nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2013‒09‒06
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita' la Sapienza

  1. Making Friends to Influence Others: The Effect of Corruption onthe Creation, Allocation and Impacts of Social Capital By Gregmar Galinato; Hayley Chouinard; Phil Wandschneider
  2. Job Contact Networks and Wages of Rural-Urban Migrants in China By Long, Wenjin; Appleton, Simon; Song, Lina
  3. Crowding out of Solidarity? – Public Health Insurance versus Informal Transfer Networks in Ghana By Florian Klohn; Christoph Strupat
  4. Religious identity, public goods and centralization: Evidence from Russian and Israeli cities By Grigoriadis, Theocharis; Torgler, Benno
  5. Do Institutions Affect Social Preferences? Evidence from Divided Korea By Kim, Byung-Yeon; Choi, Syngjoo; Lee, Jungmin; Lee, Sokbae; Choi, Kyunghui
  6. Too many charities? Insight from an experiment with multiple public goods and contribution thresholds By Luca Corazzini; Christopher Cotton; Paola Valbonesi
  7. "For the love or the Republic" Education, Secularism, and Empowerment By Selim Gulesci; Erik Meyersson

  1. By: Gregmar Galinato; Hayley Chouinard; Phil Wandschneider (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of corruption on social capital investment in an association and its allocation in a political economy context. Our model explains how agents invest to form social capital which is used to produce a club good for association members and influence industry-wide policy. Government corruption affects the number of agents that invest in social capital and the contribution per agent, but varies with agent productivity. We find that high productivity agents prefer to influence policy while low productivity agents focus on production. Furthermore, social capital does not necessarily increase welfare if socially sub-optimal regulations are implemented.
    Keywords: association, corruption, social capital
    JEL: D71 D73
    Date: 2013–01
  2. By: Long, Wenjin (University of Nottingham); Appleton, Simon (University of Nottingham); Song, Lina (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: In nationally representative household data from the 2008 wave of the Rural to Urban Migration in China survey, nearly two thirds of rural-urban migrants found their employment through family members, relatives, friends or acquaintances. This paper investigates why the use of social network to find jobs is so prevalent among rural-urban migrants in China, and whether migrants face a wage penalty as a result of adopting this job search method. We find evidence of positive selection effects of the use of networks on wages. Users of networks tend to be older, to have migrated longer ago and to be less educated. In addition, married workers and those from villages with more out-migrant are more likely to use networks, while those without local residential registration status are less likely. Controlling for selectivity, we find a large negative impact of network use on wages. Using job contacts brings open access to urban employment, but at the cost of markedly lower wages.
    Keywords: social network, job contact, wage, rural-urban migrants, switching regression, China
    JEL: J24 J31 O15
    Date: 2013–08
  3. By: Florian Klohn; Christoph Strupat
    Abstract: This paper delivers empirical evidence on how informal transfers are affected by a formal and country-wide health insurance scheme. Using the fifth wave of the Ghanaian Living Standard Household Survey, we investigate the extent to which the exogenous implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme affects the probability of making or receiving informal transfers and their monetary equivalents. Our findings suggest that there is a significant crowding out of informal transfers. Members of weak transfer networks and individuals that run an enterprise are inclined to reduce their amount of remittances. We conclude that the provision of formal health insurance can reduce covariate risk in weak transfer networks and support business owners that are confronted by strong sharing obligations.
    Keywords: Public health insurance; informal transfer networks; crowding out; Ghana
    JEL: I15 O12
    Date: 2013–08
  4. By: Grigoriadis, Theocharis; Torgler, Benno
    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
  5. By: Kim, Byung-Yeon (Seoul National University); Choi, Syngjoo (University College London); Lee, Jungmin (Sogang University); Lee, Sokbae (Seoul National University); Choi, Kyunghui (University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: The Cold War division of Korea, regarded as a natural experiment in institutional change, provides a unique opportunity to examine whether institutions affect social preferences. We recruited North Korean refugees and South Korean students to conduct laboratory experiments eliciting social preferences, together with standard surveys measuring subjective attitudes toward political and economic institutions. Our experiments employ widely used dictator and trust games, with four possible group matches between North and South Koreans by informing them of the group identity of their anonymous partners. Experimental behavior and support for institutions differ substantially between and within groups. North Korean refugees prefer more egalitarian distribution in the dictator games than South Korean students, even after controlling for individual characteristics that could be correlated with social preferences; however, two groups show little difference in the trust game, once we control for more egalitarian behavior of North Koreans. North Korean refugees show less support for market economy and democracy than South Korean subjects. Attitudes toward institutions are more strongly associated with the experimental behaviors among South Korean subjects than among North Korean subjects.
    Keywords: social preferences, experiment, institutions, market economy, democracy
    JEL: C92 C93 D03 P20
    Date: 2013–08
  6. By: Luca Corazzini (University of Padova); Christopher Cotton (University of Miami); Paola Valbonesi (University of Padova)
    Abstract: We present results from an experiment with multiple public goods, where each good produces benefits only if total contributions to it reach a minimum threshold. The experiment allows us to compare contributions in a benchmark treatment with a single public good and in treatments with more public goods than can be funded. The presence of multiple public goods makes coordination among participants more diffcult, discouraging contributions, and decreasing the likelihood of any public good being effectively funded. Multiplicity decreases funding unless one public good stands out as being the most efficient alternative. Applied to the case of philanthropy, the results show how overall donations and the number of effectively funded charities may both decrease as the total number of charities increase. This is true even if the new charities offer higher potential benefits than previous options.
    Keywords: Threshold public goods, multiple public goods, laboratory experiment, fundraising. JEL: C91, C92, H40, H41.
    Date: 2013–08
  7. By: Selim Gulesci; Erik Meyersson
    Abstract: We exploit a change in compulsory schooling laws in Turkey to estimate the causal effects of education on religiosity and women's socio-economic status. A new law, implemented in 1998 bound individuals born after a specific date to 8 years of schooling while those born earlier could drop out after 5 years. This allows the implementation of a Regression Discontinuity (RD) Design and the estimation of meaningful causal estimates of schooling. Using the 2008 Turkish Demographic Health Survey, we show that the reform resulted in a one-year increase in years of schooling among women on average, although it did not increase schooling among men. Over a period of ten years, this education increase resulted in women having lower religiosity, greater decision rights over marriage and fertility, and higher household wealth. We find that a muted average RD effect on labor force participation shrouds heterogenous effects depending on socioeconomic background; women from more socially conservative backgrounds tend to obser ve no increase in labor force participation whereas women from less conservative backgrounds experience a large increase. Education thus empowers women across a wide spectrum of a Muslim society, yet faces limits in allowing women in the conservative communities from realizing their full potential through the labor market. JEL Classification: J16, I25, Z12
    Date: 2013

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