nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2014‒09‒29
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Public goods and ethnic diversity: evidence from deforestation in Indonesia By Alberto Alesina; Caterina Gennaioli; Stefania Lovo
  2. The Determinants and Consequences of Friendship Composition By Jason Fletcher; Stephen Ross; Yuxiu Zhang;
  3. Time for Helping By Anastasia Danilov; Timo Vogelsang
  4. Coordination in Public Good Provision: How Individual Volunteering is Impacted by the Volunteering of Others By Diasakos, Theodoros M; Neymotin, Florence
  5. Natural Land Productivity, Cooperation and Comparative Development By Anastasia Litina
  6. Competition and Social Identity in the Workplace: Evidence from a Chinese Textile Firm By Takao Kato; Pian Shu
  7. Using Corporate Social Networks: exploring the role of satisfaction By Nabila JAWADI; Mohamed DAASSI; Laetitia BONIS
  8. Continuous Homophily and Clustering in Random Networks By Florian Gauer; Jakob Landwehr
  9. Agricultural landscape as a driver of regional competitiveness - The role of stakeholder networks in landscape valorisation By Schaller, Lena; Ehmeier, V; Kapfer, M; Kantelhardt, J
  10. Social Distance, Reputation, Risk Attitude, Value Orientation and Equity in Economic Exchanges By Mohamed I. Gomaa; Stuart Mestelman; Mohamed Shehata
  11. Institutions And The Preservation Of Cultural Traits By Prummer, Anja; Siedlarek, Jan-Peter

  1. By: Alberto Alesina; Caterina Gennaioli; Stefania Lovo
    Abstract: We show that the level of deforestation in Indonesia is positively correlated with the degree of ethnic fractionalization of the communities. We explore several channels that may link the two variables. They include the negative effect of ethnic fractionalization on the ability to coordinate and organize resistance against logging companies and a higher level of corruption of politicians less controlled in more fragmented communities.
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: Jason Fletcher (University of Wisconsin); Stephen Ross; Yuxiu Zhang;
    Abstract: This paper examines the demographic pattern of friendship links among youth and the impact of those patterns on own educational outcomes using the friendship network data in the Add Health. We develop and estimate a reduced form matching model to predict friendship link formation and identify the parameters based on across-cohort, within school variation in the "supply" of potential friends. We find novel evidence showing that small increases in the share of students with college educated mothers raises the likelihood of friendship links among students with high maternal education, and that small increases in the share of minority students increases the level of racial homophily in friendship patterns. We then use the predicted friendship links from the matching model in an instrumental variable analysis, and find positive effects of friends' high socioeconomic status, as measured by parental education, on own GPA outcomes among girls. The GPA effects are likely driven by science and English grades, and through non-cognitive factors.
    Keywords: Friendship Formation; Grades; Cohort Study; Peer Effects; Non-Cognitive Effects
    JEL: I21 J13 D85
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Anastasia Danilov (University of Cologne); Timo Vogelsang (University of Cologne)
    Abstract: This study investigates whether individuals engage in prosocial behavior when it requires their time but not money. In a lab experiment with rigorous anonymity arrangements, subjects receive their payoff beforehand and can engage in a tedious task to increase the earnings of a passive recipient. We find that individuals work for a significant amount of time.
    Keywords: Laboratory experiment, social preferences, time, opportunity costs, volunteering, altruism
    JEL: C91 D64 J22
    Date: 2014–08–26
  4. By: Diasakos, Theodoros M; Neymotin, Florence
    Abstract: In this analysis, we examine the relationship between an individual's decision to volunteer and the average level of volunteering in the community where the individual resides. Our theoretical model is based on a coordination game , in which volunteering by others is informative regarding the benefit from volunteering. We demonstrate that the interaction between this information and one's private information makes it more likely that he or she will volunteer, given a higher level of contributions by his or her peers. We complement this theoretical work with an empirical analysis using Census 2000 Summary File 3 and Current Population Survey (CPS) 2004-2007 September supplement file data. We control for various individual and community characteristics, and employ robustness checks to verify the results of the baseline analysis. We additionally use an innovative instrumental variables strategy to account for reflection bias and endogeneity caused by selective sorting by individuals into neighborhoods, which allows us to argue for a causal interpretation. The empirical results in the baseline, as well as all robustness analyses, verify the main result of our theoretical model, and we employ a more general structure to further strengthen our results.
    Keywords: stochastic coordination, volunteer work, public goods,
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Anastasia Litina (CREA, Université de Luxembourg)
    Abstract: This research advances the hypothesis that natural land productivity in the past, and its effect on the desirable level of cooperation in the agricultural sector, had a persistent effect on the evolution of social capital, the process of industrialization and comparative economic development across the globe. Exploiting exogenous sources of variations in land productivity across a) countries; b) individuals within a country, and c) migrants of different ancestry within a country, the research establishes that lower level of land productivity in the past is associated with more intense coope- ration and higher levels of contemporary social capital and development,
    Keywords: Land productivity, Cooperation, Social Capital, trust, Growth, development, Agriculture, Industrialisation
    JEL: O11 O13 O14 O31 O33 O41 O50
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Takao Kato (Department of Economics Colgate University); Pian Shu (Harvard Business School, Technology and Operations Management Unit)
    Abstract: We study the impact of social identity on worker competition by exploiting the exogenous variations in workers' origins and the well-documented social divide between urban resident workers and rural migrant workers in large urban Chinese firms. We analyze data on weekly output, individual characteristics, and coworker composition for all weavers in an urban Chinese textile firm between April 2003 and March 2004. The firm's relative performance incentive scheme rewards a worker for outperforming her coworkers. We find that a worker does not act on the monetary incentives to outperform coworkers who share the same social identity, but does aggressively compete against coworkers with a different social identity. Our results highlight the important role of social identity in overcoming self-interest and enhancing intergroup competitions.
    Date: 2013–07
  7. By: Nabila JAWADI; Mohamed DAASSI; Laetitia BONIS
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze factors influencing workers’ behaviors toward corporate social networks (CSN). Using the integrated model of technology acceptance and users’ satisfaction (Wixom and Todd 2005), the proposed research model explains the usage of a CSN by its perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, the satisfaction with its characteristics and with information it produces and its overall quality. Results of a survey administrated among 352 workers in a large French group show that evaluation of the quality of the CSN, the satisfaction with it as well as its perceived usefulness play an important role in enhancing its usage. However, our findings show that no significant link exists between perception of ease of use of the CSN and its usage. Results are discussed and implications of this work are presented.
    Keywords: technology acceptance, user satisfaction, the integrated model, corporate social networks, structural equation modeling
    Date: 2014–09–01
  8. By: Florian Gauer (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University); Jakob Landwehr (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: We propose a random network model incorporating heterogeneity of agents and a continuous notion of homophily. Unlike the vast majority of the corresponding economic literature, we capture homophily in terms of similarity rather than equality of agents. We show that if links between similar agents are indeed more likely, our homophilous random network model exhibits clustering. Moreover, simulations indicate that the well-known small-world phenomenon is preserved even at high homophily levels. As a possible application we provide a stylized labor market model, where a firm can hire a worker via the social network.
    Keywords: Random Graphs, Homophily, Clustering, Small-World Phenomenon, Network Formation, Labor Market Search
    JEL: D85 J64 Z13
    Date: 2014–07
  9. By: Schaller, Lena; Ehmeier, V; Kapfer, M; Kantelhardt, J
    Abstract: The use and valorisation of landscape services provided in agricultural landscapes are assumed to create socio-economic benefits, which in turn can enhance the competitiveness of rural regions. However, the causal relationships between the valorisation of landscape and the socio-economic benefits are complex and up to now not comprehensively understood. Results of a stakeholder workshop held in a rural area in the northern Austrian Alps indicate, that functioning networks of regional actors are of utter importance for successful landscape valorisation. Also literature reveals that the successful involvement of stakeholders is a major factor for an effective management of complex social processes. Against this background our paper analyses the contribution of social networks to landscape valorisation in the Austrian study region “Mittleres Ennstal”. We apply a Social Network Analysis (SNA) on a closed stakeholder network of altogether 22 institutions representing agriculture, tourism, local administration, local economy, nature conservation and rural development. We combine SNA with an expert evaluation of different strategies of landscape valorisation and assess how regional socio-economic benefits from landscape valorisation potentially impact on regional competitiveness. The study gives insights about the density of stakeholder networks in rural areas and about the different strategies of landscape valorisation pursued by different stakeholder groups. The method applied is suitable to show the potentials of stakeholder networks in fostering landscape valorisation. It furthermore is able to detect strategic gaps and thus can reveal potential starting points for the improvement and bundling of landscape valorisation strategies aiming at the enhancement of regional competitiveness.
    Keywords: Social Network Analysis, Stakeholder networks, Landscape valorisation strategies, Agricultural landscape, Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use, Q15, Q180, Q51,
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Mohamed I. Gomaa; Stuart Mestelman; Mohamed Shehata
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to use the ultimatum game setting in a controlled laboratory environment to provide additional empirical evidence on the puzzling phenomenon of why some economic agents may reject non-trivial offers for distributing the surplus of an economic transaction, while others may accept very trivial amounts. Previous research across disciplines (economics, biology, philosophy, sociology and psychology) has studied this phenomenon. These studies provide numerous explanations of such contradictory behavior, most of which are unobservable and vary across economic agents. Our research design attempts to control for this unobserved heterogeneity across agents by using the dual-role design where the participants simultaneously play the roles of both the sender and recipient with two anonymous partners in a multi-period ultimatum game. This design allows us to develop a fairness index for each participant. The fairness index is then used as an explanatory variable to help understand the agents’ decisions to accept or reject the proposed distribution of resources. We use a multi-period within-subjects design to control for some of the unobserved heterogeneity across subjects. In addition, measure subjects’ risk attitudes and value orientations and explicitly include them in the regression analysis. The results show that the fairness index is a crucial determinant of agents’ decisions to accept or reject the proposed splits. Furthermore, while individuals’ social value orientations are not significant determinants of whether or not an offer is accepted, risk attitudes are important.
    Keywords: ultimatum games, fairness, social distance, value orientation, risk preference
    Date: 2014–09
  11. By: Prummer, Anja; Siedlarek, Jan-Peter
    Abstract: We offer a novel explanation for why some immigrant groups and minorities have persistent, distinctive cultural traits – the presence of a rigid institution. Such an institution is necessary for communities to not fully assimilate to the mainstream society. We distinguish between different types of institutions, such as churches, foreign-language media or ethnic business associations and ask what level of cultural distinction these institutions prefer. Any type of institution can have incentives to be extreme and select maximal cultural distinction from the mainstream society. If institutions choose positive cultural distinction, without being extremist, then a decrease in discrimination leads to reduced assimilation.
    Date: 2014–08–04

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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