nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2013‒08‒31
six papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita' la Sapienza

  1. Human capital, social capital and organizational performance: A structural modeling approach By J. Augusto Felicio; Eduardo Couto; Jorge Caiado
  2. Social Networks and Peer Effects at Works By Julie Beugnot; Bernard Fortin; Guy Lacroix; Marie Claire Villeval
  3. The Times They Are a Changin': The Effect of Institutions on Behavior, Cooperation, Emotional Attachment and Sentiment at 26,000ft By David A. Savage; Benno Torgler
  4. Religious Identity, Public Goods and Centralization: Evidence from Russian and Israeli Cities By Theocharis Grigoriadis; Benno Torgler
  5. Does Social Cohesion Really Promote Reforms? By Andréasson, Hannes; Elert, Niklas; Karlson, Nils
  6. Integration as a catalyst for assimilation By Stark, Oded; Jakubek, Marcin

  1. By: J. Augusto Felicio (School of Economics and Management (ISEG), Technical University of Lisbon); Eduardo Couto (School of Economics and Management (ISEG), Technical University of Lisbon); Jorge Caiado (CEMAPRE, School of Economics and Management (ISEG), Technical University of Lisbon)
    Abstract: This research evaluates the human capital and social capital of managers and its influence on the performance of small and medium-sized Portuguese companies. We resorted to the structural modeling methodology approach applied to a sample of 192 small and medium companies aged between four and fifteen years from five different activity sectors. It was concluded that human capital affects social capital and the experience and cognitive ability influence personal relations and complicity. The organizational performance is strongly influenced by human capital through the cognitive ability of the manager. It's an important contribution to the management literature.
    Keywords: Human capital, Social capital, Organizational performance, Cognitive ability, Small and medium enterprises
    Date: 2013–08
  2. By: Julie Beugnot (Department of economics, Université Laval, CIRPÉE); Bernard Fortin (Department of economics, Université Laval, CIRPÉE and CIRANO); Guy Lacroix (Department of economics, Université Laval, CIRPÉE and CIRANO); Marie Claire Villeval (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: This paper extends the standard work effort model by allowing workers to interact through networks. We investigate experimentally whether peer performances and peer contextual effects influence individual performances. Two types of network are considered. Participants in Recursive networks are paired with participants who played previously in isolation. In Simultaneous networks, participants interact in real-time along an undirected line. Mean peer effects are identified in both cases. Individual performances increase with peer performances in the recursive network. In the simultaneous network, endogenous peer effects vary according to gender : they are large for men but not statistically different from zero for women.
    Keywords: Peer effects, social networks, work effort, piece rate, experiment
    JEL: C91 J16 J24 J31 M52
    Date: 2013
  3. By: David A. Savage; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: This paper attempts to determine if the introduction of a competing social institution has had a significant effect and shifted the pro-social behavior in the extreme (life-and-death) environment of mountaineering in the Himalayan Mountains over the last sixty years. We apply an analytic narratives approach to empirically investigate the link between death, success and the introduced social institution (commercialization). We use the Hawley and Salisbury (2007) Himalayan Database to determine if the introduction of this social institution is responsible for the decline in pro-social and altruistic behaviors. The results show that the change helping behavior is strongly correlated with the on mass introduction of commercialization. The results show a weakening of the prosocial behavior in the more "traditional climbers" in the modern period, created by a crowding out effect, which may have lead to the break down in prosocial behavior and the rise of anti-social behavior. Additionally, the results indicate that the prosocial behavior of the non-commercial groups in recent times may in fact be driven by the behavior of the Sherpa and not that of the climbers.
    Keywords: Decision under Pressure; Altruism; Tragic Events; Disasters; Survival; Natural Field Experiment; Mountaineering
    JEL: D63 D64 D71 D81
    Date: 2013–05
  4. By: Theocharis Grigoriadis; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the effects of religious identity – defined both as personal identification with a religious tradition and institutional ideas on the provision of public goods – on attitudes toward central government. We explore whether citizens belonging to collectivist rather than individualist religious denominations are more likely to evaluate their central government positively. Moreover, we explore whether adherence to collectivist norms of economic and political organization leads to a positive evaluation of central government. Surveys were conducted in Russia and Israel as these countries provide a mosaic of three major world religions – Judaism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Sunni Islam. The information gathered also allows us to study whether attitudes towards religious institutions such as the Russian Orthodox Church, the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, and the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in Israel are able to predict positive attitudes toward centralized forms of governance. We find strong support for the proposition that collectivist norms and an institutional religious identity enhance positive attitudes towards central government.
    Keywords: Religious identity; public goods; collectivism; individualism; local government; centralization; Russia; Israel
    JEL: P16 P17 P21 P35 P51 P52 Z12
    Date: 2013–08
  5. By: Andréasson, Hannes (Ratio); Elert, Niklas (Ratio); Karlson, Nils (Ratio)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether social cohesion makes economic reforms more likely. First, we investigate whether social cohesion is a coherent concept by using a principal-component factor (PCF) analysis covering 16 indicators used to measure social cohesion in the previous literature for 40 different countries. The results suggest that in fact social cohesion is a multidimensional concept, consisting of no less than five orthogonal components or distinct dimensions, which we label social divisions, modern values, traditional nationalism, institutional commitment, and fairness as merit. These dimensions are then examined in relationship with economic reform in a panel regression framework. Results show that most dimensions of social cohesion do not in fact influence reform capacity. However, views of fairness based on merit, in contrast to equality, and to some extent social divisions, are found to have a positive effect on economic reforms. The results go against the previous literature, challenging the prevailing view of social cohesion as being unambiguously beneficial to economic reform.
    Keywords: social cohesion; welfare state; reform; economic freedom
    JEL: D02 O17 O43 P00 Z13
    Date: 2013–08–19
  6. By: Stark, Oded; Jakubek, Marcin
    Abstract: We draw a distinction between the social integration and economic assimilation of migrants, and study an interaction between the two. We define social integration as blending into the host country's society, and economic assimilation as acquisition of human capital that is specific to the host country's labor market. We show that a non-integrated migrant finds it optimal to acquire a relatively limited quantity of human capital; with fellow migrants constituting his only comparison group, a non-integrated migrant does not have a relative deprivation-based incentive to close the income gap with the natives. However, when a migrant is made to integrate, his social proximity to the natives exposes him to relative deprivation, which in turn prompts him to form more destination-specific human capital in order to increase his earnings and narrow the income gap with the natives. In this way, social integration becomes a catalyst for economic assimilation. --
    Keywords: Assimilation,Social proximity,Interpersonal comparisons,Relative deprivation,Human capital formation
    JEL: D01 F22 J15 J24 J61 O15 Z10
    Date: 2013

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