nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2014‒11‒28
twelve papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. It's not the economy, stupid! How social capital and GDP relate to happiness over time By Stefano Bartolini; Francesco Sarracino
  2. Making economic growth and well-being compatible: the role of trust and income inequality By Mikucka, Malgorzata; Sarracino, Francesco
  3. Trust: What it is and Why it Matters for Governance and Education By Lucie Cerna
  4. A friend in need: Emergency responders' social media use and the effects on response practices By Maldonado, Edgar; van Gorp, Annemijn; Pogrebnyakov, Nicolai
  5. Methods of Identification in Social Networks By Bryan S. Graham
  6. Why Do People Give? Testing Pure and Impure Altruism By Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm; Lise Vesterlund; Huan Xie
  7. Waiting To Give By Craig, Ashley; Garbarino, Ellen; Heger, Stephanie A.; Slonim, Robert
  8. Directed Giving: Evidence from an Inter-Household Transfer Experiment By Catia Batista; Dan Silverman; Dean Yang
  9. The effect of simultaneous multi-screening on the users' knowledge of social issues in a highly mediated society By Cheng, John W.; Mitomo, Hitoshi; Otsuka, Tokio
  10. Expectation Formation and Social Influence By Andreas Karpf
  11. Generating Business Referrals for SMEs: The Contingent Value of CEOs' Social Capital By Barthelemy Chollet; Mickaël Géraudel; Caroline Mothe
  12. Desert and Inequity Aversion in Teams By Gill, David; Stone, Rebecca

  1. By: Stefano Bartolini; Francesco Sarracino
    Abstract: What predicts the evolution over time of subjective well-being? We correlate the trends of subjective well-being with the trends of social capital and/or GDP. We find that in the long and medium run social capital largely predicts the trends of subjective wellbeing in our sample of countries. In the short-term this relationship weakens. Indeed, in the short run, changes in social capital predict a much smaller portion of the changes in subjective well-being than over longer periods. GDP follows a reverse path, thus confirming the Easterlin paradox: in the short run GDP is more positively correlated to well-being than in the medium-term, while in the long run this correlation vanishes.
    Date: 2014–11
  2. By: Mikucka, Malgorzata; Sarracino, Francesco
    Abstract: To what extent is economic growth liable to improve people’s subjective well-being in the long run? Recent studies identified three possible answers: economic growth matters a great deal; economic growth does not matter at all; economic growth matters, but other things matter more. Each of these conclusions has different policy implications to promote people’s well-being. Despite the progress of social science research, the disagreement persists for at least two reasons: first, current policy conclusions hinge on weak methodological grounds; second, the literature missed to identify the conditions shaping the relationship between economic growth and well-being. Our paper addresses these issues overcoming some of the methodological shortcomings of previous literature. Additionally, we test the hypotheses that economic growth has a positive effect on subjective well-being in presence of increasing social trust and decreasing income inequality. To this aim we use multilevel regression analysis and the integrated World Values Survey - European Values Study data-set. We confirm previous evidence showing that in the long run economic growth does not increase people’s well-being. We also document that decreasing income inequality and non decreasing social trust allow a long-term positive relationship between economic growth and subjective well-being.
    Keywords: economic growth, subjective well-being, social trust, income inequality, Easterlin paradox, sustainability
    JEL: D60 I0 I1 I31
    Date: 2014–11–04
  3. By: Lucie Cerna
    Abstract: Trust is indispensable for social and economic relations; it is the glue that holds organisations together and appears to work somehow mysteriously. Overall, trust is a ubiquitous ingredient in policymaking and implementation across many governance systems including education, whether it concerns accountability mechanisms, capacity building or strategic thinking. Yet our understanding, conceptualisation and measurement of these issues remain limited. This working paper asks the question: what is trust and how does it matter for governance, especially in education systems? It explores why trust is key for policymaking and where it fits within current governance issues. The paper examines different definitions of trust, presents various ways of measuring trust and discusses some of their benefits and limitations. It proposes a definition of trust made up of three parts: trust as an expectation, a willingness to be vulnerable and a risk-taking act. The paper then presents a simple model of trust and governance and reviews the relationship between trust and different elements in education systems, such as complexity, asymmetries in information and power, collaboration/cooperation, monitoring and accountability, and professionalisation. It concludes with some policy findings and identifies several research gaps.<BR>La confiance est un élément indispensable des relations sociales et économiques. Véritable ciment des organisations, elle semble fonctionner mystérieusement. Globalement, la confiance est un ingrédient omniprésent dans l’élaboration et la mise en oeuvre des mesures d’action publique dans de nombreux systèmes de gouvernance, y compris dans le domaine de l’éducation, qu’il s’agisse des mécanismes de responsabilisation, du renforcement des capacités ou de la réflexion stratégique. Or, notre compréhension, notre conceptualisation et notre évaluation de ces questions restent limitées. Le présent document de travail pose la question suivante : qu’est-ce que la confiance et quelle est son importance pour la gouvernance, en particulier dans les systèmes d’éducation ? Ce document examine les raisons pour lesquelles la confiance est primordiale pour l’élaboration des mesures d’action publique et à quel niveau elle s’inscrit dans les questions actuelles de gouvernance. Ensuite, il aborde les différentes définitions de la confiance et présente plusieurs manières de mesurer la confiance tout en évoquant leurs points forts et faibles. Il propose une définition de la confiance en trois parties : la confiance comme une attente, une volonté d’être vulnérable et un acte de prise de risque. Enfin, ce document présente un simple modèle de confiance et de gouvernance et analyse la relation entre la confiance et des éléments différents des systèmes d’éducation, comme la complexité, les asymétries d’information et de pouvoir, la collaboration/coopération, la surveillance et l’obligation de rendre des comptes, et la professionnalisation. Il termine par quelques conclusions pour l’action publique et identifie certaines lacunes dans la recherche.
    Date: 2014–11–19
  4. By: Maldonado, Edgar; van Gorp, Annemijn; Pogrebnyakov, Nicolai
    Abstract: The popularity and ubiquity of social media (SM) have permeated private and public institutions. These last ones, and in particular those governmental agencies that deal with emergencies, have begun using social media in their operations. The impact of SM as a tool within emergency relief organizations and their external activities is still under research. Using qualitative and quantitative data this study aims to identify the various ways in which emergency responders use social media. The study also analyzes for which purposes emergency responders use SM and the impact this has on the organization.
    Keywords: Social media,emergency response,organizational IT adoption
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Bryan S. Graham
    Abstract: Social and economic networks are ubiquitous, serving as contexts for job search, technology diffusion, the accumulation of human capital and even the formulation of norms and values. The systematic empirical study of network formation - the process by which agents form, maintain and dissolve links - within economics is recent, is associated with extraordinarily challenging modeling and identification issues, and is an area of exciting new developments, with many open questions. This article reviews prominent research on the empirical analysis of network formation, with an emphasis on contributions made by economists.
    JEL: C23 C25 D85
    Date: 2014–08
  6. By: Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm; Lise Vesterlund; Huan Xie
    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.
    JEL: C92 H41
    Date: 2014–09
  7. By: Craig, Ashley (Harvard University); Garbarino, Ellen (University of Sydney); Heger, Stephanie A. (Washington University, St. Louis); Slonim, Robert (University of Sydney)
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of an increase in time cost on the return behavior of blood donors. Using data from the Australia Red Cross Blood Service, we ask what happens when pro-social behavior becomes more costly. Exploiting a natural variation in which donor wait times are random, we use the length of time a donor spends waiting to make his donation as our measure of cost. Our data allows us to go beyond measures of satisfaction and intention and estimate the effect of wait time on return behavior. We estimate that a 38% increase (20 minutes or one standard deviation) in the average wait would result in a 14% decrease in donations per year. Our results thus indicate that waiting is not merely frustrating, but has significant negative long-term social costs. Further, relying only on satisfaction and intention data masks not only the magnitude of the effects but also heterogeneous responses to increased wait time: the return behavior of males is more elastic than females and donors display diminishing sensitivity in the domain of losses. Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings for organizations that operate with a large and diffuse volunteer donor base.
    Keywords: pro-social behavior, time cost, blood donation
    JEL: D04 D12 D61 D64 I18
    Date: 2014–09
  8. By: Catia Batista; Dan Silverman; Dean Yang
    Abstract: We investigate the determinants of giving in a lab-in-the-field experiment with large stakes. Study participants in urban Mozambique play dictator games where their counterpart is the closest person to them outside their household. When given the option, dictators do a large fraction of giving in kind (in the form of goods) rather than cash. In addition, they share more in total when they have the option of giving in kind, compared to giving that can only be in cash. Qualitative post-experiment responses suggest that this effect is driven by a desire to control how recipients use gifted resources. Standard economic determinants such as the rate of return to giving and the size of the endowment also affect giving, but the effects of even large changes in these determinants are significantly smaller than the effect of the in-kind option. Our results support theories of giving where the utility of givers depends on the composition (not just the level) of gift-recipient expenditures, and givers thus seek control over transferred resources.
    JEL: C92 C93 D01 D03 D64 O17
    Date: 2014–10
  9. By: Cheng, John W.; Mitomo, Hitoshi; Otsuka, Tokio
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of the simultaneous use of mass and social media on the users' level of general knowledge of social issues in the highly mediated society in Japan. In particular, it focuses on one of the recent major trends in media convergence known as 'simultaneous multi-screening' i.e., when the users engage with more than one media simultaneously using multiple devices. The data used was collected from an Internet based survey conducted in March 2014 with 2,060 samples from Japan. Using structural equation modelling, the results have shown that multi-screening such as watching television and using social media simultaneously is indeed a common phenomenon in Japan. However, it has only a mild effect on the users' level of general knowledge of social issues as most of the effect came from the viewing of television news and current affair programmes directly. That being said, it has indirectly mediated the effect from the use of social media on the users' level of knowledge of social issues which otherwise has no direct effect at all. The results imply that although simultaneous multi-screening can link up the mass and social media. However, in the context of social issues, currently television news and current affair programmes in Japan appear to be are not a very strong catalyst to trigger the audiences to take immediate action online. These findings provide the foundation for future studies to further investigate what kind of television programmes can motivate the audiences to take further action, and which groups of audience are more likely to be motivated.
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Andreas Karpf (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This article investigate the role of social influence for the expectation formation of economic agents. Using self-organizing Kohonen maps the repeated cross-section data set of the University of Michigan consumer survey is transformed into a pseudo panel allowing to monitor the expectation formation of cohorts with regard to business confidence over the whole available time span (January 1978 - June 2013). Subsequently the information theoretic concept of transfer entropy is used to reveal the role of social influence on the expectation formation as well as the underlying network structure. It is shown that social influence strongly depends on socio-demographic characteristics and also coincides with a high degree of connectivity. The social network estimated in this way follows a power-law and thus exhibits similar structure as networks observed in other contexts.
    Keywords: Social networks; expectations; household survey
    Date: 2014–02
  11. By: Barthelemy Chollet (GEM - Grenoble Ecole de Management - Grenoble École de Management (GEM)); Mickaël Géraudel (CEROM - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche sur les Organisations et le Management - Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier (GSCM) - Montpellier Business School); Caroline Mothe (IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - Université de Savoie - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Savoie Mont-Blanc)
    Abstract: We examine how small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) chief executive officers' (CEOs) social capital (as measured by strength of ties and structural holes) can help them bring business to their firms through the spread of positive referrals. Based on a sample of 408 French SME CEOs, we find a direct effect of social capital. Such effect is contingent on the CEO's personality, with social capital being most beneficial to CEOs with low levels of conscientiousness. CEOs' social ties facilitate the distortion of information, thereby leading personal contacts to give referrals to and endorse a focal CEO, even in the presence of negative signals, such as low conscientiousness.
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Gill, David (University of Oxford); Stone, Rebecca (University of California, Los Angeles)
    Abstract: Teams are becoming increasingly important in work settings. We develop a framework to study the strategic implications of a meritocratic notion of desert under which team members care about receiving what they feel they deserve. Team members find it painful to receive less than their perceived entitlement, while receiving more may induce pleasure or pain depending on whether their preferences exhibit desert elation or desert guilt. Our notion of desert generalizes distributional concern models to situations in which effort choices affect the distribution perceived to be fair; in particular, desert nests inequity aversion over money net of effort costs as a special case. When identical teammates share team output equally, desert guilt generates a continuum of symmetric equilibria. Equilibrium effort can lie above or below the level in the absence of desert, so desert guilt generates behavior consistent with both positive and negative reciprocity and may underpin social norms of cooperation.
    Keywords: desert, deservingness, equity, inequity aversion, loss aversion, reference-dependent preferences, guilt, reciprocity, social norms, team production
    JEL: D63 J33
    Date: 2014–08

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