nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2012‒05‒02
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. The Social Capital and Health Hypothesis: A Theory and New Empirics Featuring the Norwegian HUNT Data By Folland, Sherman; Islam, Muhammad Quamrul; Kaarbøe, Oddvar Martin
  2. The relative importance of social and cultural capital for educational performance: Eastern versus Western Europe By Prokic-Breuer, Tijana
  3. Does Economic Freedom Foster Tolerance? By Berggren, Niclas; Nilsson, Therese
  4. Every Man for Himself! Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters By Elinder, Mikael; Erixson, Oscar
  5. Inherited Trust and Growth – Comment By Daniel Müller; Benno Torgler; Eric Uslaner
  6. Globalization and gender equality in the course of development By Niklas Potrafke; Heinrich Ursprung
  7. Trust and collaboration in the aftermath of conflict: the effects of contract structure By Malhotra, Deepak; Lumineau, Fabrice

  1. By: Folland, Sherman (Department of Economics , Oakland University); Islam, Muhammad Quamrul (Rokkansenteret); Kaarbøe, Oddvar Martin (University of Bergen)
    Abstract: We develop and explore an economic model in which cigarette consumption enhances utility but reduces the probability of survival through the period. Social capital is produced by time spent developing and maintaining social relationships. By requiring time inputs, social capital has an opportunity cost, represented by the wage. Elements exogenous to the subject’s decision making, such as the introduction of city parks, new social clubs, or the influence of local social norms enhance the productivity of time spent in social activity so as to produce utility. This framework is cast deliberately in a compact model so as to reveal fundamental relationships and permit clear comparative static analysis. These are tested in a Norwegian longitudinal data set new to this field of study.
    Keywords: Social norms and social capital; HUNT data set
    JEL: I10 I12 Z13
    Date: 2012–04–19
  2. By: Prokic-Breuer, Tijana
    Abstract: --
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Berggren, Niclas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Nilsson, Therese (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Tolerance has the potential to affect both economic growth and wellbeing. It is therefore important to discern its determinants. We add to the literature by investigating whether the degree to which economic institutions and policies are market-oriented is related to different measures of tolerance. Regression analysis of up to 65 countries reveals that economic freedom is positively related to tolerance towards homosexuals, especially in the longer run, while tolerance towards people of a different race and a willingness to teach kids tolerance are not strongly affected by how free markets are. Stable monetary policy and outcomes is the area of economic freedom most consistently associated with greater tolerance, but the quality of the legal system seems to matter as well. We furthermore find indications of a causal relationship and of social trust playing a role as a mechanism in the relationship between economic freedom and tolerance and as an important catalyst: the more trust in society, the more positive the effect of economic freedom on tolerance.
    Keywords: Markets; Economic freedom; Tolerance; Government; Institutions; Regulation
    JEL: P10 P48 Z13
    Date: 2012–04–20
  4. By: Elinder, Mikael (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Erixson, Oscar (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of ‘women and children first’ gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew give priority to passengers. We analyze a database of 18 maritime disasters spanning three centuries, covering the fate of over 15,000 individuals of more than 30 nationalities. Our results provide a new picture of maritime disasters. Women have a distinct survival disadvantage compared to men. Captains and crew survive at a significantly higher rate than passengers. We also find that the captain has the power to enforce normative behavior, that the gender gap in survival rates has declined, that women have a larger disadvantage in British shipwrecks, and that there seems to be no association between duration of a disaster and the impact of social norms. Taken together, our findings show that behavior in life-and-death situation is best captured by the expression ‘Every man for himself’.
    Keywords: Social Norms; Disaster; Women and children first; Mortality; High stakes
    JEL: C70 D63 D81 J16
    Date: 2012–04–10
  5. By: Daniel Müller (QUT); Benno Torgler (QUT); Eric Uslaner (University of Maryland)
    Abstract: Algan and Cahuc in “Inherited Trust and Growth” (AER, 2010) argue that “inherited trust” is a key factor in explaining growth rates across countries. They derive a measure of inherited trust by linking respondents’ “home countries” in the United States General Social Survey (1972-2004) and the 2000 wave of the World Values Survey. Algan and Cahuc then estimate trust levels for people born before 1910 (inherited trust in 1935) and afterwards (inherited trust in 2000). They show a strong link between economic growth rates and inherited trust. We do not challenge this result, but we do argue that: (1) the 2000 World Values Survey has many anomalous results; (2) the estimates for inherited trust in 1935 are mostly based upon tiny samples for most ethnic heritage groups in the General Social Survey; and (3) Algan and Cahuc’s findings are based upon two-tailed rather than one-tailed tests. We reestimate their model using the more reliable waves of the World Values Survey and find much weaker relationships between inherited trust in 1935 and trust in the home country. We also suggest caution in the overall measure of inherited trust in 1935.
    Keywords: Inherited trust, generalized trust, US immigrants
    JEL: N31 N32 Z12 Z13
    Date: 2012–04–24
  6. By: Niklas Potrafke (Munich Graduate School of Economics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany); Heinrich Ursprung (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: We empirically assess the influence of globalization on social institutions that govern female subjugation and gender equality in developing countries. Observing the progress of globalization for almost one hundred developing countries at ten year intervals starting in 1970, we find that economic and social globalization exert a decidedly positive influence on the social institutions that reduce female subjugation and promote gender equality.
    Keywords: Globalization, Gender equality, Social institutions, Female subjugationse of development
    JEL: O11 O57
    Date: 2012–04–17
  7. By: Malhotra, Deepak; Lumineau, Fabrice
    Abstract: Leveraging a longitudinal dataset concerning 102 inter-firm disputes, we evaluate the effects of contract structure on trust and on the likelihood of continued collaboration. We theoretically refine and empirically extend prior research by (a) distinguishing between control and coordination functions of contracts, (b) separating goodwill-based and competence-based trust, and (c) evaluating the effects of contract structure on relational outcomes in the context of disputes. We find that control provisions increase competence-based trust, but reduce goodwill-based trust, resulting in a net decrease in the likelihood of continued collaboration. Coordination provisions increase competence-based trust, leading to an increased likelihood of continued collaboration.
    Keywords: Trust; Contract; Conflict
    JEL: L14 K41 M10
    Date: 2011

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.