nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2014‒04‒29
twelve papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
La Sapienza University of Rome

  1. Candidates' Quality and Electoral Participation: Evidence from Italian Municipal Elections By De Benedetto, Marco Alberto; De Paola, Maria
  2. Trust-Based Work-Time and Product Improvements: Evidence from Firm Level Data By Godart, Olivier; Görg, Holger; Hanley, Aoife
  3. Experiencing breast cancer at the workplace By G. Zanella; R. Banerjee
  4. Corporate Volunteering And Its Influence On Employee Civil Engagement In Russia By Irina I. Krasnopolskaya
  5. Motivational Drivers of the Private Provision of Public Goods: Evidence From a Large Framed Field Experiment By Diederich, Johannees; Goeschl, Timo
  6. Trusting Former Rebels: An Experimental Approach to Understanding Reintegration after Civil War By Michal Bauer; Nathan Fiala; Ian Levely
  7. A Social Cognitive Framework of Newcomersf Extra-Role Behaviors By Li Jie; Tomoki Sekiguchi
  8. Crime and Self-Control Revisited: Disentangling the Effect of Self-Control on Risk and Social Preferences By Friehe, Tim; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
  9. Experimental Games on Networks: Underpinnings of Behavior and Equilibrium Selection By Charness, Gary; Feri, Francesco; Meléndez-Jiménez, Miguel A.; Sutter, Matthias
  10. The influence of network relationships on the internationalization process of SMEs: A multiple case-study of Ethiopian SMEs By Luuk Rietveldt; Robert Goedegebuure
  11. Migrant diversity, migration motivations and early integration: the case of Poles in Germany, the Netherlands, London and Dublin. By Renee Luthra; Lucinda Platt; Justyna Salamońska
  12. Social Norms and Mothers' Labor Market Attachment: The Medium-Run Effects of Parental Benefits By Kluve, Jochen; Schmitz, Sebastian

  1. By: De Benedetto, Marco Alberto (Birkbeck, University of London); De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of the quality of candidates running for a mayor position on turnout using a large data set on Italian municipal elections held from 1993 to 2011. We firstly estimate a municipal fixed effects model and show that an increase in the average quality of candidates competing at the electoral race produces a positive impact on turnout. To handle endogeneity issues arising from time variant unobservable features of electoral races, we build on the literature showing that politicians' quality is positively affected by their wage and apply a Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design relying on the fact that in Italy the wage of the mayor increases non-monotonically at different thresholds. Results show that an exogenous increase in the average quality of candidates, induced by a higher wage, leads to an increase in turnout by about 2 percentage points.
    Keywords: politicians' quality, turnout, fuzzy regression discontinuity design, instrumental variables
    JEL: D72 D78 J45
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Godart, Olivier (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Görg, Holger (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Hanley, Aoife (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)
    Abstract: We explore whether the introduction of trust based working hours is related to the subsequent innovation performance of firms. Employing a panel data set of over 5,000 German establishments, we implement a propensity score matching approach where we only consider firms that did not use trust based work contracts initially. Our results show that firms which adopt such contracts tend to be between 11 to 14 percent more likely to improve products. These results hold when we control for another form of flexible time work arrangements, namely working time accounts. Thus, the positive relationship between the adoption of trust based working hours and innovation seems to be driven by the degree of control and self-management over working days, rather than by merely allowing time flexibility.
    Keywords: trust based work time, innovation, firm performance
    JEL: M54 M12
    Date: 2014–04
  3. By: G. Zanella; R. Banerjee
    Abstract: We study unique data from a dynamic natural experiment involving more than 7,000 American women to understand how a woman’s propensity to perform an annual mammography changes over time after a co-worker is diagnosed with breast cancer. We find that in the year this event occurs the probability that a woman performs a mammography drops by about 8 percentage points, off a base level of about 70%. This impact effect is persistent during at least the following 2 years, is driven by cases of breast cancer diagnosed at non-early stages, and by the behavior of individuals who are less knowledgeable about health issues. This negative effect is confirmed when we allow for serial correlation in screening behavior and when we estimate the effect of the treatment on the hazard of not screening, at the daily frequency. However, the effect vanishes in placebo experiments.
    JEL: I10 C31 D03 Z10
    Date: 2014–04
  4. By: Irina I. Krasnopolskaya (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper is devoted to identifying and analyzing the role of corporate volunteering in functioning as the infrastructure of volunteer activity in Russia and the influence of employee civil engagement. Four main functions of third-sector infrastructure are used in this article: motivation and mobilization, organization and support of civil activity, education and socialization, representation and interests protection, as well as net construction and communications. The theoretical background of the research methods lie in the institutional treatment of corporate social responsibility. The role of corporate volunteering in employee civic engagement based on a comparison of the employees who participate in volunteering events and those who do not is examined in detail. Based on the results of binary logistic regression analysis, we conclude that employee participation in corporate volunteering positively influences their civil engagement outside the corporation and satisfaction with various aspects of one’s life. Corporate volunteers (n = 399) are statistically more likely to report civil engagement and personal happiness and satisfaction than employees who do not take part in corporate volunteering events (n=402). Corporate volunteering is positively related with current and future civil engagement, including monetary donations.
    Keywords: corporate social responsibility; corporate volunteering; volunteering infrastructure; civic participation.
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Diederich, Johannees; Goeschl, Timo
    Abstract: Disentangling the motivational drivers of individuals is frequently regarded a key step in reconciling theory and empirical evidence on the voluntary provision of public goods. We present results of a large online field experiments with 12,624 contribution choices by members of the Internet-using German population. Subjects are assigned to six treatments targeted at motivations such as altruism, "warm glow", image motivation, or equity concerns. While evidence on treatment effects is mixed, the data point to signicant effects of framing and the sequence of presenting options. Exploiting variations within the highly heterogeneous sample, the results confirm previous results from a subset of the data on sociodemographics and exogenous environmental conditions as determinants of subjects' choices and add additional evidence that females and older subjects are more inclined to give to the public good.
    Keywords: private provision of public goods; online experiment; field experiment; warm glow; social norms; equity field experiment; online experiment
    Date: 2014–04–16
  6. By: Michal Bauer; Nathan Fiala; Ian Levely
    Abstract: The stability of many post-conflict societies rests on the successful reintegration of former soldiers. We use an experimental approach to study reintegration in Northern Uganda and examine behavior of former soldiers together with the behavior of receiving communities towards this group. We focus on trust-based interactions and find that individual trustworthiness increases with the length of time a person was with the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group which forcibly recruited a large fraction of young people in the area. The effect is strongest among former soldiers who were abducted during childhood and is mute among those who soldiered during adulthood. These results are consistent with predictions of recent theories that highlight the importance of cooperation during war. Furthermore, members of receiving communities with an abductee son, who thus have better knowledge of former soldiers are aware of the behavioral difference. They believe former soldiers are more trustworthy than their peers and trust them more. Last, we find no evidence of preference-based discrimination, suggesting that anger is attenuated when communities do not attribute responsibility for committed violence to returning soldiers.
    Keywords: trust; cooperation; civil war; endogenous preferences; soldiers; reintegration;
    JEL: C93 D03 D74 O12
    Date: 2014–03
  7. By: Li Jie (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University); Tomoki Sekiguchi (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Although much research has been conducted on employeesf extra-role behaviors (ERBs), the topic of how newcomers to an organization engage in ERBs remains relatively underexplored. Following social cognitive theory, we develop a dynamic model of newcomersf helping and voice as two types of ERBs. The core idea of our model is that although newcomers may eventually come to engage in both types of ERBs, there will be a time lag between the emergence and increase of helping and those of voice. Our model shows that a social cognitive mechanism, including cyclical positive feedback loops and transfer of domain-specific self-efficacy, mediates the behavioral-level spillover from helping to voice. Our model also identifies several moderating factors that influence the process in which newcomersf helping and voice behaviors develop over time.
    Keywords: newcomers, helping, voice, domain-specific self-efficacy, social cognitive theory
    JEL: M10 M12 M54
    Date: 2014–04
  8. By: Friehe, Tim (University of Bonn); Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: In economic models, risk and social preferences are major determinants of criminal behavior. In criminology, low self-control is considered a fundamental cause of crime. Relating the arguments from both disciplines, this paper studies the relationship between self-control and both risk and social preferences. To exogenously vary the level of self-control, we use a well-established experimental manipulation. We find that low self-control causes less risk-averse behavior. The effect of self-control on social preferences is not significant. In sum, our findings support the proposition that low self-control is a facilitator of crime. While our study is motivated by the literature on the determinants of criminal behavior, it has important implications for dual-system models and documents endogeneity of economic preferences.
    Keywords: criminal behavior, risk preferences, social preferences, ego-depletion, dual-system models, experiment, endogeneity of economic preferences
    JEL: K42 H23 C91
    Date: 2014–04
  9. By: Charness, Gary (University of California, Santa Barbara); Feri, Francesco (University of Innsbruck); Meléndez-Jiménez, Miguel A. (University of Malaga); Sutter, Matthias (European University Institute)
    Abstract: In this paper, we describe a series of laboratory experiments that implement specific examples of a more general network structure and we examine equilibrium selection. Specifically, actions are either strategic substitutes or strategic complements, and participants have either complete or incomplete information about the structure of a random network. Since economic environments typically have a considerable degree of complementarity or substitutability, this framework applies to a wide variety of settings. The degree of equilibrium play is striking, in particular with incomplete information. Behavior closely resembles the theoretical equilibrium whenever this is unique; when there are multiple equilibria, general features of networks, such as connectivity, clustering, and the degree of the players, help to predict informed behavior in the lab. People appear to be strongly attracted to maximizing aggregate payoffs (social efficiency), but there are forces that moderate this attraction: 1) people seem content with (in the aggregate) capturing only the lion's share of the efficient profits in exchange for reduced exposure to loss, and 2) uncertainty about the network structure makes it considerably more difficult to coordinate on a demanding, but efficient, equilibrium that is typically implemented with complete information.
    Keywords: random networks, incomplete information, connectivity, clustering, strategic substitutes, strategic complements, experiment
    JEL: C71 C91 D03 D85
    Date: 2014–04
  10. By: Luuk Rietveldt (Lecturer at Utrecht University); Robert Goedegebuure (Associate Professor at the Maastricht School of Management)
    Abstract: The role of network relationships has become topical in research on the internationalization process of firms. Research has focused on the internationalization process of firms in developed nations. This research adds to the literature by looking at the use of network relationships in Ethiopian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs2) exporting spices, meat and shoes. Propositions are formulated from findings in the literature. Using a multiple case study of three Ethiopian firms, the influence of different networks on the foreign market entry process (FME) was researched. The focus was on the effect of network relations on the foreign market choice (FMC) and market entry mode choice (MEMC). The outcomes show that network relations play an important role in the internationalization. Contrary to expectations, the internationalization of the Ethiopian case firms depended completely on foreign firms initiating contacts and therewith the entrance into foreign markets. The foreign firms also influenced market entry mode choices of the firms under study. None of the firms did market research or had a strategic plan to enter the market, reflecting a reactive approach to internationalization. The vertical network, based on strong formal relations with the foreign product buyers, played a significant role in the foreign market and market entry mode choice. An important finding from the research is the notion that horizontal networks, especially the intermediary role played by foreign country governments and foreign and Ethiopian export organizations, had a big influence in the early stages on the contact relations between the foreign buyer and the Ethiopian exporter.
    Keywords: Network relations, internationalization, sme's (small and medium sized enterprises), foreign market entry, foreign market choice
    JEL: F23 L14
    Date: 2014–04
  11. By: Renee Luthra (University of Essex); Lucinda Platt (London School of Economics); Justyna Salamońska (University of Chieti-Pescara)
    Abstract: The expansion of the European Union eastwards in 2004, with an ensuing massive increase in East-West migration from the accession countries has been represented as a new migration system of a kind unique in recent migration history, with its specific features of rights of movement and low mobility and information costs accompanying persistent East-West wage differentials. In principle, it provides an ideal context in which to develop understandings of the ‘new migration’ reflecting complex motivations and migration trajectories as well as chain migration and transnational lives. Despite a rapid expansion of research in this area, new insights into the complexities of mixed migration motivations and migrant heterogeneity have tended to be focused on country-specific qualitative studies. In this paper we utilise a unique, four-country data source covering over 3,500 Poles migrating to Germany, the Netherlands, London and Dublin in 2009-2010, to enable the quantitative characterization of the new migration. Exploiting information on pre-migration experience as well as expressed migration motivations and post-migration structural, subjective and social measures of integration in the receiving country, we conduct a three-stage analysis. First we employ latent class analysis to allocate the migrants to six migrant types. Second, we link these migrant types to pre-migration characteristics and estimate multinomial logit models for class membership. Third, controlling for these pre-migration characteristics we are able to explore how the migrant types are associated with measures of integration. We reveal substantial heterogeneity among migrants and some evolving ‘new’ migrant types alongside more traditional labour migrants. We show how these types are associated with differences in pre-migration human capital, region of origin and employment experience and with post-migration social and subjective integration in receiving societies.
  12. By: Kluve, Jochen (Humboldt University Berlin, RWI); Schmitz, Sebastian (Freie Universität Berlin)
    Abstract: Increasing mothers' labor supply is a key policy challenge in many OECD countries. Germany recently introduced a generous parental benefit that allows for strong consumption smoothing after childbirth and, by taking into account opportunity costs of childbearing, incentivizes working women to become mothers and return to the labor force rapidly. Using a sharp regression discontinuity design, we estimate policy impacts for up to 5 years after childbirth and find significant and striking patterns. First, medium-run effects on mothers' employment probability are positive, significant and large, for some subgroups ranging up to 10 per cent. The effects are driven by gains in part-time but not full-time employment. We also find significant increases in working hours. Second, the probability of job continuity rises significantly, i.e. mothers return to their pre-childbirth employer at higher rates. Third, employers reward this return to work by raising job quality significantly and substantially. We argue that the policy generated a profound change in social norms: the new parental benefit defines an "anchor", i.e. a societally preferred point in time at which mothers return to work after childbirth.
    Keywords: regression discontinuity, female labor supply, parental benefits
    JEL: H31 J13 J22
    Date: 2014–04

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