nep-soc New Economics Papers
on All new papers
Issue of 2014‒09‒08
six papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Social Exchange and Generalized Trust in China By Nee, Victor; Opper, Sonja; Holm, Hakan J.
  2. The impact of market innovations on the evolution of norms: the sustainability case By Stephan Müller; Georg von Wangenheim
  3. Donations, risk attitudes and time preferences: A study on altruism in primary school children By Silvia Angerer; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Matthias Sutter
  4. Asymmetry of Information within Family Networks By De Weerdt, Joachim; Genicot, Garance; Mesnard, Alice
  5. A dynamic theory of network failure By Anna Moretti; Francesco Zirpoli
  6. Attitudes Towards Gender Equality And Perception Of Democracy In The Arab World By Veronica Kostenko; Pavel Kuzmichev; Eduard Ponarin

  1. By: Nee, Victor (Department of Sociology, Cornell University); Opper, Sonja (Department of Economics, Lund University); Holm, Hakan J. (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper examines how social relations and norms contribute to the emergence of generalized trust in economic action. Our core proposition is that the more positive the local social exchange relationship, the greater an actor’s propensity to place trust in strangers. Our research design integrates behavioral measures elicited by incentivized experimental trust games with survey data using a random sample of 540 founding CEOs of manufacturing firms in the Yangzi delta region of China. Our analysis shows that characteristics of repeated social exchange—depth, prosociality and control—are positively associated with an economic actor’s proclivity for generalized trust. Founder CEOs with deeper and more valued exchange relations are more likely to trust strangers. Likewise, we find robust evidence of a positive association between beliefs in the effectiveness of community social control and trust in strangers.
    Keywords: Generalized Trust; Networks; Social Exchange; Norms; CEOs
    JEL: C90 D85 L26
    Date: 2014–08–21
  2. By: Stephan Müller (University of Göttingen); Georg von Wangenheim (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: That institutions matter is widely accepted among economists and so are social norms as an important category of informal institutions. Social norms matter in many economic situations, but in particular for markets. The economic literature has studied the interrelation between markets and social norms in both directions – how social norms affect markets and how markets affect social norms. Starting from these two perspectives, we add to the literature, by suggesting a new link between product markets and the evolution of social norms: we analyze how the evolution of a social norm may be affected by a product innovation which adds to the variation of products with respect to their level of norm compliance. We derive necessary and sufficient conditions for a) a positive impact of the innovation on the level of norm adoption and b) for multiplicity of norm equilibria. Finally we discuss policy implications.
    Keywords: Consumer Behavior – Social Norms – Evolutionary Economics – Sustainability – Innovation
    JEL: A13 D02 D11 Q01 Q55
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Silvia Angerer; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Matthias Sutter
    Abstract: We study in a sample of 1,070 primary school children, aged seven to eleven years, how altruism in a donation experiment is related to children’s risk attitudes and intertemporal choices. Examining such a relationship is motivated by theories of reciprocal altruism that provide a cornerstone for understanding human social behavior. We find that higher risk tolerance and patience in intertemporal choice increase, in general, the level of donations, albeit the effects are non-linear. We confirm earlier results that altruism increases with age during childhood and that girls are more altruistic than boys. Having older brothers makes subjects less altruistic.
    Keywords: Altruism, donations, risk attitudes, intertemporal choices, experiment, children
    JEL: C91 D03 D63 D64
    Date: 2014–08
  4. By: De Weerdt, Joachim (Economic Development Initiatives); Genicot, Garance (Georgetown University); Mesnard, Alice (City University London)
    Abstract: This paper studies asymmetry of information and transfers within a unique data set of 712 extended family networks from Tanzania. Using cross-reports on asset holdings, we construct measures of misperception of income among all pairs of households belonging to the same network. We show that there is significant asymmetry of information and no evidence of major systematic over-evaluation or under-evaluation of income in our data, although there is a slight over-evaluation on the part of migrants regarding non-migrants. We develop a static model of asymmetric information that contrasts altruism, pressure and exchange as motives to transfer. The model makes predictions about the correlations between misperceptions and transfers under these competing explanations. Testing these predictions in the data gives support to the model of transfers under pressure or an exchange motive with the recipient holding all the bargaining power.
    Keywords: asymmetric information, transfers, pressure, exchange, altruism
    JEL: O12 O15 D12
    Date: 2014–08
  5. By: Anna Moretti (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice); Francesco Zirpoli (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice)
    Abstract: Organizational and sociological research dealing with network governance has mainly focused on network advantages rather than on their problems or dysfunctionalities. This left partially unexplored the field of network failure. Even if some early attempts at explicitly theorizing network failures have been made, we argue that explanations based mainly on social conditions (ignorance and opportunism) offered by this emerging theory (e.g. Schrank and Whitford, 2011), are not exhaustive. In this article we report the results of our empirical investigation on the underperforming network between the worldwide famous Venice Film Festival and its local hospitality system (in Venice, Italy). In the case study we are presenting, we will show how institutions have not been able to inhibit opportunism and sustain trust among network members because of mobilizing practices developed across formal lines of communication. With this work we propose a dynamic theory of network failure, answering to the more general call for network theories to focus the attention on agency and microprocesses.
    Keywords: network failure, micro-processes, individual agency
    JEL: L22 L23 L1
    Date: 2014–08
  6. By: Veronica Kostenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Pavel Kuzmichev (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Eduard Ponarin (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between support of democracy and attitudes to human rights: in particular, support for gender equality in the countries covered by the first wave of the Arab Barometer project. We used cluster analysis and negative binomial regression modeling to show that, unlike in most countries of the world, the correlation between support of democracy and gender equality is very low in Arab countries. There is a group of people in the region who support both democracy and gender equality, but they are a small group (about 17% of the population) of elderly and middle-aged people characterized by higher education and social status. A substantial number of poorly educated males express support for democracy, but not for gender equality. Many people (especially young males aged 25–35 in 2007) are against both gender equality and democracy. Younger people tend to be both better educated and more conservative - those belonging to the 25–34 age group are the most patriarchal in their gender attitudes. Controlling for age, education still has a positive effect on gender equality attitudes. Nevertheless, this phenomenon probably means that there are two simultaneous processes going on in the Middle East. On the one hand, people are becoming more educated, urbanized etc., which means the continuation of modernization. On the other hand, we observed a certain retrogression of social values.
    Keywords: modernization, Arab Barometer, democracy, gender equality, patriarchal values, Islam
    JEL: E11
    Date: 2014

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