nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2013‒06‒24
fifteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita' la Sapienza

  1. Social networks, consumer beliefs and nutrition behavior: Theory and empirical evidence for Germany By Henning, Christian H.C.A.; Zarnekow, Nana
  2. Are You Unhappy Having Minority Co-Workers? By Haile, Getinet Astatike
  3. Local Food Systems, Ethnic Entrepreneurs, and Social Networks By Hightower, Lisa S.; Brennan, Mark A.
  4. Farmers’ preferences and social capital towards agri-environmental schemes for protecting birds By Alló, Maria; Igleasias, Eva; Loureiro, Maria L.
  5. Female social networks and learning about a new technology in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India By Magnan, Nicholas; Spielman, David J.; Gulati, Kajal
  6. Self Control or Social Control? Peer Effects and Temptation Consumption By Chuang, Yating
  7. Learning and Synergy in Social Networks: Productivity Impacts of Informal Labor Sharing Arrangements By Mekonnen, Dawit; Dorfman, Jeffrey
  8. Leveling with Friends: Social Networks and Indian Farmers' Demand for agricultural Custom Hire Services By Magnan, Nicholas; Spielman, David J.; Lybbert, Travis J.; Gulati, Kajal
  9. Heterogeneous Responses to Social Norms for Water Conservation By Brent, Daniel A.; Cook, Joseph H.; Olsen, Skylar
  10. Anonymous Social Networks versus Peer Networks in Restaurant Choice By Tiwari, Ashutosh; Richards, Timothy J.
  11. The Effect of Fishery Management on Information Sharing Networks and Social Capital By Dunham, Gabriel; Uchida, Emi; Uchida, Hirotsugu
  12. Selfishness As a Potential Cause of Crime. A Prison Experiment By Thorsten Chmura; Christoph Engel; Markus Englerth
  13. Donative Behavior at the End of Life By Jonathan Meer; Harvey S. Rosen
  14. A Note on Height and Surnames: The Role of Networks By Hassink, Wolter; van Leeuwen, Bas
  15. Computer-mediated-communication and social networking tools at work. By Ou, C.X.J.; Sia, C.L.; Hui, C.K.

  1. By: Henning, Christian H.C.A.; Zarnekow, Nana
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, International Relations/Trade, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Haile, Getinet Astatike (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: This paper attempts to establish empirically whether natives' job satisfaction is adversely affected by having minority co-worker(s). The paper uses nationally representative linked employer-employee data and eight different facets of job satisfaction. Measuring minority co-worker status at the workplace- and occupation-level and employing alternative econometric estimators; the paper finds that on average natives' experience a reduction in job satisfaction due to having minority co-worker(s). The effect found is larger if the co-worker-ship is at the occupation-level.
    Keywords: discrimination, job-related well-being, linked employer-employee data, Britain
    JEL: J7 J15 J82 I31
    Date: 2013–05
  3. By: Hightower, Lisa S.; Brennan, Mark A.
    Abstract: African immigrants in the United States (U.S.) experience immense challenges in the form of poverty, unemployment, and underemployment. Limited English language proficiency often restricts African immigrants to low-paying, unskilled positions. Ethnic entrepreneurship in the form of small-scale farming provides some African immigrants with an alternative to mainstream employment. Key to the success of many African immigrants is participation in beginning farmer programs. These programs operate as social networks, connecting immigrant farmers to training, farming resources, and members of the local community who provide access to additional resources and markets. Drawing from social capital theory, this mixed methods study investigates economic outcomes and social capital development within immigrant farmer programs. Immigrant farmer programs are analyzed as social networks that connect immigrants to technical training, farming resources, and community members who can provide access to markets. Data were collected through a survey of 112 agricultural educators working with immigrant farming programs across the United States. Data were also collected through case studies of programs in Ohio and Virginia. Bivariate correlation tests found the following agricultural training topics were significantly associated with economic outcomes, specifically training on farm equipment use, organic certification, and pest management. Ten marketing training topics were associated with economic outcomes, including business management, identifying markets, and introduction to direct markets. Social network ties were also associated with economic outcomes. These relationships were with the following organizations: farmers markets, community-supported organizations, the Extension Service, local farm supply stores, restaurants, and the Farm Bureau. Multiple regression tests found that 24.8% of the variance in economic outcomes could be accounted for by social network development, market training, and agricultural training.
    Keywords: Ethnic entrepreneurship, social capital, social networks, immigrant farmers, African immigrants, local food systems, Agribusiness, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2013–05
  4. By: Alló, Maria; Igleasias, Eva; Loureiro, Maria L.
    Abstract: The steady decline of birds living in steppes is a worrying situation that the European Commission is attempting to remediate through the application of agri-environmental schemes (AES). The aim of this study is to assess farmers’ preferences towards these AES, which call for a number of harvesting restrictions in order to protect birds. We conducted a face-to-face survey in farming communities in Aragon (Spain) and through the estimation of a Rank Ordered Logit model, we found that farmers have strong preferences in favor of these AES. They generally request relative small amounts of monetary compensations to comply with the contractual requirements established by the proposed AES. Our results also show the importance of social trust and expectation of compliance by other neighbors that encourage farmers to cooperate with AES. These and other results may be used to design more effective AES and remediate this important biodiversity problem.
    Keywords: agri-environmental schemes, birds, farmers’ preferences, rank ordered logit, social capital, Environmental Economics and Policy, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Magnan, Nicholas; Spielman, David J.; Gulati, Kajal
    Abstract: Despite evidence of the importance of differences in the source and type of information that women and men acquire, there is a persistent assumption that these gender dimensions of information acquisition are irrelevant to decision-making in cereal systems in South Asia. Yet women do play a fundamental role in many agricultural decisions and thus have a stake in the choice of technologies selected by the household. The paper attempts to understand women’s involvement in agricultural female networks and if they learn about a new agricultural technology, laser land leveling, through their social networks. Further, the study analyzes whether these female network effects have any influence on household demand for the new technology. Data for this study was collected as part of a research project on laser land leveling in 24 villages drawn randomly from three districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. A binding experimental auction was conducted to elicit demand for a new technology, laser land leveling (LLL), with a randomly selected group of farmers, of which 80 percent were male household heads. The study finds evidence that factors that shape farmers’ wives networks are very different from those that shape links between their husbands. Overall, women who are poorer and less educated tend to have more agricultural information contacts than wealthier and more educated women. We find that if a wife has an adopting wife in her network, her husband bid Rs. 81 more in the auction than if she did not. While we cannot say that the network effect through the wives is stronger, we can say there is evidence that there are separate and significant male and female network effects.
    Keywords: Institutional and Behavioral Economics, International Development, International Relations/Trade, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2013–06
  6. By: Chuang, Yating
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Institutional and Behavioral Economics,
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Mekonnen, Dawit; Dorfman, Jeffrey
    Abstract: We study the effects of informal labor sharing arrangements and other social interactions on farmers' productivity in a developing country context, testing whether these types of social and work interactions lead to productivity gains through learning, synergy, or both. Using a rich panel data set of Ethiopian subsistence farmers, we estimate a distance function of grains production and find large productivity gains (approximately 20 percent) from labor sharing due to synergy effects that boost labor productivity. Some training experiences, such as extension education programs and performing off-farm work, lead to learning that increases the farmers' productivity. However, labor sharing does not lead to learning as the productivity gains observed in years with labor sharing disappear in following years if the farmers do not continue to employ labor sharing. The results suggest that interaction and observation alone is not enough to produce learning that leads to productivity gains; however, training and educational activities such as extension programs and off-farm work do appear capable of producing learning and associated productivity gains.
    Keywords: Distance Function, Efficiency, Labor Sharing, Learning, Productivity, Synergy, Social Networks, International Development, Labor and Human Capital, Production Economics, Productivity Analysis, Q12, D83, D24, J24,
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Magnan, Nicholas; Spielman, David J.; Lybbert, Travis J.; Gulati, Kajal
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Demand and Price Analysis, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, O13, O14, Q16,
    Date: 2013–05–20
  9. By: Brent, Daniel A.; Cook, Joseph H.; Olsen, Skylar
    Abstract: Utilizing social norms is gaining momentum as a cost-eective mechanism to pro- mote sustainable behavior. We analyze household water data from multiple pilot programs for a company that provides information campaigns containing social comparisons of water use and per- sonalized conservation recommendations in order to reduce household water consumption. We nd signicant treatment eect heterogeneity across the distribution of consumption and environmental attitudes. In the two pilots with a full year of data one utility achieves savings of 6.5%; while the other in aggregate achieved limited conservation gains. Heterogeneity based on the distribution of consumption is more important in the utility with signicant savings, with the highest users saving the most water. In contrast ideology appears to be more important in the utility with an insignif- icant average treatment eect with dis-savings for those with very low environmental preferences and strong savings for the most environmentally-conscious. Inter-regional ideology may play an critical role since the utility with signicant savings is in a much "greener" community, whereas intra-utility ideology is in uential in conservative areas. We caution interpretation of the results, particularly for Utility B, as the data are still incomplete.
    Keywords: Water demand, Social norms, Behavioral economics, Water conservation, Consumer/Household Economics, Public Economics, Q21, Q25, Q54,
    Date: 2013–05
  10. By: Tiwari, Ashutosh; Richards, Timothy J.
    Abstract: We compare the effect of anonymous social network ratings ( and peer group recommendations on restaurant demand. We conduct a two stage choice experiment and combine it with online social network reviews from and find that peers have a stronger impact on restaurant demand than anonymous reviewers.
    Keywords: Peer Networks, Anonymous Networks, Economic Experiment, Social Dining, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Institutional and Behavioral Economics,
    Date: 2013–05–31
  11. By: Dunham, Gabriel; Uchida, Emi; Uchida, Hirotsugu
    Abstract: The benefits from increased levels of social capital have been shown to manifest themselves in ways that can increase the efficiency of the use and regulation of natural resources, as well as increase the resiliency of resource dependent communities against fluctuations in abundance. While the literature shows ample evidence of the positive effects that social capital can have on management and stakeholder institutions, few studies examine the effects of changes in management on levels of social capital in commercial fisheries. This study employs network and econometric analyses to examine social capital in the Northeast multispecies groundfish fishery. We compare alternative measurements of social capital, and find suggestive evidence of decreased levels of social capital associated with a recent change from effort-based to rights-based management. Increased knowledge of this relationship may provide tangible benefits to both management institutions and resource users.
    Keywords: Farm Management, Labor and Human Capital, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, fisheries, groundfish, information sharing, networks, sector management, social capital,
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Thorsten Chmura (Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, University of Nottigham); Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Markus Englerth
    Abstract: For a rational choice theorist, the absence of crime is more difficult to explain than its presence. Arguably, the expected value of criminal sanctions, i.e. the product of severity times certainty, is often below the expected benefit. We rely on a standard theory from behavioral economics, inequity aversion, to offer an explanation. This theory could also explain how imperfect criminal sanctions deter crime. The critical component of the theory is aversion against outperforming others. To test this theory, we exploit that it posits inequity aversion to be a personality trait. We can therefore test it in a very simple standard game. Inequity averse individuals give a fraction of their endowment to another anonymous, unendowed participant. We have prisoners play this game, and compare results to findings from a meta-study of more than 100 dictator games with non-prisoners. Surprisingly, results do not differ, not even if we only compare with other dictator games among close-knit groups. To exclude social proximity as an explanation, we retest prisoners on a second dictator game where the recipient is a charity. Prisoners give more, not less.
    Keywords: crime, imperfect sanctions, selfishness, inequity aversion, dictator game, social proximity, charity
    JEL: A12 C91 C93 D03 D63 K14
    Date: 2013–03
  13. By: Jonathan Meer; Harvey S. Rosen
    Abstract: A general finding in the empirical literature on charitable giving is that among older individuals, both the probability of giving and the conditional amount of donations decrease with age, ceteris paribus. In this paper, we use data on giving by alumni at an anonymous university to investigate end-of-life giving patterns. Our main finding is that taking into account the approach of death substantially changes the age-giving profile for the elderly–in one segment of the age distribution, the independent effect of an increase in age on giving actually changes from negative to positive. We examine how the decline in giving as death approaches varies with the length of time that a given condition is likely to bring about death, and the individual’s age when he died. We find that for individuals who died from conditions that bring about death fairly quickly, there is little decline in giving as death approaches compared to those who died from other causes. Further, the decline in giving as death approaches is steeper for the elderly (for whom death is less likely to be a surprise) than for the relatively young. These findings suggest that our primary result, that failing to take into account the approach of death leads to biased inferences with respect to the age-giving profile, is not merely an artifact of some kind of nonlinearity in the relationship between age and giving.
    JEL: D64 H41 I23 J14
    Date: 2013–06
  14. By: Hassink, Wolter (Utrecht University); van Leeuwen, Bas (Utrecht University)
    Abstract: Many studies indicate that human height is determined largely by childhood circumstances, which in turn influences an adult's labor market opportunities. The aim of this note is to test this thesis by examining the correlation between childhood circumstances and labor market outcomes on the one hand, and heights on the other, when networks are included as proxied by surnames. The fact that, after the inclusion of this surname proxy, we find a correlation only between height and labor market outcomes suggests that, while childhood circumstances affect height largely via social status and networks as captured by surnames, the same does not apply for labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: stature, networks, Indonesia
    JEL: J01 N35 Z13
    Date: 2013–05
  15. By: Ou, C.X.J. (Tilburg University); Sia, C.L.; Hui, C.K.
    Date: 2013

This nep-soc issue is ©2013 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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