nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒01‒19
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Human Development And Generalized Trust: Multilevel Evidence By Anna Almakaeva; Eduard Ponarin; Christian Welzel
  2. Social Capital and Firm’s Productivity in Italy: a Multilevel Approach By Sebastiano Nerozzi; Vito Pipitone; Giorgio Ricchiuti
  3. Trust, Cooperative Behavior And Economic Success: When Trust Is The Capital Of The Person? By Alexander N. Tatarko
  4. Household Entrepreneurship and Social Networks: Panel Data Evidence from Vietnam By Nguyen, Huu Chi; Nordman, Christophe Jalil
  5. Would I Care if I Knew? Image Concerns and Social Confirmation in Giving By Kritikos, Alexander S.; Tan, Jonathan H. W.
  6. Spillovers of Prosocial Motivation: Evidence from an Intervention Study on Blood Donors By Bruhin, Adrian; Götte, Lorenz; Haenni, Simon; Jiang, Lingqing
  7. Cooperation and Expectations in Networks: Evidence from a Network Public Good Experiment in Rural India By Stefano Caria; Marcel Fafchamps
  8. Which club should I attend, Dad?: Targeted socialization and production By Facundo Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales; Esther Hauk
  9. Compliance, cooperation, and credibility: institutions and enforcement in California groundwater By Skurray, James H.
  10. A Test Of Existential Motivations In Interpersonal Relationships By Elena M. Ukolova; Vladimir B. Shumskiy

  1. By: Anna Almakaeva (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Eduard Ponarin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Christian Welzel (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Generalized trust is one of the most debated topics in social sciences. A flood of papers attempting to examine its foundations has been published over the last few decades. However, only a handful of studies incorporates a multilevel approach and investigates how macro conditions shape the individual determinants of generalized trust. This investigation seeks to fill this gap, using the broad sample of the fifth round of the World Values Survey, multilevel regression modeling, human development as country-level moderator and trust in unknown people as a more perfect measure of generalized trust. We took six theories of trust origin suggested by Delhey and Newton (2003) as a starting point, and demonstrate that along with common factors (such as particularized trust and confidence in institutions), generalized trust can be influenced by a set of specific determinants which differ depending on the level of human development. In poorly developed societies, financial satisfaction was the only indicator that fostered generalized trust, while education decreased it. In highly developed countries it was active membership, open-access activities, emancipative values, age and education which contributed to the strengthening of trust
    Keywords: generalized trust, trust radius, trust theories, human development, multilevel regression modeling, moderation effect
    JEL: C21 D64
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Sebastiano Nerozzi; Vito Pipitone; Giorgio Ricchiuti (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: Matching and merging different databases, we study how firm’s productivity is affected by individual characteristics and provincial context conditions in Italy. Mainly, we focus on the relation between social capital, in its different forms and dimensions and calculated at provincial level and firms’ productivity, calculated using the non-parametric DEA approach. We find that exporting, self-financing firms, and firms belonging to groups, are more productive. In particular, Cooperative firms are more productive than limited company. Moreover, the variables capturing the social capital show strong positive correlation with firms’ productivity, indicating that a widespread civism intended as pro-social behavior independent of specific interpersonal bounds, seems to create an economic environment which is more favorable to entrepreneurship and collaboration among firms, since it increases interpersonal trust, lowers transaction costs, enhances the compliance of formal or informal rules of fairness and fosters a more transparent, impartial and efficient working of the public administration.
    Keywords: DEA, productivity, social capital, inequality, multilevel approach
    JEL: C19 D24 R10
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Alexander N. Tatarko (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This article presents the results of study dedicated to the interrelation of trust, cooperative behavior and the size of the winning prize in the multi-way decision modified prisoners’ dilemma. The experiment was organized using a specially designed computer program. The study involved six groups of participants and each group consisted of 7 players. The experiment consisted of a series of 15 rounds and included preliminary and final testing. The study found that cooperative behavior within the members in the group had fallen during 11 rounds, but there was a tendency to improve it. The trust level of an individual and his/her choice of cooperative strategy in the first series of the experiment are interrelated. Generalized trust is a rather stable construct, but it does not remain unchanged with an actual reduction of cooperative behavior.
    Keywords: trust, cooperative behavior, prisoners’ dilemma, economic psychology
    JEL: D03
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Nguyen, Huu Chi; Nordman, Christophe Jalil
    Abstract: Using a unique panel of household businesses for Vietnam, this paper sheds light on the links between households’ and entrepreneurs’ social networks and business performance. We address two related questions. One first question asks if we can find evidence of a differentiated effect of employment of members of the family versus hired workers on the business performance. A second question tackles the respective effects of various dimensions of social networks on the business technical efficiency. The assumption is that, beyond the channel of labour productivity, entrepreneurs that are confronted with an unfavourable social environment may produce less efficiently and realize a lower output than what could be possible with the same amount of resources. We find evidence of a productivity differential between family and hired labour and highlight results consistent with the presence of adverse social network effects faced by households running a business, in particular ethnic minorities. We stress the importance of professional networks for successful entrepreneurship.
    Keywords: Family labour; Kinship and ethnic ties; Sharing norms; Social network capital; Informality; Household business; Travail familial; Liens ethniques et de parenté; Normes de partage; Capital du réseau social; Informalité; Microentreprises familiales; Panel; Vietnam;
    JEL: D13 D61 O12
    Date: 2013–11
  5. By: Kritikos, Alexander S. (University of Potsdam, DIW Berlin); Tan, Jonathan H. W. (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: This paper experimentally investigates the nature of image concerns in gift giving. For this, we test variants of dictator and impunity games where the influences of social preferences on behavior are kept constant across all games. Givers maximize material payoffs by pretending to be fair when receivers do not know the actual surplus size, implying that portraying an outward appearance of norm compliance matters more than actual compliance. In impunity games, receivers can reject gifts with no payoff consequence to givers. In the face of receivers' feedback, some givers ensure positive feedback by donating more while some avoid negative feedback by not giving at all. Removing feedback reduces the incentive to give altogether. Differing behavior in the four games implies that social confirmation plays a crucial role in the transmission of image concerns in giving.
    Keywords: dictator game, impunity game, experiment, image, social confirmation
    JEL: C78 C92
    Date: 2014–12
  6. By: Bruhin, Adrian (University of Lausanne); Götte, Lorenz (University of Lausanne); Haenni, Simon (University of Lausanne); Jiang, Lingqing (University of Lausanne)
    Abstract: Spillovers of prosocial motivation are crucial for the formation of social capital. They facilitate interactions among individuals and create social multipliers that amplify the effects of policy interventions. We conducted a large-scale intervention study among dyads of blood donors to investigate whether social ties lead to motivational spillovers in the decision to donate. The intervention is a randomized phone call making donors aware of a current shortage of their blood type and serving us as an instrument for identifying motivational spillovers. About 40% of a donor's motivation spills over to the other donor, creating a significant social multiplier of 1.78.
    Keywords: social interaction, social ties, prosocial motivation, blood donation, bivariate probit
    JEL: D03 C31 C36
    Date: 2014–12
  7. By: Stefano Caria; Marcel Fafchamps
    Abstract: We play a one-shot public good game in rural India between farmers connected by an exogenous star network. Contributions by the centre of the star reach more players and have a larger impact on aggregate payoffs than contributions by the spoke players. Yet, we find that the centre player contributes just as much as the average of the spokes. We elicit expectations about the decisions of the centre player and, in randomly selected sessions, we disclose the average expectation of the farmers in the network. Farmers match the disclosed values frequently and do so more often when the monetary cost of making a contribution is reduced. However, disclosure is not associated with higher contributions. Our results support the predictions of a model of other-regarding preferences where players care about the expectations of others. This model is helpful to understand barriers to improvement in pro-social behaviour when groups expect low pro-sociality.
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Facundo Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales; Esther Hauk
    Abstract: We study a model that integrates productive and socialization efforts with network choice and parental investments. We characterize the unique symmetric equilibrium of this game. We first show that individuals underinvest in productive and social effort, but that solving only the investment problem can exacerbate the misallocations due to network choice, to the point that it may generate an even lower social welfare if one of the networks is sufficiently disadvantaged. We also study the interaction of parental investment with network choice. We relate these equilibrium results with characteristics that we find in the data on economic co-authorship and field transmission between advisors and advisees.
    Date: 2014–12
  9. By: Skurray, James H.
    Abstract: The success of any groundwater management plan depends on user compliance. There is an intimate relationship between regulatory regimes and pumper perceptions. As well as its enforcement powers, an agency's behavior sends information to users. While enforcement power need not always be used to be effective, it must be seen as credible as well as legitimate. Perceived legitimacy has different sources – or may be lacking – depending on the origins, and implementation, of the regulatory apparatus. This paper examines a number of California groundwater basins, employing variables from Ostrom's analytical frameworks. In comparison with a West Australian regulated basin - where compliance is low, monitoring weak, and enforcement ineffective - we examine the effect on compliance of the adjudicated basin approach. We focus on the role of enforcement provisions, and their origins and implementation, in shaping appropriator attitudes towards compliance. Key attributes of effective systems include perceived legitimacy among users, mutual visibility of actions, and the credible threat of enforcement or sanction. We examine the extent to which 'administrative adjudications' may more cost-effectively provide the benefits of court adjudications. The paper illustrates that monitoring and enforcement are more effective and less costly when institutions encourage cooperation than when they promote competition. While norms, social capital, and trust must bear upon and inform the types of rules chosen at the collective-choice level, they also arise from the operation of those rules – i.e., from users' iterative reactions to the arrangements chosen. Groundwater management plans should incorporate design elements encouraging collaborative attitudes among users.
    Keywords: Institutions, governance, common-pool resources, commons, collective action, institutional analysis, sustainability, coercion, institutional design, groundwater management, voluntary compliance, Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Land Economics/Use, Political Economy, Public Economics, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, D02, D03, D23, D71, D78, D83, Q25, Q28, Q38, Q56, Q57, Q58, R52, H11, H23, H41,
    Date: 2014–12–12
  10. By: Elena M. Ukolova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Vladimir B. Shumskiy (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: We developed a questionnaire with the intention of measuring existential fulfillment in interpersonal relationships. The paper presents the purpose, methodological basis, and structure of the Test of Existential Motivations in Interpersonal Relationships (TEMIR), as well as the validation process and research findings which were obtained using the TEMIR.
    Keywords: existential motivations, interpersonal relationships, trust, value of life, authenticity, meaning
    JEL: E32
    Date: 2014

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