nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2014‒10‒03
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. What is Trustworthiness and What Drives It? By James C. Cox; Rudolf Kerschbamer; Daniel Neururer
  2. Values, Efficacy And Trust As Determinants Of Innovative Organizational Behaviour In Russia By Peter Schmidt; Nadezhda N. Lebedeva
  3. Coordination in Public Good Provision: How Individual Volunteering is Impacted by the Volunteering of Others By Diasakos, Theodoros M.; Neymotin, Florence
  4. The Multidimensional Nature of Social Capital: An Empirical Investigation for Older People in Europe By Brenda Gannon; Jennifer Roberts
  5. Does expressing disapproval influence future cooperation? An experimental study By Anastasios Koukoumelis; M. Vittoria Levati
  6. Why Do People Give? Testing Pure and Impure Altruism By Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm; Lise Vesterlund; Huan Xie
  7. Environmental Concern and Behavior: Do Personal Attributes Matter? By Natalia Melgar; Irene Mussio; Maximo Rossi

  1. By: James C. Cox; Rudolf Kerschbamer; Daniel Neururer
    Abstract: This paper reports the results of experiments designed to isolate the impact of various combinations of the following motives on trustworthiness: (i) unconditional other-regarding preferences -- like altruism, inequality aversion, quasi-maximin, etc.; (ii) deal-responsiveness -- reacting to actions that allow for a mutual improvement by adopting behavior that implies a mutual improvement; (iii) gift-responsiveness -- reacting to choices that allow the trustee to obtain an improvement by adopting actions that benefit the trustor; and (iv) vulnerability-responsiveness -- reacting to the vulnerability of the trustor by adopting actions that do not hurt the trustor. Our results indicate that -- besides unconditional other-regarding preferences -- vulnerability-responsiveness is an important determinant of trustworthiness even in cases where the vulnerability of the trustor does not come together with a gift to the trustee. Motivated by our empirical findings we provide formal definitions of trust and trustworthiness based on revealed willingness to accept vulnerability and the response to it.
    Keywords: trustworthiness, trust, trust game, investment game, deal-responsiveness, gift-responsiveness, vulnerability-responsiveness, generosity, reciprocity
    JEL: C70 C91 D63 D64
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: Peter Schmidt (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Nadezhda N. Lebedeva (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between values, efficacy, trust and innovative organizational behaviour in Russia. We analyse the direct and indirect effect of gender, age and education on innovative behaviour via values, trust and efficacy. For the measurement of values we employed a new revised value instrument with 19 values. We found that Openness to Change values had a significant positive effect and Conservation values a significant negative effect on innovative behaviour in organizations; efficacy and trust had a significant positive effect. Moreover, the effect of values is moderated by the level of efficacy. Gender, age and education directly influence innovative behaviour and determine such behaviour via values, efficacy and trust.
    Keywords: human values, innovation, innovative behaviour, trust, gender, education, region, age
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  3. 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 neighbourhoods, 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: 2014
  4. By: Brenda Gannon (Manchester Centre for Health Economics, Institute of Population Health, University of Manchester); Jennifer Roberts (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: Social capital is a rapidly expanding research theme within economics and has become a popular concept with policy makers in both developed and developing countries. Despite this growth in popularity, social capital remains a controversial concept among economists. We argue that this is largely due to a fundamental mismatch between the theoretical coverage and the vast majority of empirical work. Utilising data from a large cross-Europe survey of older people we use principal components analysis to demonstrate that social capital has multiple dimensions, and then explore the extent to which these latent dimensions coincide with the theoretical constructs of social capital. We use the association between social capital and a number of measures of health and well-being to demonstrate the importance of taking account of the multiple dimensions of social capital in empirical work. As well as showing that all the underlying constructs of social capital are significantly associated with health and well-being, our results also reveal that while in general this association is positive, close bonding in the form of household ties is inversely related to health and well-being; this contradicts the implicit assumption, often made in the literature that, in relation to social capital, more is always better.
    Keywords: social capital; health; older people; principal components analysis
    JEL: Z13 I12 J14
    Date: 2014–09
  5. By: Anastasios Koukoumelis (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena); M. Vittoria Levati (University of Verona, and Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)
    Abstract: We report on an experiment designed to explore whether a written expression of disapproval affects future levels of cooperation. In between two identical public goods games, participants play a mini dictator game that, depending on the treatment, either gives or does not give the recipient the opportunity to text the dictator. The recipients of an unfair offer contribute significantly less in the second public goods game. Yet, the contribution reductions are significantly smaller in the treatments allowing for recipient communication. To control for belief-based explanations of these findings, we run treatments where we elicit beliefs about the others' contributions. It turns out that the reductions in contributions, but not the reductions in beliefs, of the unfairly treated recipients are notably smaller when messaging is possible. This tends to suggest that allowing for communication opportunities helps to curtail selfishness.
    Keywords: Public goods game, dictator minigame, emotions, cooperation
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D63
    Date: 2014–09–08
  6. By: Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm (Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis); Lise Vesterlund (University of Pittsburgh); Huan Xie (Concordia University)
    Abstract: The extant experimental design to investigate warm glow and altruism elicits a single measure of crowd-out. Not recognizing that impure altruism predicts crowd-out is a function of giving-by-others, this design's power to reject pure altruism varies with the level of giving-by-others, and it cannot identify the strength of warm glow and altruism preferences. These limitations are addressed with a new design that elicits crowd-out at a low and at a high level of giving-by-others. Consistent with impure altruism we find decreasing crowd-out as giving-by-others increases. However warm glow is weak in our experiment and altruism largely explains why people give.
    Date: 2014–09
  7. By: Natalia Melgar (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Irene Mussio (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Maximo Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: Pro-environmental conducts are different from pro-environmental opinions, given the fact that there is not a strict relationship between meaning something and acting according to those principles. The aim of this paper is to examine the attitudinal factors which determine the concern for the environment as well as four environmentally friendly behaviors, while trying to account for the heterogeneity of pro-environment attitudes. What we found is there is a set of characteristics which determine the willingness to take pro-environmental actions: women, marriage, higher education, public employment, higher levels of religiosity, having a left-party ideology and belonging to a trade union are positively correlated with environmentally friendly behaviors. Younger individuals tend to take more environmentally friendly actions compared to older respondents. In general, attitudes and behaviors do not differ between groups of countries. In a second stage, we studied the joint effects of expressing concern and taking environmentally friendly attitudes.
    Keywords: environment, conduct, attitudes, concern, behavior
    JEL: D03 Q53
    Date: 2013–02

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