nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2012‒10‒27
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita' la Sapienza

  1. Trust, Values and False Consensus By Butler, Jeffrey V.; Giuliano, Paola; Guiso, Luigi
  2. Do Ethnic Enclaves Impede Immigrants' Integration? Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Social-Interaction Approach By Danzer, Alexander M.; Yaman, Firat
  3. Germs, Social Networks and Growth By Alessandra Fogli; Laura Veldkamp
  4. Can trust effects on development be generalized? A response by quantile By Jesús Peiró-Palomino; Emili Tortosa-Ausina
  5. Social Capital as an Engine of Growth. Multisectoral Modelling and Implications By Youyou Baende Bofota; Raouf Boucekkine; Alain Pholo Bala
  6. Understanding and Improving the Social Context of Well-Being By John F. Helliwell
  7. The Role of Social Networks and Peer Effects in Education Transmission By Sebastian Bervoets; Antoni Calvó-Armengol; Yves Zenou
  8. Social Interactions and the Labor Market By Zenou, Yves
  9. Does Cultural Heritage Affect Job Satisfaction: The Divide between EU and Eastern Economies By Mojsoska-Blazevski, Nikica; Petreski, Marjan
  10. Social Interactions and Crime Revisited: An Investigation Using Individual Offender Data in Dutch Neighborhoods By Wim Bernasco; Thomas de Graaff; Jan Rouwendal; Wouter Steenbeek
  11. Vive la Différence: Social Banks and Reciprocity in the Credit Market By Simon Cornée; Ariane Szafarz
  12. Team Work Engagement: Considering Team Dynamics for Engagement By Patricia L. Costa; Ana Passos; Arnold B. Bakker
  13. Generosity norms and intrinsic motivation in health care provision: evidence from the laboratory and the field By J. Michelle Brock; Andreas Lange; Kenneth L. Leonard

  1. By: Butler, Jeffrey V. (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance); Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Guiso, Luigi (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance)
    Abstract: Trust beliefs are heterogeneous across individuals and, at the same time, persistent across generations. We investigate one mechanism yielding these dual patterns: false consensus. In the context of a trust game experiment, we show that individuals extrapolate from their own type when forming trust beliefs about the same pool of potential partners – i.e., more (less) trustworthy individuals form more optimistic (pessimistic) trust beliefs - and that this tendency continues to color trust beliefs after several rounds of game-play. Moreover, we show that one's own type/trustworthiness can be traced back to the values parents transmit to their children during their upbringing. In a second closely-related experiment, we show the economic impact of mis-calibrated trust beliefs stemming from false consensus. Mis-calibrated beliefs lower participants' experimental trust game earnings by about 20 percent on average.
    Keywords: trust, trustworthiness, culture, false consensus
    JEL: A1 A12 D1 Z1
    Date: 2012–10
  2. By: Danzer, Alexander M. (University of Munich); Yaman, Firat (City University London)
    Abstract: It is widely debated whether immigrants who live among co-ethnics are less willing to integrate into the host society. Exploiting the quasi-experimental guest worker placement across German regions during the 1960/70s as well as information on immigrants' inter-ethnic contact networks and social activities, we are able to identify the causal effect of ethnic concentration on social integration. The exogenous placement of immigrants "switches off" observable and unobservable differences in the willingness or ability to integrate which have confounded previous studies. Evidence suggests that the presence of co-ethnics increases migrants' interaction cost with natives and thus reduces the likelihood of integration.
    Keywords: immigrants, integration, enclaves, political participation, culture, social interaction, guest workers, natural experiment
    JEL: J15 R23 J61
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Alessandra Fogli; Laura Veldkamp
    Abstract: Does the pattern of social connections between individuals matter for macroeconomic outcomes? If so, how does this effect operate and how big is it? Using network analysis tools, we explore how different social structures affect technology diffusion and thereby a country's rate of technological progress. The network model also explains why societies with a high prevalence of contagious disease might evolve toward growth-inhibiting social institutions and how small initial differences can produce large divergence in incomes. Empirical work uses differences in the prevalence of diseases spread by human contact and the prevalence of other diseases as an instrument to identify an effect of social structure on technology diffusion.
    JEL: E02 O1 O33
    Date: 2012–10
  4. By: Jesús Peiró-Palomino (Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain); Emili Tortosa-Ausina (Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
    Abstract: While the beneficial effects of social trust on economic performance have been largely recognized, we analyze if these effects can be generalized for economies at different stages of economic development and for different time horizons. Contrary to previous studies on this issue based on average effects (mostly considering ordinary least squares estimations), we follow a quantile regression approach, which enables to capture heterogeneous effects of trust, which are dependent on the level of development. By considering data of 80 countries and using trust indicators from five different waves of the World Values Survey (WVS), our results by quantile indicate that high-growth processes are strongly influenced by the previous stock of trust available in the country, and that trust is less relevant for the poorest economies. This would suggest, not only that trust effects cannot be generalized for all countries, as some previous studies suggested, but also that the implications of trust for short and long term development actually differ.
    Keywords: Trust, GDP per capita, economic growth, quantile regression
    JEL: A13 Z13
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Youyou Baende Bofota (Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Ires); Raouf Boucekkine (Aix-Marseille Université, Greqam and UCL, Ires-Core); Alain Pholo Bala (University of Johannesburg)
    Abstract: We propose a multisector endogenous growth model incorporating social capital. Social capital only serves as input in the production of human capital and it involves a cost in terms of the final good. We show that in contrast to existing alternative specifications, this setting assures that social capital enhances productivity gains by playing the role of a timing belt driving the transmission and propagation of all productivity shocks throughout society whatever the sectoral origin of the shocks. Further econometric work is conducted in order to estimate the contribution of social capital to human capital formation. We find that depending on the measure of social capital considered, the elasticity of human capital to social capital varies from 6% to 10%. Finally we investigate the short-term dynamics and imbalance effect properties of the models depending on the value of this elasticity (taking the Lucas-Uzawa model as a limit case). In particular, it’s shown that when the substitutability of social capital to human capital increases, the economy is better equipped to surmount initial imbalances as individuals may allocate more working time in the final goods sector without impeding economic growth.
    Keywords: social capital, human capital, economic growth, imbalance effects.
    JEL: C61 E20 E22 E24 O41
    Date: 2012–03–12
  6. By: John F. Helliwell
    Abstract: The paper first attempts to demonstrate the fundamental importance of the social context. The related evidence is drawn from recent theoretical and empirical advances in the study of subjective well-being. Treating people’s self-assessments of the quality of their lives as valid measures of well-being exposes the importance of the social context and suggests new ways to design better policies. The paper starts with demonstrations of the unexpectedly great well-being consequences of social and pro-social behavior. In addition, evidence is advanced to show an evolutionary fitness for social and pro-social behaviors above and beyond those flowing through their direct consequences for subjective well-being. This is followed by discussion of specific measures of the social context, of the fundamental importance of trust as social glue, and of several experiments designed to improve subjective well-being.
    JEL: D6 I28 N30
    Date: 2012–10
  7. By: Sebastian Bervoets (CNRS, Greqam); Antoni Calvó-Armengol (This author is deceased (Date: 03 Nov 2007)); Yves Zenou (Stockholm University, IFN)
    Abstract: We propose a dynastic model in which individuals are born in an educated or uneducated environment that they inherit from their parents. We study the role of social networks on the correlation in the parent-child educational status independent of any parent-child interaction. We show that the network reduces the intergenerational correlation, promotes social mobility and increases the average education level in the population. We also show that a planner that encourages social mobility also reduces social welfare, hence facing a tradeoff between these two objectives. When individuals choose the optimal level of social mobility, those born in an uneducated environment always want to leave their environment while the reverse occurs for individuals born in an educated environment.
    Keywords: Social mobility, strong and weak ties, intergenerational correlation, education.
    JEL: I24 J13 Z13
    Date: 2012–03–30
  8. By: Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: To better understand the way social networks operate in the labor market, we propose two simple models where individuals help each other finding a job. In the first one, job information flows between individuals having a link with each other and we show that an equilibrium with a clustering of workers with the same status is likely to emerge since, in the long run, employed workers tend to be friends with employed workers. In the second model, individuals interact with both strong and weak ties and decide how much time they spend with each of them. As in Granovetter, this model stresses the strength of weak ties in finding a job because they involve a secondary ring of acquaintances who have contacts with networks outside ego's network and therefore offer new sources of information on job opportunities. We then discuss some policy implications showing how these models can explain why ethnic minorities tend to experience higher unemployment rate than workers from the majority group.
    Keywords: dyads; homophily; social interactions; weak and strong ties
    JEL: A14 J15 J64 Z13
    Date: 2012–10
  9. By: Mojsoska-Blazevski, Nikica; Petreski, Marjan
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to examine the factors influencing worker’s job satisfaction aside the conventional factors (personal background, individual labour market characteristics, organisational culture, and so on) and introduce the basic cultural values and beliefs, and then to put this into a comparative perspective for the South-East European (SEE) countries and for Macedonia, in particular. Cultural values have been grouped into traditional vs. secular-rational values and survival vs. self-expression values. The main result from the study is that cultural heritage exerts considerable effect on job satisfaction in SEE with some determinants – like the importance of work, religion and family – exerting stronger influence in SEE than in CEE and in Western Europe. The impact of cultural values on job satisfaction in Macedonia has been found to be only limited. Mainly the traditional cultural values have been found important, while only trust from the ‘survival’ group likely affects job satisfaction and likely with the effect being stronger than in the case of SEE, CEE and Western Europe.
    Keywords: job satisfaction; cultural values
    JEL: M54
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Wim Bernasco (NSCR); Thomas de Graaff (VU University Amsterdam); Jan Rouwendal (VU University Amsterdam); Wouter Steenbeek (NSCR)
    Abstract: Using data on the age, sex, ethnicity and criminal involvement of 14.3 million residents aged 10-89 residing in 4,007 neighborhoods in the Netherlands, this article tests whether an individual's decision whether or not to be involved in crime is affected by the number of criminals in the neighborhood. Controlling for unobserved neighborhood heterogeneity and endogeneity of this decision, a small positive effect is found on violent crime, but not on property crime. The results suggest that individual characteristics and other neighborhood characteristics play a much greater role in an individual's decision to be involved in crime.
    Keywords: social interactions; neighborhoods; crime
    JEL: R1 R2
    Date: 2012–10–11
  11. By: Simon Cornée; Ariane Szafarz
    Abstract: Social banks are financial intermediaries paying attention to non-economic (i.e. social, ethical, and environmental) criteria. This paper investigates the behavior of social banks in the European credit market. We use a unique hand-collected dataset on 389 business loans granted by a French social bank. Our results show that the social bank charges below-market interest rates for viable social projects. Moreover, regardless of their creditworthiness, motivated borrowers respond to advantageous credit conditions by significantly lowering their probability of default. We interpret this outcome as the first evidence of reciprocity in the credit market.
    Keywords: Social bank; subsidized loan; social enterprise; ethical bank; start-up
    JEL: G21 D63 G24 H25
    Date: 2012–10–15
  12. By: Patricia L. Costa; Ana Passos; Arnold B. Bakker
    Abstract: Although teams are an important structure of organizations, most studies on work engagement focus almost exclusively the individual-level. The main goals of this paper are to argue that the construct of work engagement can be conceptualized at the team level and to discuss theoretically some of its possible emergence processes. A conceptual model that explains under which conditions team work engagement is more likely to emerge is developed. This model is developed based on the literature on work engagement, social identity theory, emotional contagion, and group theories and we developed propositions for future research. We propose that team work engagement is rooted on team members’ shared perception of their team’s level of engagement and that it emerges within a team through member’s emotional interactions. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of work engagement in teams allows managers to actively promote high levels of engagement, therefore enhancing teams’ performance levels. Studying a higher level construct is not just a methodological or data analysis question, but is essentially a theoretical one. Collective constructs that are driven from individual-level ones often lack a solid theoretical base that supports their existence. This paper fills that gap, introducing a clear definition of team work engagement, reflecting on the differences between levels and suggesting concrete factors for its emergence.
    Keywords: Work Engagement; Collective Constructs; Work Teams
    Date: 2012–09–19
  13. By: J. Michelle Brock (EBRD); Andreas Lange (University of Hamburg); Kenneth L. Leonard (University of Maryland)
    Abstract: We examine the correlation between the generosity of clinicians – as measured in a laboratory experiment – and the quality of care in their normal practices under three different intrinsic incentive schemes. Specifically, we observe clinicians in their normal work environment, when a peer observes them and six weeks after an encouragement visit from a peer. Clinicians who give at least half of their endowment to a stranger in the laboratory (generous) provide 10 per cent better quality care than those who do not. In addition, the average clinician provides about 4 per cent better quality when observed by a peer and 10 per cent higher quality care after the encouragement visit. Importantly, we find that generous clinicians react to peer scrutiny and encouragement in the same way as non-generous clinicians. Many clinicians are intrinsically motivated to provide higher quality care. However, most clinicians respond to increased intrinsic incentives in the form of scrutiny and encouragement from peers.
    Keywords: intrinsic incentives, health care quality, altruism, professionalism, Tanzania, experimental economics, Hawthorne effect, Encouragement effect, Study effect
    JEL: I15 O19 C91 C93 J2
    Date: 2012–08

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.
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