nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2013‒06‒04
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita' la Sapienza

  1. Can You Trust the Good Guys? Trust Within and Between Groups with Different Missions By Fehrler, Sebastian; Kosfeld, Michael
  2. Household debt and social interactions By Georgarakos, Dimitris; Haliassos, Michael; Pasini, Giacomo
  3. Why Do People Volunteer? An Experimental Analysis of Preferences for Time Donations By Alexander L. Brown; Jonathan Meer; J. Forrest Williams
  4. Social Interaction and Public Goods Provision: A Case of Waste Management in Bandung, Indonesia By Martin Daniel Siyaranamual
  5. Cooperation Hidden Frontiers: The Behavioral Foundations of the Italian North-South Divide By M. Bigoni; S. Bortolotti; M. Casari; D. Gambetta; F. Pancotto
  6. Spatial segregation and urban structure By MOSSAY, Pascal; PICARD, Pierre M.
  7. Justification and Legitimate Punishment By Xiao, Erte; Tan, Fangfang
  8. Recalibrational Emotions and the Regulation of Trust-Based Behaviors By Eric Schniter; Timothy Shields
  9. Subjective Well-being and Social Integration of College Students By Imaginário, Susana; Vieira, Luís Sérgio; Jesus, Saul Neves
  10. Effects of the Price of Charitable Giving: Evidence from an Online Crowdfunding Platform By Jonathan Meer
  11. The emergence of democracy: a behavioural perspective By Kyriazis, Nicholas; Metaxas, Theodore

  1. By: Fehrler, Sebastian (University of Zurich); Kosfeld, Michael (Goethe University Frankfurt)
    Abstract: NGOs and other non-profit organizations attract workers who strongly identify themselves with their missions. We study whether these "good guys" are more trustworthy and how such pronounced group identities affect trust and trustworthiness within the groups and toward out-groups. We find that subjects who strongly identify themselves with a non-profit mission are more trustworthy in a minimal group setting but also harshly discriminate against out-groups when subjects are grouped by the missions they identify themselves with.
    Keywords: trustworthiness, trust, group identity, social identity theory, discrimination, organization
    JEL: C72 C92 M51
    Date: 2013–05
  2. By: Georgarakos, Dimitris; Haliassos, Michael; Pasini, Giacomo
    Abstract: Debt-induced crises, including the subprime, are usually attributed exclusively to supply-side factors. We examine the role of social influences on debt culture, emanating from perceived average income of peers. Utilizing unique information from a household survey representative of the Dutch population, that circumvents the issue of defining the social circle, we consider collateralized, consumer, and informal loans. We find robust social effects on borrowing, especially among those who consider themselves poorer than their peers; and on indebtedness, suggesting a link to financial distress. We employ a number of approaches to rule out spurious associations and to handle correlated effects. --
    Keywords: Household Finance,Household Debt,Social Interactions,Mortgages,Consumer Credit,Informal Loans
    JEL: G11 E21
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Alexander L. Brown; Jonathan Meer; J. Forrest Williams
    Abstract: We conduct a laboratory experiment to test if there are differences in behavior when subjects can donate either time or money to charity. Our subjects perform an effort task to earn money. In one condition they can have their efforts accrue to a charity instead of themselves. In other conditions subjects may only earn money for their private account but then donate it to a charity. We vary the timing and availability of donation opportunities in the monetary donation settings to test the impact of subtle solicitation pressure. We find that subjects with a more opportunities to donate will donate more often and in larger amounts. Further, subjects giving effort to charity give far more than subjects who give monetary donations – between two and five times as much, on average. We posit that this difference is driven by different warm glow from the two donation types.
    JEL: D64 H41
    Date: 2013–05
  4. By: Martin Daniel Siyaranamual (Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University)
    Abstract: Successful minimisation of the gap between hypothetical and actual be-haviours requires to consider the dimension of individual social interaction in the decision process. While this dimension has been acknowledged to play an important role in the construction of private good preferences, however, in the context of public good, the role of social interaction has not been adequately examined. Therefore, to shed a light on the role of social interaction in shaping preferences toward public good, I conduct a contingent valuation (CV) study in which the respondents are enabled to have social interactions prior their willingness to pay (WTP) elicitation question. And in order to do this, I construct a sampling design where respondents are divided into three different groups, namely treated, untreated, and control groups. The respondents in the treated and untreated groups were allowed to interact/discuss with each other, within and across groups, prior to the WTP elicitation question. I find that treated and untreated respon-dents with social interactions have higher and significant likelihood to purchase the public good relatively to control respondents. While those who did not have interaction have a lower WTP for the improvement of waste management.
    Keywords: Social interactions, Contingent valuation, Bandung, Solid waste manage-ment
    JEL: Q51 R11 R22
    Date: 2013–05
  5. By: M. Bigoni; S. Bortolotti; M. Casari; D. Gambetta; F. Pancotto
    Abstract: Socio-economic performance differs not only across countries but within countries too and can persist even after religion, language, and formal institutions are long shared. One interpretation of these disparities is that successful regions are characterized by higher levels of trust, and, more generally, of cooperation. Here we study a classic case of within-country disparities, the Italian North-South divide, to find out whether people exhibit geographically distinct abilities to cooperate independently of many other factors and whence these differences emerge. Through an experiment in four Italian cities, we study the behavior of a sample of the general population toward trust and contributions to the common good. We find that trust and contributions vary in unison, and diminish moving from North to South. This regional gap cannot be attributed to payoffs from cooperation or to institutions, formal or informal, that may vary across Italy, as the experimental methodology silences their impact. The gap is also independent of risk and other-regarding preferences which we measure experimentally, suggesting that the lower ability to cooperate we find in the South is not due to individual \moral" flaws. The gap could originate from emergent collective properties, such as different social norms and the expectations they engender. The absence of convergence in behavior during the last 150 years, since Italy was unified, further suggests that these norms can persist overtime. Using a millennium-long dataset, we explore whether the quality of past political institutions and the frequency of wars could explain the emergence of these differences in norms.
    JEL: C90 D03
    Date: 2013–05
  6. By: MOSSAY, Pascal (Department of Economics, University of Reading, UK; Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium); PICARD, Pierre M. (CREA, Université du Luxembourg; Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study social interactions between two populations of individuals living in a city. Agents consume land and benefit from intra- and inter-group social interactions. We show that in equilibrium segregation arises: populations get separated in distinct spatial neighborhoods. Two- and three-district urban structures are characterized. For high population ratios or strong inter-group interactions, only a three-district city exists. In other cases, multiplicity of equilibria arises. Moreover, for sufficiently low population ratios or very weak inter-group interactions, all individuals agree on which spatial equilibrium is best.
    Keywords: social interaction, segregation, multiple centers, urban districts
    JEL: R12 R14 R31
    Date: 2013–05–17
  7. By: Xiao, Erte; Tan, Fangfang
    Abstract: Punishment can lose its legitimacy if the enforcer can profit from delivering punishment. We use a controlled laboratory experiment to examine how justification can combat profit-seeking punishment and promote the legitimacy of punishment. In a one-shot sender-receiver game, an independent third party can punish the sender upon seeing whether the sender has told the truth. Most third parties punish the senders regardless of how the senders behave when they can profit from punishment. However, majority third parties punish the sender if and only if the sender lies when they have to provide explanations for their punishment decisions. Our data also suggests that senders are more likely to perceive punishment as legitimate and behave honestly when they know the enforcer has to justify their punishment decisions. Our findings suggest that justification requirement plays an important role in building efficient punishment institutions.
    Keywords: third-party punishment, justification, sender-receiver game, experiment
    JEL: C72 C92 D63 D83
    Date: 2013–05–22
  8. By: Eric Schniter (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University); Timothy Shields (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)
    Abstract: Though individuals differ in the degree to which they are predisposed to trust or act trustworthy, we theorize that trust-based behaviors are universally determined by the calibration of conflicting short- and long-sighted behavior regulation programs, and that these programs are calibrated by emotions experienced personally and interpersonally. In this chapter we review both the main-stream and evolutionary theories of emotions that philosophers, psychologists, and behavioral economists have based their work on and which can inform our understanding of trust-based behavior regulation. The standard paradigm for understanding emotions is based on mapping their positive and negative affect valence. While Valence Models often expect that the experience of positive and negative affect is interdependent (leading to the popular use of bipolar affect scales), a multivariate “recalibrational” model based on positive, negative, interpersonal, intrapersonal, short-sighted and long-sighted dimensions predicts and recognizes more complex mixed-valence emotional states. We summarize experimental evidence that supports a model of emotionally-calibrated trust regulation and discuss implications for the use of various emotion measures. Finally, in light of these discussions we suggest future directions for the investigation of emotions and trust psychology.
    Keywords: emotion, affect valence, recalibrational theory, trust game, experiment
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Imaginário, Susana (University of Algarve); Vieira, Luís Sérgio (University of Algarve); Jesus, Saul Neves (CIEO- Research Centre on Spatial and Organizational Dynamics)
    Abstract: The student’s transition from secondary school to higher education consists of a series of changes that can have serious consequences if not satisfactorily overcome, including academic failure and college dropout. There are many variables than can influence this process of adjustment to higher education, with a particular emphasis given to social integration, especially because, often, this transition involves a change of residence. Using a sample of 339 students from the University of Algarve, this study aims to deepen our understanding of the relationship between student’s subjective well-being and their social integration in higher education. The results show that the variables of social integration in higher education, interpersonal relationship, personal well-being and emotional balance are predictors of the level of subjective well-being experienced by the students. On the other hand, a significant relation between socio-demographic variables and the student’s happiness was not obtained.
    Keywords: Students; Higher Education; Social Integration; Subjective Well-being
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2013–05–23
  10. By: Jonathan Meer
    Abstract: A long literature has examined the effects of the price of giving – that is, the amount an in-dividual must give for one dollar to accrue to the charitable activity itself – on donative behavior. We use data from, an online platform linking teachers with prospective donors, that are uniquely suited to addressing this question due to exogenous variation in overhead costs. An increased price of giving results in a lower likelihood of a project being funded. We also calculate the price elasticity of giving, finding estimates between -0.8 and -2; these are likely to be upper bounds on the tax price elasticity of charitable donations. Finally, we examine the effect of competition on giving and find that increased competition reduces the likelihood of a project being funded. These results provide insight into the workings of the market for charitable gifts.
    JEL: D64 H41
    Date: 2013–05
  11. By: Kyriazis, Nicholas; Metaxas, Theodore
    Abstract: In the present essay we introduce in a model the concept of macroculture and the formation of new values within the particular macroculture that arose during the 8th to 4th century BC in Ancient Greece. We analyse the conditions and the context for the emergence of the heavy infantryman, the hoplite, and the new tactical formation, the phalanx, and the trireme warship. We apply the coordination and cooperation as behavioural mechanisms to the phalanx and the triremes to show how a specific set of new values emerged. Then, taking into account bounded rationality, as a second behavioural mechanism we analyse how these values were taken over from the military into the political field and thus were crucial for the emergence and development of democracy.
    Keywords: Macroculture, Coordination and Cooperation mechanisms, bounded rationality, phalanx and triremes, military and democratic values.
    JEL: B15 N4 N43
    Date: 2013

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