half its clients a bonus for referring a friend who repaid a loan. For the remaining clients, the bonus was conditional on loan approval. After approval, the repayment incentive was removed from half the referrers in the first group and added for half those in the second. We find large enforcement effects, a $12 (100 Rand) incentive reduced default by 10 percentage points from a base of 20%. In contrast, we find no evidence of screening.
    JEL: C93 D12 D14 D82 O12 O16
    Date: 2012–03
  3. By: Uri Gneezy; John List; Michael K. Price
    Abstract: Social scientists have presented evidence that suggests discrimination is ubiquitous: women, nonwhites, and the elderly have been found to be the target of discriminatory behavior across several labor and product markets. Scholars have been less successful at pinpointing the underlying motives for such discriminatory patterns. We employ a series of field experiments across several market and agent types to examine the nature and extent of discrimination. Our exploration includes examining discrimination based on gender, age, sexual orientation, race, and disability. Using data from more than 3000 individual transactions, we find evidence of discrimination in each market. Interestingly, we find that when the discriminator believes the object of discrimination is controllable, any observed discrimination is motivated by animus. When the object of discrimination is not due to choice, the evidence suggests that statistical discrimination is the underlying reason for the disparate behavior.
    JEL: C93 J71
    Date: 2012–02
  4. By: Dellepiane-Avellaneda, Sebastian
    Abstract: Douglass North is a uniquely creative and inspiring social scientist. The impact of North’s ideas in the area development cooperation can hardly be overstated. By stressing the role of institutions, this scholar has immensely influenced development thinking and practice, providing intellectual underpinnings to the dominant good governance paradigm. North’s landmark Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance is one of the most cited books in the social sciences. This paper contends, however, that North’s ideas are widely cited, but not always properly understood. Moreover, some of his core arguments have been overlooked, ignored, or misrepresented, not least by the aid community. This paper provides a systematic assessment of the content and evolution of North’s writings, from his pioneering works on property rights and institutions in the 1970s, to his recent scholarship on beliefs and political violence. The focus is on identifying the key analytical problems and remaining challenges of the institutional approach to development. The paper also takes issue with the inconsistencies and policy gaps of the good governance consensus. In doing so, it also reflects upon the future of the research program on institutions and development. Would the renewed emphasis on politics, conflict, inequality, and context lead to an improved governance agenda or to a shift towards a post-institutionalist paradigm?
    Date: 2012–01
  5. By: van Ham, Maarten (Delft University of Technology); Manley, David (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: In this chapter we investigate the process of ethnic minority segregation in English social housing. Successive governments have expressed a commitment to the contradictory aims of providing greater choice – through the introduction of choice based letting – for households accessing an increasingly marginalised social housing sector whilst also expressing a determination to create more mixed communities and neighbourhoods. We consider the concept of choice in the context of a heavily residualised social housing sector, arguing that, for social housing tenants at least, the concept of real choice is a misnomer. We draw on research that has utilised unique administrative data and analysed the moves of all entrants into and movers within the social renting sector over a ten year period in England. The conclusion is that the introduction of choice based letting has influenced the residential outcomes of ethnic minorities and resulted in highly structured neighbourhood sorting that has segregated minority populations into the least desirable neighbourhoods of English cities.
    Keywords: segregation, choice based letting, social housing, housing policy, UK
    JEL: R21 R23
    Date: 2012–02
  6. By: Carlsson, Magnus (School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University); Eriksson, Stefan (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Reported attitudes towards immigrants are sometimes used as a proxy for ethnic discrimination. However, there is little empirical evidence of a link between attitudes and discrimination. In this paper, we use survey data on people’s attitudes towards immigrants combined with data on ethnic discrimination from a field experiment in the Swedish housing market to re-examine this issue. We find clear evidence of a link between reported attitudes towards immigrants and the extent of ethnic discrimination at the municipality level. Thus, in contrast to most prior studies, our results suggest that reported attitudes may be a useful proxy for ethnic discrimination.
    Keywords: Attitudes; Ethnic discrimination; Field experiments; Housing market
    JEL: C93 J15 R39
    Date: 2012–02–21
  7. By: David, Gill; Rebecca, Stone
    Abstract: Teams are becoming increasingly important in work settings. We develop a framework to study the strategic implications of a meritocratic notion of desert under which team members care about receiving what they feel they deserve. Team members find it painful to receive less than their perceived entitlement, while receiving more may induce pleasure or pain depending on whether preferences exhibit desert elation or desert guilt. Our notion of desert generalizes distributional concern models to situations in which effort choices affect the distribution perceived to be fair; in particular, desert nests inequity aversion over money net of effort costs as a special case. When identical teammates share team output equally, desert guilt generates a continuum of symmetric equilibria. Equilibrium effort can lie above or below the level in the absence of desert, so desert guilt generates behavior consistent with both positive and negative reciprocity and may underpin social norms of cooperation.
    Keywords: Desert; Deservingness; Equity; Inequity aversion; Loss aversion; Reference-dependent preferences; Guilt; Reciprocity; Social norms; Team production
    JEL: D63 J33
    Date: 2012–02
  8. By: Jonathan Meer; Harvey S. Rosen
    Abstract: We investigate how undergraduates’ financial aid packages affect their subsequent donative behavior as alumni. The empirical work is based upon micro data on alumni giving at an anonymous research university. We focus on three types of financial aid, scholarships, loans, and campus jobs. A novel aspect of our modeling strategy is that, consistent with the view of some professional fundraisers, we allow the receipt of a given form of aid per se to affect alumni giving. At the same time, our model allows the amount of the support to affect giving behavior nonlinearly. Our main findings are: 1) Individuals who took out student loans are less likely to make a gift, other things being the same. We conjecture that this phenomenon is caused by an “annoyance effect” — alumni resent the fact that they are burdened with loans. 2) Scholarship aid reduces the size of a gift, but has little effect on the probability of donating. The negative effect of receiving a scholarship on donations decreases in absolute value with the size of the scholarship. We do not find any evidence that scholarship recipients give less because they have relatively low incomes post graduation. 3) Aid in the form of campus jobs does not have a strong effect on donative behavior.
    JEL: I22 I23
    Date: 2012–02
  9. By: Fischer, Justina A.V.
    Abstract: This paper describes the socio-economic adjustment effects exerted by globalization (taking as starting points competitive pressure, sectoral shifts, and financial market contagion) and discusses their relevance for domestic policy-making. I argue that these economic pressures and changes constrain government’s policy choice set to an extent that actual government policies are quite freed from any political ideological context. Important government tasks in a globalized economy include remedying information asymmetries and regulating markets as well as provision of essential goods.
    Keywords: globalization; international trade; domestic policy; deregulation; competition; financial markets
    JEL: F15 H40 H41 D82 H23
    Date: 2012–02–28
  10. By: Stoop, Jan
    Abstract: Results are reported of the first natural field experiment on the dictator game, where subjects are unaware that they participate in an experiment. In contrast to predictions of the standard economic model, dictators show a large degree of pro-social behavior. This paper builds a bridge from the laboratory to the field to explore how predictive findings from the laboratory are for the field. External validity is remarkably high. In all experiments, subjects display an equally high amount of pro-social behavior, whether they are students or not, participate in a laboratory or not, or are aware that they participate in an experiment or not.
    Keywords: altruism; natural field experiment; external validity
    JEL: D63 D64 C70 C93 C91
    Date: 2012–03–02
  11. By: Charoensook, Banchongsan
    Abstract: This paper develops a model of noncooperative network formation. Link formation is two-sided. Information flow is two-way. The paper is based on Bala and Goyal (2000) with the following difference in assumption: the value of information decays as it flows through each agent, and the decay is increasing and concave in the number of his links. Thus, an agent may choose to avoid accessing an agent who possess many links since he is aware of the decay incurred through this agent. This avoidance leads to two particular results in the analysis of Nash networks: (1) Nash networks are not always connected; (2) Nash networks do not exist under some parameters. Since disconnectedness is reminiscent of a common feature of real-world network, the model may explain why real-world networks may exhibit this feature even when there is no heterogeneity among agents. Discussion on this insight is provided.
    Keywords: Social Networks; Game Theory; Network Formation
    JEL: Z13 D85 C72
    Date: 2012–02–10
  12. By: Ciravegna, Luciano
    Abstract: This study contributes to the understanding of the effects of FDI by illustrating that social networks affect technological learning in the Costa Rican ICT cluster in ways that the literature on technological capabilities failed to capture. It is based on extensive qualitative evidence collected by the author between 2004 and 2009.
    Keywords: FDI; clusters; Latin America; Silicon Valleys; technological learning; technological capabilities; ICT; software; high technology; social ties; social networks
    JEL: R58 F23 F21 Z13 L86 O14
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Patricia López Rodríguez (Universidad Iberoamericana); Isidro Soloaga (El Colegio de México); Rodolfo de la Torre García (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas)
    Abstract: Este estudio se deriva de la evaluación del Programa de Coinversión Social (PCS), el cual aporta recursos financieros a las Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil (OSCs) para el desarrollo de grupos vulnerables y con rezago mediante el fomento de su capital social. Para la evaluación, se analizó la relación del capital social con el PCS y el fortalecimiento de las OSCs. Se llevó a cabo un estudio cualitativo y cuantitativo, el primero consistió en entrevistas a profundidad y grupos focales; el segundo en una encuesta con dos instrumentos aplicados a las OSCs y a los beneficiarios. Se utilizó el análisis de componentes principales y la metodología de variables latentes para estimar los aspectos no observables y multidimensionales de los conceptos de capital social y fortalecimiento institucional. Se estimaron dos Modelos de Ecuaciones Estructurales (SEM) para captar la influencia mutua entre los indicadores de ambos conceptos, así como su relación, los cuales generaron resultados similares: el PCS fortalece a las OSCs para el desarrollo de sus proyectos, su capital social se obtiene de esta forma. Las OSCs cuentan con capital social entre sus miembros y su población objetivo, crean redes con otras OSCs donde se identifican e intercambia información y apoyo, y fomentan cohesión social. Se identificaron los elementos que determinan el fortalecimiento institucional y el capital social de las OSCs, su conocimiento podría contribuir a focalizar los apoyos del PCS para el logro de sus objetivos.
    Keywords: social capital, Mexico, system of equation model, civil society, evaluation
    JEL: D04 D02
    Date: 2012–01
  14. By: Takahiro Chiba (Keio University)
    Abstract: Firms have attempted to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction by providing superior service, supposedly for customer benefit. However, does higher customer benefit always lead to higher customer satisfaction? The model developed by social psychologists suggests that a customer is likely to feel negative as well as positive affect toward a contact person (CP) via indebtedness and/or other mediating variables, but this model has remained untested empirically. In this study, we elaborated and empirically tested the model. The results of structural equation modeling show that higher customer benefit from superior service can increase indebtedness, which, in turn, can decrease customer satisfaction.
    Date: 2012–02
  15. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: This paper uses cross-country data compiled immediately after the Fukushima nuclear accident to investigate how the experience of such disasters affects the perception of the risk of nuclear accidents. Estimation results show that the perceived risk of a nuclear accident is positively associated with experiencing technological disasters but not with that of natural disasters.
    Keywords: Technological disaster; Natural disaster; Nuclear accidents; Risk; Fukushima accidents; Perception; Bayesian learning
    JEL: D84 D83 Z13
    Date: 2012–02–28

This nep-soc issue is ©2012 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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.