nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2013‒12‒15
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita' la Sapienza

  1. Teaching Practices and Social Capital By Yann Algan; Pierre Cahuc; Andrei Shleifer
  2. Generating Business Referrals for SMEs: The Contingent Value of CEOs' Social Capital By Barthelemy Chollet; Mickaël Géraudel; Caroline Mothe
  3. Social and Moral Norms in Allocation Choices in the Laboratory By Charness, Gary; Schram, Arthur
  4. Giving in France: A Philanthropic Renewal after Decades of Distrust By Arthur Gautier; Anne-Claire Pache; Valérie Mossel
  5. Who gets the Top Jobs? The role of family background and networks in recent graduates' access to high status professions By Lindsey Macmillan; Claire Tyler; Anna Vignoles
  6. Becoming “We” instead of “I” : Identity management and incentives in the workplace By Jocelyn Donze; Trude Gunnes
  7. Imagine Being a Nice Guy: A Note on Hypothetical vs. Incentivized Social Preferences By Christoph Bühren; Thorben C. Kundt
  8. Inputs, Gender Roles or Sharing Norms? Assessing the Gender Performance Gap Among Informal Entrepreneurs in Madagascar By Vaillant, Julia; Nordman, Christophe Jalil
  9. National Identity and Religious Diversity By Kenneth Harttgen; Matthias Opfinger
  10. Collective Action, Heterogeneous Loyalties, and Path Dependence: Micro-Evidence from Senegal By Jean-Philippe Platteau; Tomasz Strzalecki

  1. By: Yann Algan; Pierre Cahuc; Andrei Shleifer
    Abstract: We use several data sets to consider the effect of teaching practices on student beliefs, as well as on organization of firms and institutions. In student level data, teaching practices (such as teachers lecturing versus students working in groups) exert a substantial influence on student beliefs about cooperation both with each other and with teachers. In cross†country data, teaching practices shape both beliefs and institutional outcomes. The relationship between teaching practices and student test performance is nonlinear. The evidence supports the idea that progressive education promotes social capital.
  2. By: Barthelemy Chollet (GEM - Grenoble Ecole de Management - Grenoble École de Management (GEM)); Mickaël Géraudel (CEROM - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche sur les Organisations et le Management - Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier (GSCM) - Montpellier Business School); Caroline Mothe (IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - Université de Savoie)
    Abstract: We examine how small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) chief executive officers' (CEOs) social capital (as measured by strength of ties and structural holes) can help them bring business to their firms through the spread of positive referrals. Based on a sample of 408 French SME CEOs, we find a direct effect of social capital. Such effect is contingent on the CEO's personality, with social capital being most beneficial to CEOs with low levels of conscientiousness. CEOs' social ties facilitate the distortion of information, thereby leading personal contacts to give referrals to and endorse a focal CEO, even in the presence of negative signals, such as low conscientiousness.
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Charness, Gary; Schram, Arthur
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Date: 2013–10–19
  4. By: Arthur Gautier (Chaire entrepreneuriat social - ESSEC Business School); Anne-Claire Pache (Public and Private Policy Department - ESSEC Business School); Valérie Mossel (Rotterdam School of Management - Erasmus university)
    Abstract: In this paper, we provide an outline of the philanthropic landscape in France and analyze the results of a 2009 survey of 4,612 French households about their giving patterns. In the first part, we synthesize knowledge on the history of philanthropy in France, its size and scope, government policy and regulation as well as elements of cultural context. In the second part of the paper, we present a quantitative analysis of recent giving survey data in France, highlighting several determinants on the likelihood to give and the amount donated. Trust towards others, religious beliefs, secondary education, old age and home ownership seem to be the strongest determinants for giving in France. This chapter will be part of the forthcoming Palgrave Research Companion to Global Philanthropy, edited by Pamala Wiepking and Femida Handy.
    Keywords: Determinants ; France ; Giving ; Philanthropy
    Date: 2013–11
  5. By: Lindsey Macmillan (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London); Claire Tyler (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London); Anna Vignoles (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: There is currently a debate in policy circles about access to "the upper echelons of power" (Sir John Major, ex Prime Minister, 2013). This research seeks to understand the relationship between family background and early access to top occupations. We find that privately educated graduates are a third more likely to enter into high status occupations than state educated graduates from similarly affluent families and neighbourhoods. A modest part of this difference is driven by educational attainment with a larger part of the story working through the university that the privately educated graduates attend. Staying on to do a Masters and higher degree is also a (smaller) part of the picture. We explore one potential mechanism which is often posited as a route in accessing top jobs: the role of networks. We find that although networks cannot account for the private school advantage, the use of networks provides an additional advantage over and above background and this varies by the type of top occupation that the graduate enters. A private school graduate who uses personal networks to enter into a top managerial position has a 1.5 percentage point advantage (on a baseline 6.1%) over a state school graduate who uses other ways to find their job.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, social mobility, networks
    JEL: J62 L14
    Date: 2013–12–04
  6. By: Jocelyn Donze; Trude Gunnes (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: This article studies how a firm fosters formal and informal interaction among its employees to create a collective identity and positively influence their effort. We develop an agency model, in which employees have both a personal and a social ideal for effort. The firm does not observe the personal ideals, which gives rise to an adverse selection problem, but can make its workforce more sensitive to the social ideal by allocating part of working hours to social interaction. We show that there are two reasons why the firm invests in social capital. First, it reinforces the effectiveness of monetary incentives. Second, by creating a shared identity in the workforce, the firm is able to reduce the adverse selection problem. We also show that the firm allocates more time to bonding activities when employees have low personal ideals for effort or when they are more heterogeneous as regards these ideals.
    Keywords: Agency theory; Social interaction; Social norms; norm regulation
    JEL: D2 D8 J3 M5
    Date: 2013–10
  7. By: Christoph Bühren (University of Kassel); Thorben C. Kundt (Helmut-Schmidth-University)
    Abstract: We conducted an experimental study on social preferences using dictator games similar to Fehr et al. (2008). We show that social preferences differ between participants who receive low-stakes monetary rewards for their decisions and participants who consider hypothetical stakes. The results are robust when we control for socio-demographic characteristics and participants’ risk attitudes. Besides incentives, gender plays an important role for the categorization of different social preferences.
    Keywords: social preferences, incentive mechanisms, dictator games
    JEL: D91
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Vaillant, Julia; Nordman, Christophe Jalil
    Abstract: We use a representative sample of informal entrepreneurs in Madagascar to add new evidence on the magnitude of the gender performance gap. After controlling for business and entrepreneur characteristics, female-owned businesses exhibit a value added 28 percent lower than their male counterparts. Correcting for endogenous selection into informal self-employment raises the gap by 5 percentage points. We then investigate the role of sharing norms and gender-differentiated allocation of time within the household in the gender performance gap, by estimating their effect on the technical inefficiency of female and male entrepreneurs. Only male entrepreneurs seem subject to pressure to redistribute from the distant network. Our findings are consistent with situations where women working at home would essentially feel negatively the burden of their own community due to intense social norms and obligations in their workplace but also of domestic chores and responsibilities. We find evidence of females self-selecting themselves into industries in which they can combine marketoriented and domestic activities.
    Keywords: Gender; entrepreneurship; informal sector; sharing norms; household composition; Madagascar;
    JEL: D13 D61 O12 J16
    Date: 2013–10
  9. By: Kenneth Harttgen; Matthias Opfinger
    Abstract: We construct a simple index for national identity using information from the World Values Survey on peoples’ attitudes towards the nation. We then analyze the relationship between national identity and religious diversity. The results show that religious diversity is significantly and negatively related to national identity. We also find support for the previous finding that ethnic diversity does not seem to be related to national identity. Apparently, religious diversity and the feeling of heterogeneity that goes along with it prevents people from forming a common identity. Besides, our results indicate that there is a negative correlation between national identity and the level of income. The prevention of discrimination against minority groups follows as an important policy advice.
    Keywords: National Identity, Religious Diversity, Identity Formation
    JEL: J15 O1 Z12
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Jean-Philippe Platteau; Tomasz Strzalecki
    Abstract: In Senegal we encountered a situation in which a minority group of migrant fishermen had completely different sets of expectations regarding a collective action depending on the location where they operated. In one village expectations were pessimistic, while in the other village they were optimistic. Understanding this contrast and its implications provides the main justification for the paper. To be able to account for the contrast between the two areas, pessimistic expectations in the first area have to be traced back to a preceding conflict that could never be settled satisfactorily. A perverse path -dependent process had thus been set in motion that could not be changed by a simple act of will of a determined leadership. To demonstrate the links between expectations and actions that fit with the story told, we propose a simple model of collective action with asymmetric information.

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