nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2014‒08‒16
fourteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Structural social capital and health in Italy By Damiano Fiorillo; Fabio Sabatini
  2. Political Budget Cycles Revisited, the Case for Social Capital By Kouvavas, Omiros
  3. Social norms on rent seeking and preferences for redistribution By Sabatini, Fabio; Sarracino, Francesco; Yamamura, Eiji
  4. An Experimental Study of Network Formation with Limited Observation By Michael Caldara; Michael McBride
  5. Identity Changes and the Efficiency of Reputation Systems By Wibral, Matthias
  6. Norm Enforcement in Social Dilemmas: An Experiment with Police Commissioners By Dickinson, David; Masclet, David; Villeval, Marie Claire
  7. Resolving rent-seeking puzzles: A model of political influence via social signals By Cameron K Murray
  8. Are Teams Less Inequality Averse than Individuals? By He, Haoran; Villeval, Marie Claire
  9. Transitions in a West African Labour Market: The Role of Family Networks By Nordman, Christophe Jalil; Pasquier-Doumer, Laure
  10. Does Growing Up in a High Crime Neighborhood Affect Youth Criminal Behavior? By Anna Piil Damm; Christian Dustmann
  11. Influence Vs. Utility in the Evaluation of Voting Rules: A New Look at the Penrose Formula By Le Breton, Michel; Van Der Straeten, Karine
  12. Providing global public goods: Electoral delegation and cooperation By Kocher, Martin G.; Tan, Fangfang; Yu, Jing
  13. Social Beliefs And Learning Motivation: Role Of Organizational Justice By Olga A. Gulevich
  14. Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission By Matthias Doepke; Fabrizio Zilibotti

  1. By: Damiano Fiorillo; Fabio Sabatini
    Abstract: This paper presents the first empirical assessment of the causal relationship between social capital and health in Italy. The analysis draws on the 2000 wave of the Multipurpose Survey on Household conducted by the Italian Institute of Statistics on a representative sample of the population (n = 46,868). Our measure of social capital is the frequency of meetings with friends. Based on IV and bivariate probit estimates, we find that individuals who meet friends every day or at least two times a week are approximately 11% to 16% more likely to report good health.
    Date: 2014–08
  2. By: Kouvavas, Omiros
    Abstract: Recent literature on Political Budget Cycles has provided appealing evidence that their existence is conditional to country specific characteristics. In this paper we hypothesize that the level of social capital prevailing in a country might be an underlying fundamental reason that might be driving these results. We provide strong evidence that political budget cycles are only present in low social capital countries by utilizing a large panel data set for 63 democratic countries. We also show that the political budget cycles occur both in developing and developed countries under low social capital. Simultaneously, our results are robust under most other conditional effects considered by the literature. Finally, we also propose a theoretical model of conditional capital budget cycles by adapting a moral hazard model to account for different distributions of social capital.
    Keywords: Political Budget Cycles; Political Processes; Trust; Social Capital;
    JEL: D72 E02 E32 E62 H60
    Date: 2013–06–20
  3. By: Sabatini, Fabio; Sarracino, Francesco; Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: Empirical studies have shown that preferences for redistribution are significantly correlated with expectations of future mobility and the belief that society offers equal opportunities. We add to previous research by investigating the role of individual and social norms on rent seeking. We find that the individual propensity for stigmatizing rent seeking significantly and positively affects preferences for redistribution. On the other hand, living in an area where most citizens do not stigmatize rent seeking, makes men more favourable to redistribution, which may be seen as a social equalizer in an unfair society that does not offer equal opportunities to all. This effect does not hold for women, whose preference for redistribution is negatively associated to the regional tolerance of rent seeking.
    Keywords: redistribution, welfare state, civic values, social norms, social capital
    JEL: D31 D39 D63 D64 D72 H26 Z13
    Date: 2014–07–07
  4. By: Michael Caldara (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University); Michael McBride (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: Many social and economic networks emerge among actors that only partially observe the network when forming network ties. We ask: what types of network architectures form when actors have limited observation, and does limited observation lead to less efficient structures? We report numerous results from a laboratory experiment that varies both network observation and the cost of forming links. Overall, we find that limited network observation does not inevitably lead to highly inefficient networks but instead might actually inhibit inefficient positional jockeying among actors.
    Keywords: Networks; Limited observation; Coordination
    JEL: C92 D83 D85
    Date: 2014–07
  5. By: Wibral, Matthias (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: Reputation systems aim to induce honest behavior in online trade by providing information about past conduct of users. Online reputation, however, is not directly connected to a person, but only to the virtual identity of that person. Users can therefore shed a negative reputation by creating a new account. We study the effects of such identity changes on the efficiency of reputation systems. We compare two markets in which we exogenously vary whether sellers can erase their rating profile and start over as new sellers. Buyer trust and seller trustworthiness decrease significantly when sellers can erase their ratings. With identity changes, trust is particularly low towards new sellers since buyers cannot discriminate between truly new sellers and opportunistic sellers who changed their identity. Nevertheless, we observe positive returns on buyer investment under the reputation system with identity changes, and our evidence suggests that trustworthiness is higher than in the complete absence of a reputation system.
    Keywords: identity changes, reputation, trust
    JEL: C91 D02 L14
    Date: 2014–05
  6. By: Dickinson, David (Appalachian State University); Masclet, David (University of Rennes); Villeval, Marie Claire (CNRS, GATE)
    Abstract: Do individuals trained in law enforcement punish or reward differently from typical student subjects? We analyze norm enforcement behavior of newly appointed police commissioners in both a Voluntary Contribution Mechanism game and a Common Pool Resource game. Our experimental design includes treatments where a reward or sanction institution is exogenously imposed, as well as treatments with endogenous selection of the norm enforcement institution. Compared to a standard student-subject pool, police commissioners cooperate significantly more in both games. With exogenous institutions, police commissioners bear a higher burden of punishment costs than non-police subjects. When the norm enforcement institution is endogenous, all subjects vote more in favor of rewards over sanctions, but police subjects with some work experience are more likely to vote for sanctions. Police subjects also reward and sanction more than the others when the institution results from a majority vote.
    Keywords: norm enforcement, common pool resources, voluntary contribution mechanism, police officers, experiment
    JEL: C92 H41 D63
    Date: 2014–05
  7. By: Cameron K Murray (School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: The empirical observations of underinvestment, loyalty and inequality of access to rent-seeking activities are theoretical puzzles. Drawing on the concepts of power, trust and signals, a new model of political influence via trust-signalling agents is developed. This ‘trust-signalling’ model generates a much richer set of predictions about the market for political influence, resolves the three identified puzzles, and offers a number of testable predictions.
    Date: 2014–04–15
  8. By: He, Haoran (Beijing Normal University); Villeval, Marie Claire (CNRS, GATE)
    Abstract: We compare inequality aversion in individuals and teams by means of both within- and between-subject experimental designs, and we investigate how teams aggregate individual preferences. We find that team decisions reveal less inequality aversion than individual initial proposals in team decision-making. However, teams are no more selfish than individuals who decide in isolation. Individuals express strategically more inequality aversion in their initial proposals in team decision-making because they anticipate the selfishness of other members. Members with median social preferences drive team decisions. Finally, we show that social image has little influence because guilt and envy are almost similar in anonymous and non-anonymous interactions.
    Keywords: team, inequity aversion, preference aggregation, social image, experiment
    JEL: C91 C92 D03 D63 D72
    Date: 2014–05
  9. By: Nordman, Christophe Jalil (IRD, DIAL, Paris); Pasquier-Doumer, Laure (IRD, DIAL, Paris)
    Abstract: This paper sheds light on the role of family networks in the dynamics of a West African labour market, i.e. in the transitions from unemployment to employment, from wage employment to self-employment, and from self-employment to wage employment. It investigates the effects of three dimensions of the family network on these transitions: its structure, the strength of ties and the resources embedded in the network. For this purpose, we use a first-hand survey conducted in Ouagadougou on a representative sample of 2000 households. Using event history data and very detailed information on family network, we estimate proportional hazard models for discrete-time data. We find that family networks have a significant effect on the dynamics of workers in the labour market and that this effect differs depending on the type of transition and the considered dimension of the family network. The network size appears to not matter much in the labour market dynamics. Strong ties however play a stabilizing role by limiting large transitions. Their negative effect on transitions is reinforced with high level of resources embedded in the network.
    Keywords: family network, labour market dynamics, event history data, survival analysis, Burkina Faso
    JEL: D13 J24 L14
    Date: 2014–07
  10. By: Anna Piil Damm (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University); Christian Dustmann (Department of Economics, University College London)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of early exposure to neighborhood crime on subsequent criminal behavior of youth exploiting a unique natural experiment between 1986 and 1998 when refugee immigrants to Denmark were assigned to neighborhoods quasi-randomly. We find strong evidence that the share of young people convicted for crimes, in particular violent crimes, in the neighborhood increases convictions of male assignees later in life. No such effects are found for other measures of neighborhood crime including the rate of committed crimes. Our findings suggest social interaction as a key channel through which neighborhood crime is linked to individual criminal behavior.
    Keywords: Neighborhood effects, criminal convictions, social interactions, random allocation
    JEL: J0 H43
    Date: 2014–06
  11. By: Le Breton, Michel; Van Der Straeten, Karine
    Abstract: In this paper, we clarify the relationship between influence/power measurement and utility measurement, the most popular two social objective criteria used when evaluating voting mechanisms. For one particular probabilistic model describing the preferences of the electorate, the so-called Impartial Culture (IC) model used by Banzhaf, the Penrose formula show that the two objectives coincide. The IC probabilistic model assumes that voter preferences are independent. In this article, we prove a general version of the Penrose formula, allowing for correlations in the electorate. We show that in that case, the two social objectives no longer coincide, and qualitative conclusions can be very different.
    Keywords: Power measurement, Voting, Random electorates
    JEL: D71 D72
    Date: 2014–07
  12. By: Kocher, Martin G.; Tan, Fangfang; Yu, Jing
    Abstract: This paper experimentally examines the effect of electoral delegation on providing global public goods shared by several groups. Each group elects a delegate who can freely decide on each group member’s contribution (including the contribution of herself) to the global public good. Our results show that people mostly vote for delegates who assign equal contributions for every group member. However, in contrast to standard theoretical predictions, unequal contributions across groups drive cooperation down over time, and it decreases efficiency by almost 50% compared to the benchmark. This pattern is not driven by delegates trying to exploit their fellow group members, as indicated by the theory – quite to the opposite, other-regarding preferences and a re-election incentives guarantee that delegates assign equal contributions for all group members. Since the source of the resulting inefficiency is the polycentric nature of global public goods provision together with other-regarding preferences, we use the term Pinefficiency to describe our finding.
    Keywords: Global Public Goods; Delegation; Cooperation; Experiment
    JEL: C92 D72 H41
    Date: 2014–07–24
  13. By: Olga A. Gulevich (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This study explored the relation between social beliefs, organizational justice evaluation, and learning motivation. Three hypotheses were tested. Hypothesis 1 suggested that justice evaluation is negatively related to amotivation and positively related to intrinsic learning motivation. According to Hypothesis 2, dangerous and jungle world beliefs are positively related to amotivation and negatively related to intrinsic learning motivation. Hypothesis 3 suggested that the relation between social beliefs and learning motivation is moderated by organizational justice evaluation. Participants were 895 first and fourth year students of four Russian universities. They completed the ‘Dangerous World Beliefs Scale’, ‘Jungle Word Beliefs Scale’, ‘Organizational Justice Scale’ and ‘Academic Motivation Scale’. The results supported Hypotheses 1 and 2, but not Hypothesis 3.
    Keywords: self-determination theory, learning motivation, organizational justice, dangerous world belief, jungle world belief
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  14. By: Matthias Doepke; Fabrizio Zilibotti
    Abstract: We develop a theory of intergenerational transmission of preferences that rationalizes the choice between alternative parenting styles (as set out in Baumrind 1967). Parents maximize an objective function that combines Beckerian altruism and paternalism towards children. They can affect their children's choices via two channels: either by influencing children's preferences or by imposing direct restrictions on their choice sets. Different parenting styles (authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive) emerge as equilibrium outcomes, and are affected both by parental preferences and by the socioeconomic environment. Parenting style, in turn, feeds back into the children's welfare and economic success. The theory is consistent with the decline of authoritarian parenting observed in industrialized countries, and with the greater prevalence of more permissive parenting in countries characterized by low inequality.
    JEL: D10 J10 O10 O40
    Date: 2014–06

This nep-soc issue is ©2014 by Fabio Sabatini. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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