nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2014‒05‒17
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
La Sapienza University of Rome

  1. Social preferences in the online laboratory: a randomized experiment By Jérôme Hergueux; Nicolas Jacquemet
  2. Online and offline social participation and social poverty traps. Can social networks save human relations? By A. Antoci; F. Sabatini; M. Sodini
  3. Coworkers, Networks, and Job Search Outcomes By Perihan Ozge Saygin; Andrea Weber; Michèle A. Weynandt
  4. Local sources of resilience: Working with social capital: By Bernier, Quinn; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela
  5. Resilience and social capital: By Bernier, Quinn; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela
  6. Individual and Group Cheating Behavior: A Field Experiment with Adolescents By Julie Chytilova; Vaclav Korbel
  7. Gender difference in support for democracy in sub-Saharan Africa: Do social institutions matter? By Konte, Maty

  1. By: Jérôme Hergueux (IEP Paris - Sciences Po Paris - Institut d'études politiques de Paris - Institut d'Études Politiques [IEP] - Paris - PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité - Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques [FNSP]); Nicolas Jacquemet (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, BETA - Bureau d'économie théorique et appliquée - CNRS : UMR7522 - Université de Strasbourg - Université Nancy II)
    Abstract: Internet is a very attractive technology for the implementation of experiments, both in order to obtain larger and more diverse samples and as a field of economic research in its own right. This paper reports on an experiment performed both online and in the laboratory, designed to strengthen the internal validity of decisions elicited over the Internet. We use the same subject pool, the same monetary stakes and the same decision interface, and control the assignment of subjects between the Internet and a traditional university laboratory. We apply the comparison to the elicitation of social preferences in a Public Good game, a dictator game, an ultimatum bargaining game and a trust game, coupled with an elicitation of risk aversion. This comparison concludes in favor of the reliability of behaviors elicited through the Internet. We moreover find a strong overall parallelism in the preferences elicited in the two settings. The paper also reports some quantitative differences in the point estimates, which always go in the direction of more other-regarding decisions from online subjects. This observation challenges either the predictions of social distance theory or the generally assumed increased social distance in internet interactions.
    Keywords: Social experiment ; Field experiment ; Internet Methodology ; Randomized assignment
    Date: 2014
  2. By: A. Antoci; F. Sabatini; M. Sodini
    Abstract: In this study, we develop an evolutionary game model to analyse how human relations evolve in a context characterised by declining face-to-face interactions and growing online social participation. Our results suggest that online networks may constitute a coping response allowing individuals to “defend” their social life from increasing busyness and a reduction in the time available for leisure. Internet-mediated interaction can play a positive role in preventing the disruption of ties and the weakening of community life documented by empirical studies. In this scenario, the digital divide is likely to become an increasingly relevant factor of social exclusion, which may exacerbate inequalities in well-being and capabilities.
    Keywords: well-being, social participation, social capital, online networks, digital divide
    JEL: Z13 O33 D85 C73
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Perihan Ozge Saygin; Andrea Weber; Michèle A. Weynandt
    Abstract: Social networks are an important channel of information transmission in the labor market. This paper studies the mechanisms by which social networks have an impact on labor market outcomes of displaced workers. We base our analysis on administrative records for the universe of private sector employment in Austria where we define work-related networks formed by past coworkers. To distinguish between mechanisms of information transmission, we adopt two different network perspectives. From the job-seeker's perspective we analyze how network characteristics affect job finding rates and wages in the new jobs. Then we switch to the perspective of the hiring firm and analyze which types of displaced workers get hired by firms that are connected to a closing firm via past coworker links. Our results indicate that employment status and the firm types of former coworkers are crucial for the job finding success of their displaced contacts. Moreover, 21% of displaced workers find a new job in a firm that is connected to their former workplace. Among all workers that were displaced from the same closing firm those with a direct link to a former coworker are twice as likely to be hired by the connected firm than workers without a link. These results highlight the role of work related networks in the transmission of job information and strongly suggest that job referrals are an important mechanism.
    Keywords: Social Networks, Job Displacement, Plant Closure, Referral Hiring
    JEL: J63 J64 M51
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: Bernier, Quinn; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela
    Abstract: People have always faced shocks and have devised a variety of institutional responses to cope with, recover from, and prevent future impacts. Central to these shocks and this coping capacity, but often underexplored, is the role of social capital. Social capital includes “features of social organization, such as networks, norms, and social trust, that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefitâ€1 and can serve as an asset for communities, enabling them to engage in and benefit from collective action and cooperation. While social capital takes many forms, of particular interest here are localâ€level organizations and less formal social networks.
    Keywords: food security, Nutrition security, Community organizations, Networks, resilience, Social capital,
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Bernier, Quinn; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela
    Abstract: Increasingly, resilience is being incorporated into planning and social protection policy. People have been facing shocks, both natural and anthropogenic, forever, devising and innovating a variety of institutional responses to cope with, recover from, and prevent future impacts. Central to these shocks and this coping capacity, but often underexplored, is the role of social capital. This paper, using the case studies of iddirs (funeral societies) in Ethiopia and migrant networks in the Philippines, explores the contribution of local forms of social capital to building and strengthening the resilience of individuals and communities, focusing on their contributions to coping, adaptive, and transformative capacities. This paper argues that understanding clearly the role that existing social capital can play in building resilience is a necessary first step for policymakers. The authors suggest policy interventions to fill gaps where and when necessary while supporting and deepening existing social capital.
    Keywords: food security, Nutrition security, Community organizations, Networks, resilience, Social capital,
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Julie Chytilova (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic); Vaclav Korbel (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: Dishonest activities with negative consequences for others and society are often undertaken by individuals as well as groups of people. In this paper, we use a field experiment among students aged 11-16 years to study whether there is a difference between individual and group cheating behavior. We find that students cheat, but not to the maximum extent possible. On average, groups are more inclined to cheat than individuals, but there are important differences across age. While there is no evidence of dishonesty among younger individuals, older individuals as well as younger and older groups cheat and do so to a similar extent. The way in which groups are formed does not seem to matter.
    JEL: C93 D63 D70
    Date: 2014–03
  7. By: Konte, Maty
    Abstract: Little investigation has been made to explain why women are less likely than are men to support democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. This gender difference in politics has been found in numerous studies and may hinder the much needed legitimation of democracy
    Keywords: support for democracy, gender difference, social institutions
    Date: 2014

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