nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2013‒04‒27
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita' la Sapienza

  1. Relational Capability: A Multidimensional Approach By Gaël Giraud; Cécile Renouard; Hélène L'Huillier; Raphaële De La Martinière; Camille Sutter
  2. Social Capital, Industrial Districts and Regional Unemployment in Italy By Luca Andriani
  3. Social networking sites users' affective commitment: A combined view By Zhang, Nan; Wang, Chong; Xu, Yan
  4. Is institutional trust related to the attitudes towards immigrants in Europe? A study of majority and minority population By Vivika Halapuu; Tiiu Paas; Tiit Tammaru
  5. Leadership and incentives. By Cappelen, Alexander W.; Reme, Bjørn-Atle; Sørensen, Erik Ø.; Tungodden, Bertil
  6. Does Social Judgment Diminish Rule Breaking? By Timothy C. Salmony; Danila Serra
  7. Job Search Channels, Neighborhood Effects and Wages Inequality in Developing Countries: The Colombian Case By Garcia, Gustavo Adolfo; Nicodemo, Catia
  8. Gender Norms, Work Hours, and Corrective Taxation By Aronsson, Thomas; Granlund, David
  9. Can Self-Help Groups Really Be "Self-Help"? By Brian Greaney; Joseph P. Kaboski; Eva Van Leemput

  1. By: Gaël Giraud (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Cécile Renouard (IRENE - Institut de la Recherche et de l'Enseignement sur la Négociation en Europe - ESSEC Business School); Hélène L'Huillier (IRENE - Institut de la Recherche et de l'Enseignement sur la Négociation en Europe - ESSEC Business School); Raphaële De La Martinière (Chercheur Indépendant - Aucune); Camille Sutter (Ensea ParisTech - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - ParisTech)
    Abstract: This paper explores some of the dimensions related to poverty and exclusion, by defining a Relational Capability Index (RCI) which focuses on the quality of relationships among people and on their level of relational empowerment. This index is rooted in a relational anthropology; it insists on the quality of the social fabric and of interpersonal relations as a key aspect of human development. As a multidimensional index, the RCI includes integration into networks, private relations and civic commitments. We provide an axiomatization of a family of multidimensional indexes. This axiomatic viewpoint fills the gap between theories of justice and poverty measurements. By means of illustration, we apply three different versions of the RCI, which are elements of this family, to the measurement of the impact of oil companies on local communities in the Niger Delta (Nigeria) and to national surveys (Afrobarometer).
    Date: 2013–04–01
  2. By: Luca Andriani (Department of Management, Birkbeck University of London)
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Zhang, Nan; Wang, Chong; Xu, Yan
    Abstract: Social networking site has become ubiquitous in just a few years. Their success depends on users' intention to adopt and willingness to continue investing their time and attention in this media in the absence of formal contract. This study investigates the formation of people's affective commitment toward their online communities. Drawing on commitment theory and social network theory, I argue that the users' social network structure, specifically, online offline network overlapping, can influence the formation of their affective commitment toward the online community. Researchers seeking to understand users' behaviors on social networking sites can benefit from this study by considering the effect of network structure in their studies. Sites managers may also use our results to develop better functions for their users. --
    Keywords: social networking site,social media,affective commitment,network overlapping
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Vivika Halapuu (University of Tartu, Estonia); Tiiu Paas (University of Tartu, Estonia); Tiit Tammaru (University of Tartu, Estonia)
    Abstract: The paper examines the factors that are related to attitudes towards immigrants in Europe, with a particular focus on the role of institutional trust in shaping these attitudes. We go one step further compared to previous studies by investigating separately two different groups of people — members of the ethnic majority and ethnic minority populations in European countries. We use data from the European Social Survey fourth round database for 27 countries. The main finding is that social trust is important for both groups, while trust in institutions is more strongly related to the attitudes among ethnic majorities. Other biggest differences between members of the ethnic minority and majority population are related to type of area where one lives, human capital and economic factors. The first two are more strongly related to the attitudes towards immigrants for the majority populations, while economic factors (especially labour market status) are more important for the minority populations in European countries.
    Keywords: immigration, attitudes, trust in institutions, minority/majority populations
    JEL: J61 J15 C31 P51
    Date: 2013–04
  5. By: Cappelen, Alexander W. (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Reme, Bjørn-Atle (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Sørensen, Erik Ø. (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Tungodden, Bertil (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: We study whether compensating people who volunteer to be leaders in a public goods game creates a social crowding-out effect of moral motivation among the others in the group. We report from an experiment with four treatments, where the base treatment is a standard public goods game with simultaneous contribution decisions, while the three other treatments allowed participants to volunteer to be an “early contributor” in their group. In the three leader treatments, we manipulate the level of compensation given to the leader. Our main finding is that a moderate compensation to the leader is highly beneficial, it increases the average contribution by almost 80%. A high compensation, however, is detrimental to public good provision. We show that paying a moderate compensation to the leaders strikes the right balance between the need for recruiting leaders and avoiding a large social crowding-out effect. We argue that the main findings of the paper are important in many real life settings where we would like to use economic incentives to encourage people to lead by example.
    Keywords: Voluntariness; Group behavior; Public goods; Laoratory.
    JEL: C72 C92 H41
    Date: 2013–04–12
  6. By: Timothy C. Salmony; Danila Serra
    Abstract: We experimentally investigate the extent to which social observability of one’s actions and the possibility of social non-monetary judgment affect the decision to engage in rule breaking behavior. We consider three rule breaking scenarios — theft, bribery and embezzlement — in the absence of any formal enforcement mechanism. By involving a student sample characterized by cultural heterogeneity due to immigration of ancestors to the US, we are able to investigate whether the effectiveness of informal social enforcement mechanisms is conditional on the cultural background of the decision-maker. A total of 52 countries are represented in our sample, ranging from Low Rule of Law countries such as Liberia and Nigeria to High Rule of Law countries such as Sweden and Norway. Our data provide evidence that people with different cultural backgrounds do respond differently to increased social observability of their actions. In particular, while subjects that identify culturally with a High Rule of Law country respond to social obervability and judgment by lowering their propensities to engage in rule breaking, subjects that identify with Low Rule of Law countries do not. Our findings suggest that development policies that rely purely on social judgment to enforce behavior may not work with Low Rule of Law populations.
    Keywords: Theft;Corruption; Social Enforcement; Culture; Experiments
    JEL: C90 D73 K42 Z10
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Garcia, Gustavo Adolfo (Autonomous University of Barcelona); Nicodemo, Catia (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relationship between social networks and the job search behaviour of individuals. Networking is not only based on friends and relatives but also on neighbourhood. The geographic closeness is associated to social interactions. Individuals who are in physical and social proximity share the same sources of information, because they divide individual characteristics or because they learn from one another's behaviour. Using data from Colombia in 2009 we explore how neighbourhoods have an effect on the channel used to search for a job (formal vs informal). People tend to opt for a formal or informal channel depending on the channel selected by employed people in their neighbourhood. In addition, we study the wage premium in using a formal or informal channel, exploring the inequality that can arise using a different job search method. Our results show that the neighbourhood affects the individual's job search method and referral workers earn less wage at the bottom of the wage distribution with respect to non-referred workers. At the top of the wage distribution the difference observed is due to different characteristics between the two groups. Colombia presents persistent high levels of informality and inequality. These features impose important social and economic costs such as low tax collection, low employee protection and deficiencies in the labour intermediation process with strong informational asymmetries in the job search. New policies to regulate the labour market are need.
    Keywords: neighborhood effects, formal and informal networks, job search, quantile regression
    JEL: J64 J31 J24 P23 J6 J7 J0
    Date: 2013–04
  8. By: Aronsson, Thomas (Department of Economics, Umeå School of Business and Economics); Granlund, David (Department of Economics, Umeå School of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: This paper deals with optimal income taxation based on a model with households where men and women allocate their time between market work and household production, and where households differ depending on which spouse has comparative advantage in market work. The purpose is to analyze the tax policy implications of gender norms represented by a market-work norm for men and household-work norm for women. We also distinguish between a welfarist government that respects all aspects of household preferences, and a paternalist government that disregards the disutility to households of deviating from the norms. The results show how the welfarist government may use tax policy to internalize the externalities caused by these norms, and how the paternalist government may use tax policy to make the households behave as if the norms were absent.
    Keywords: Social norms; household production; optimal taxation; paternalism
    JEL: D03 D13 D60 D62 H21
    Date: 2013–04–15
  9. By: Brian Greaney; Joseph P. Kaboski; Eva Van Leemput
    Abstract: This paper examines a cost-reducing innovation to the delivery of "Self-Help Group" microfinance services. These groups typically rely on outside agents to found and administer the groups although funds are raised by the group members. The innovation is to have the agents earn their payment by charging membership fees rather than following the status quo in which the agents are paid by an outside organization and instead offer free services to clients. The theory we develop shows that such membership fees could actually improve performance without sacrificing membership, simply by mitigating an adverse selection problem. Empirically, we evaluate this innovation in East Africa using a randomized control trial. We find that privatized entrepreneurs providing the self-help group services indeed outperform their NGO-compensated counterparts along several dimensions. Over time, they cost the NGO less and lead more profitable groups; also, households with access to privately-delivered groups borrow and save more, invest more in businesses, and may have higher consumption. Consistent with the theory, these privatized groups attract wealthier, more business-oriented members, although they attract no fewer members.
    JEL: O1 O12 O16
    Date: 2013–04

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