nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2014‒04‒05
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
La Sapienza University of Rome

  1. Does Social Capital Matter for European Regional Growth By Peiró Palomino Jesús; Forte Deltell Anabel; Tortosa-Ausina Emili
  2. Do we need to worry if people bowl alone? Results from a field experiment with voluntary association members By Giacomo Degli Antoni
  3. My parents taught me. Evidence on the family transmission of values By Giuseppe Albanese; Guido de Blasio; Paolo Sestito
  4. Framing Matters in Gender-Paired Dictator Games By Kettner , Sara Elisa; Ceccato , Smarandita
  5. Using Social Media to Measure Labor Market Flows By Dolan Antenucci; Michael Cafarella; Margaret C. Levenstein; Christopher Ré; Matthew D. Shapiro
  6. Dependent and Independent social enterprises: a comparative study of organizations in international perspective By Oberemko, Oleg A.; Moskovskaya, Alexandra A.; Chernyshova, Marina V.
  7. Exclude the Bad Actors or Learn About The Group By David Hugh-Jones; David Reinstein
  8. Constrained Interactions and Social Coordination By Mathias Staudigl; Simon Weidenholzer
  9. Elite Influence? Religion, Economics, and the Rise of the Nazis By Spenkuch, Jörg; Tillmann, Philipp

  1. By: Peiró Palomino Jesús (Universidad Jaime I); Forte Deltell Anabel (Jaume I University); Tortosa-Ausina Emili (INSTITUTO VALENCIANO DE INVESTIGACIONES ECONÓMICAS (Ivie) UNIVERSITY JAUME I)
    Abstract: This working paper analyzes the role of different elements of social capital in economic growth for a sample of 85 European regions during the period 1995-2008. Despite the remarkable progress that social capital and European regional economic growth literatures have experienced over the last two decades, initiatives combining the two are few, and entirely yet to come for the post-1990s period. Recent improvements in data availability allow this gap in the literature to be closed, since they enable the researcher to consider the traditionally disregarded Central and Eastern European regions. This is particularly interesting, since they are all transition economies that recently joined the European Union, with relatively low levels of social capital. On the methodological side, we follow the Bayesian paradigm, which enables us to make direct inferences on the parameters to be estimated and deal with parameter uncertainty, leading to a deeper understanding of the relationships being investigated. Contrary to other contributions for the European context, results suggest, among other findings, that trust and social norms might have some implications for regional growth, whereas the role of active participation in groups remains unclear.
    Keywords: Bayesian inference, economic growth, European regions, social capital
    JEL: Z13 C15 R10
    Date: 2014–02
  2. By: Giacomo Degli Antoni (University of Parma, Department of Law)
    Abstract: Trust in strangers is key for economic development. Social capital theory posits that participation in associations is essential to propagate trust in society, because membership instils trust both towards other members and generalised others. We provide an experimental test for this thesis. We measure members' trust and trustworthiness when interacting with fellow members or with people from the general population, who are not association members. We find that members trust and reward trust more than non- members, and do not discriminate between members and the general population. However, we find no correlation between the intensity of associational participation and increased pro-sociality.Length: 17
    Keywords: trust; voluntary associations; ingroup favouritism; field experiment
    JEL: C93 D71 D69 D03
    Date: 2014–04
  3. By: Giuseppe Albanese (Bank of Italy); Guido de Blasio (Bank of Italy); Paolo Sestito (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper uses questions included in the 2010 wave of the Bank of Italy’s Survey on Household Income and Wealth to investigate the role of family transmission of values. It presents three main empirical findings. First, the paper shows that a number of attitudes (generalized and personalized trusting behaviour, risk and time preferences) and outcomes (female labour force participation, fertility, entrepreneurship, productivity) are associated with the values received. Second, it documents that values received from parents are correlated with the values transmitted to descendants. Third, by using respondent moving patterns the paper highlights that there is little evidence that the values received are affected by the local environment before they are passed on further. This evidence is consistent with the idea that family transmission is a channel for historical persistence.
    Keywords: family, cultural transmission, values
    JEL: Z1 D10 C83
    Date: 2014–03
  4. By: Kettner , Sara Elisa; Ceccato , Smarandita
    Abstract: We show that social context matters in gender-paired dictator decisions. Our experiment investigates the influence of gender-pairing and framing on monetary transfers in a 2x2x2 design where sender gender, recipient gender, and frame, i.e. give or take, are varied. We are the first to combine all three variables and uncover that giving information about the gender of the recipient accommodates framing effects. If each of the three manipulated variables were to be analyzed independently, our data would confirm previous findings where females transfer more than males and framing has no effect (Eckel and Grossman, 1998; Dreber et al., 2013). However, we investigate the manipulated variables in interaction and find that framing matters when information about recipient gender is salient. For both genders, transfers in opposite-sex pairs are always higher than in same-sex pairs, but signicantly higher in the take frame. We thus suggest that the gender composition of the sample, gender-pairing, or beliefs about the counterpart's gender should be controlled for in experiments testing gender differences in social interaction.
    Keywords: Framing; Gender Differences; Gender-Pairing; Dictator Game; Experiment
    Date: 2014–03–21
  5. By: Dolan Antenucci; Michael Cafarella; Margaret C. Levenstein; Christopher Ré; Matthew D. Shapiro
    Abstract: Social media enable promising new approaches to measuring economic activity and analyzing economic behavior at high frequency and in real time using information independent from standard survey and administrative sources. This paper uses data from Twitter to create indexes of job loss, job search, and job posting. Signals are derived by counting job-related phrases in Tweets such as “lost my job.” The social media indexes are constructed from the principal components of these signals. The University of Michigan Social Media Job Loss Index tracks initial claims for unemployment insurance at medium and high frequencies and predicts 15 to 20 percent of the variance of the prediction error of the consensus forecast for initial claims. The social media indexes provide real-time indicators of events such as Hurricane Sandy and the 2013 government shutdown. Comparing the job loss index with the search and posting indexes indicates that the Beveridge Curve has been shifting inward since 2011. The University of Michigan Social Media Job Loss index is update weekly and is available at
    JEL: C81 C82 E24 J60
    Date: 2014–03
  6. By: Oberemko, Oleg A.; Moskovskaya, Alexandra A.; Chernyshova, Marina V.
    Abstract: The paper is dedicated to organizational dependence – independence of social enterprises (SEs) taking into account their multifaceted nature and complex business models shaping in line with the task of solving social problems at the crossroads of market, not-for-profit activity and state regulation
    Keywords: sociology of non-profit sector, social entrepreneurship, self-regulation
    JEL: L31 L39 L89
    Date: 2013–10–25
  7. By: David Hugh-Jones; David Reinstein
    Abstract: In public goods environments, the threat to punish non-contributors may increase contributions. However, this threat may make players' contributions less informative about their true social preferences. This lack of information may lead to lower contributions after the threat disappears, as we show in a two stage model with selfish and conditionally cooperatives types. Under specified conditions welfare may be improved by committing not to punish or exclude. Our laboratory evidence supports this. Contributions under the threat of targeted punishment were less informative of subjects' later choices than contributions made anonymously. Subjects also realised that these were less informative, and their incentivized predictions reflected this understanding. We find evidence of conditional cooperation driven by beliefs over other's contributions. Overall, our anonymous treatment led to lower first-stage contributions but significantly higher second-stage contributions than our revealed treatment. Our model and evidence may help explain why anonymous contributions are often encouraged in the real world.
    Date: 2014–03–01
  8. By: Mathias Staudigl; Simon Weidenholzer
    Abstract: We consider a co-evolutionary model of social coordination and network formation where agents may decide on an action in a 2x2 - coordination game and on whom to establish costly links to. We find that a payoff domination convention is selected for a wider parameter range when agents may only support a limited number of links as compared to a scenario where agents are not constrained in their linking choice. The main reason behind this result is that whenever there is a small cluster of agents playing the efficient strategy other players want to link up to those layers and choose the efficient action.
    Date: 2014–02–01
  9. By: Spenkuch, Jörg; Tillmann, Philipp
    Abstract: Adolf Hitler's seizure of power was one of the most consequential events of the twentieth century. Yet, our understanding of which factors fueled the astonishing rise of the Nazis remains highly incomplete. This paper shows that religion played an important role in the Nazi party's electoral success -- dwarfing all available socioeconomic variables. To obtain the first causal estimates we exploit plausibly exogenous variation in the geographic distribution of Catholics and Protestants due to a peace treaty in the sixteenth century. Even after allowing for sizeable violations of the exclusion restriction, the evidence indicates that Catholics were significantly less likely to vote for the Nazi Party than Protestants. Consistent with the historical record, our results are most naturally rationalized by a model in which the Catholic Church leaned on believers to vote for the democratic Zentrum Party, whereas the Protestant Church remained politically neutral.
    Keywords: religion, fascism, elite influence, Nazis, Weimar Germany
    JEL: D72 N00 N34 N94 Z12
    Date: 2014–03–30

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