nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒02‒05
fifteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Norms, Enforcement, and Tax Evasion By Besley, Timothy J.; Jensen, Anders; Persson, Torsten
  2. Profit with purpose? a theory of social enterprise with experimental evidence By Timothy Besley; Maitreesh Ghatak
  3. The impact of community mobilisation on HIV prevention in middle and low income countries: a systematic review and critique By Flora Cornish; Jacqueline Priego-Hernandez; Catherine Campbell; Gitau Mburu; Susie McLean
  4. Social relationships and postpartum depression in South Asia: a systematic review By Eleri Jones; Ernestina Coast
  5. Offline social identity and online chat partner selection By Ellen Helsper
  6. Endogenous Reputation Formation: Cooperation and Identity under the Shadow of the Future By Kamei, Kenju
  7. American idol – 65 years of admiration By Alan Manning; Amar Shanghavi
  8. Democratization or else vulgarization of cultural capital? The role of social networks in theater’s audience behavior By Carmela Milano
  9. Social Network Analysis and informal trade By Olivier Walther
  10. Which club should I attend, Dad?: Targeted socialization and production By Albornoz-Crespo, Facundo; Cabrales, Antonio; Hauk, Esther
  11. Cooperation in Diverse Teams: The Role of Temporary Group Membership By Grund, Christian; Harbring, Christine; Thommes, Kirsten
  12. Relationships at work in a networked business incubator: the case of H-Farm By Silvia Sedita; Roberto Grandinetti
  13. Gender Differences in Honesty: Groups Versus Individuals By Muehlheusser, Gerd; Roider, Andreas; Wallmeier, Niklas
  14. Social housing, neighborhood quality and student performance By Felix Weinhardt
  15. Observing workplace incivility By Tara C. Reich; M. Sandy Hershcovis

  1. By: Besley, Timothy J.; Jensen, Anders; Persson, Torsten
    Abstract: This paper studies individual and social motives in tax evasion. We build a simple dynamic model that incorporates these motives and their interaction. The social motives underpin the role of norms and is the source of the dynamics that we study. Our empirical analysis exploits the adoption in 1990 of a poll tax to fund local government in the UK, which led to widespread evasion. We also exploit a series of natural experiments due to narrow election outcomes, which induce shifts into single-majority local governments and lead to more vigorous enforcement of local taxes. The econometric results are consistent with the model’s main predictions on the dynamics of evasion. “A widespread view among tax scholars holds that law enforcement does not explain why people pay taxes. The penalty for ordinary tax convictions is small; the probability of detection is trivial; so the expected sanction is small. Yet large numbers of Americans pay their taxes. ... Some scholars therefore conclude that the explanation for the tendency to pay taxes must be that people are obeying a norm — presumably a norm of tax payment or a more general norm of law-abiding behavior.” Posner (2000, page 1782)
    Keywords: poll tax; social norms; tax evasion
    JEL: H26 H71
    Date: 2015–01
  2. By: Timothy Besley; Maitreesh Ghatak
    Abstract: When social benefits cannot be measured, a hybrid organization which selects managers based on motivation can be used to balance profi…ts with a social purpose. This paper develops a model of social enterprise based on selection of citizen-managers with this goal in mind. It develops the implications of matching between founders and managers based on their preferences for the mission. The main trade-offs suggested by the theory are tested experimentally and these are used to calibrate a matching outcome. This makes precise the parameter range in which social enterprises based on selection will be observed in a market setting; we show that they achieve gains in proficiency of around 10% over non-pro…fit enterprise.
    Keywords: social enterprise; motivated agents; non-profits
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2013–11–06
  3. By: Flora Cornish; Jacqueline Priego-Hernandez; Catherine Campbell; Gitau Mburu; Susie McLean
    Abstract: While community mobilisation (CM) is increasingly advocated for HIV prevention, its impact on measurable outcomes has not been established. We performed a systematic review of the impact of CM within HIV prevention interventions (N = 20), on biomedical, behavioural and social outcomes. Among most at risk groups (particularly sex workers), the evidence is somewhat consistent, indicating a tendency for positive impact, with stronger results for behavioural and social outcomes than for biomedical ones. Among youth and general communities, the evidence remains inconclusive. Success appears to be enhanced by engaging groups with a strong collective identity and by simultaneously addressing the socio-political context. We suggest that the inconclusiveness of the findings reflects problems with the evidence, rather than indicating that CM is ineffective. We discuss weaknesses in the operationalization of CM, neglect of social context, and incompatibility between context-specific CM processes and the aspiration of review methodologies to provide simple, context-transcending answers.
    Keywords: community mobilisation; community participation; HIV prevention; HIV/AIDS; systematic review
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Eleri Jones; Ernestina Coast
    Abstract: Background: Evidence suggests a much higher prevalence of postpartum depression in South Asia than in ‘western’ contexts. Aim: To conduct a rapid systematic review of evidence on the association between social relationships and postpartum depression in South Asia. Methods: Five databases were searched to identify relevant studies. Studies meeting the selection and quality criteria were analysed and integrated in a narrative review. Results: Nine mostly quantitative studies were included in the review. Low support and poor relationships with the husband and parents-in-law were associated with postpartum depression, although associations were weakened in multivariate analyses. The different dimensions of support have not yet been systematically investigated and the likely complex interrelationships between social relationship risk factors are not yet well understood. Conclusions: Findings mirror those from ‘western’ contexts, showing the key role of social relationships in the aetiology of postpartum depression. Yet, they also reinforce the hypothesis that the social and cultural context influences the association. The importance of relationships with the extended family, as well as the husband, in South Asia is highlighted. Further research is recommended to develop an understanding of these relationships to better inform interventions.
    Keywords: Asia; postpartum; postnatal; depression; maternal; relationships; support
    JEL: D13 I12
    Date: 2013–07–31
  5. By: Ellen Helsper
    Abstract: This study examines whether the impact of offline identities on computer-mediated communication is stable across different social contexts or whether it depends on which identity aspect is salient. Field experiments with 206 teenagers tested the influence of gendered, ethnic, youth and personalized identities on teenagers' chat behaviour and cognitions. The findings show that offline identity varies in its relation to Internet self-efficacy but not chat partner selection. Self-efficacy differed significantly between boys and girls when youth and gender identities were emphasized but not when stressing personal identity. Across conditions, teenagers were most likely to choose chat partners from similar ethnic and opposite sex backgrounds. This partly supports the Social Identification and Deindividuation framework and argues that offline identities impact online behaviour and self-perception but that this effect depends on which identity aspect is activated.
    Keywords: chat; computer-mediated communication; ethnicity; experiment; gender; internet self-efficacy; social identity
    JEL: L91 L96
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Kamei, Kenju
    Abstract: People are interacting more with strangers thanks to recent technological advancement in online platforms. Online interactions can be characterized by infinitely-repeated games. Recent studies have shown that institutions that make people’s decisions open to others may enhance cooperation in these situations. But it is still unknown whether people can successfully cooperate with each other by choosing to show their identities and building good reputation when there is an option to hide them. We deal with this question using an experimental laboratory. Our experiment shows that a non-negligible fraction of people conceal their identities and people fail to cooperate with each other if hiding identities is free. However, almost all show their identities and successfully achieve cooperation with their partners if a small explicit cost is charged for act of hiding.
    Keywords: experiment, cooperation, reputation, prisoner dilemma game, internet, infinitely-repeated games
    JEL: C73 C92 D70 M21
    Date: 2015–01–27
  7. By: Alan Manning; Amar Shanghavi
    Abstract: Since the 1940s Gallup has, every December, asked Americans about the living man and woman they most admire. This paper documents the way in which the types of people who are admired has changed and argues that the responses to this question tells us something about the way in which society has been evolving - the 65 years of data are probably the longest consistent series on social attitudes. We argue on theoretical grounds and show using empirical analysis that admiration can be linked to trust, and specifically that admiring the president is strongly related to trust in government. Using this link we can provide information on trends in trust on a consistent basis back to the late 1940s, earlier than most other data sources. Finally, the paper investigates the link between admiration and media mentions. We show that people who receive a relatively large number of mentions in newspapers in particular year and state are also more likely to be admired by people.
    Keywords: Admiration; trust
    JEL: Z1
    Date: 2014–12
  8. By: Carmela Milano
    Abstract: This paper investigates the participation in social networks of theater's audiences. Our purpose is to observe, describe and understand the role of social networks in the consumption behavior of the theater field. In particular, we put the accent on the concept of cultural capital with its social dimension. We realize an exploratory study that consists in a dozen of qualitative semi-structured interviews with theater’s audiences that participate in social networks. We provide an analytical framework in which we present information about uses, influences and perceptions of changing in social stratification in theaters. We reveal two kinds of perception: a positive one and a negative one that we denominate "democratization effect” and "vulgarization effect”. Our findings can help cultural institutions to have a better understanding of who are the actual theater audiences and how do they act. On an operational level, our study offers information to art's managers interested about the strategic use of Web 2.0 tools.
    Keywords: theater management; art consumer research; social networks; cultural capital
    JEL: Z11 Z13 O33
    Date: 2015–01–28
  9. By: Olivier Walther (Department of Border Region Studies, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: The objective of this article is to show how a formal approach to social networks can be applied to better understand informal trade in developing countries, with a particular focus on Africa. The paper starts by discussing some of the fundamental concepts developed by social network analysis. Through a number of case studies, we show how social network analysis can illuminate the relevant causes of social patterns, the impact of social ties on economic performance, the diffusion of resources and information, and the exercise of power. The paper then examines some of the methodological challenges of social network analysis and how it can be combined with other approaches. The paper finally highlights some of the applications of social network analysis and their implications for trade policies.
    Keywords: social networks, informal trade, development, centrality, brokerage, embeddedness, social capital, Africa
    JEL: D85 F14 L14 R11
    Date: 2015–01
  10. By: Albornoz-Crespo, Facundo; Cabrales, Antonio; Hauk, Esther
    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.
    Keywords: cultural identity; immigrant sorting; network formation; parental involvement; peer effects
    JEL: I20 I28 J15 J24 J61
    Date: 2014–12
  11. By: Grund, Christian (RWTH Aachen University); Harbring, Christine (RWTH Aachen University); Thommes, Kirsten (RWTH Aachen University)
    Abstract: In organizations, some team members are assigned to a team for a predefined short period of time, e.g., as they have a temporary contract, while others are permanent members of the same team. In a laboratory experiment we analyze the cooperation levels resulting from diverse teams, where some team members remain with a team and others are switching teams. Our results reveal that teams consisting partly of members with temporary membership display a lower productivity compared to teams of permanent team members only. First, temporary team members cooperate less than permanent team members. Second, individual effort decisions increase with the number of team mates who are of the same type. This second effect holds for both temps and permanents. We argue that social identity is affected by team composition and the individuals' role in a team.
    Keywords: cooperation, economic experiment, public good, team
    JEL: C9 M5
    Date: 2015–01
  12. By: Silvia Sedita (University of Padova); Roberto Grandinetti (University of Padova)
    Abstract: This work adds to the previous literature on networked business incubators (NBIs) by exploring the complex network of relationships originated from a NBI. In particular, social ties (cooperative relations between individuals) and business ties (formal linkages between organizations) are investigated. The analytical framework developed here is empirically illustrated through a case study research on a leading Italian private NBI called H-Farm. Primary data collection was conducted during the period MayÐSeptember 2012 by means of face-to-face in-depth interviews and a survey. Data are elaborated through social network analysis tools. The results highlight the co-presence and interaction of social and business ties, which build up a vital environment nurturing an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Community-based relationships and an influential incubator management are crucial for sustaining incubatees in product and business development activities.
    Keywords: networked business incubator, entrepreneurship, social network analysis, interpersonal networks, inter-organizational networks, start-ups, liability of newness.
    JEL: L26 M13
    Date: 2014–12
  13. By: Muehlheusser, Gerd; Roider, Andreas; Wallmeier, Niklas
    Abstract: Extending the die rolling experiment of Fischbacher and Föllmi-Heusi (2013), we compare gender effects with respect to unethical behavior by individuals and by two-person groups. In contrast to individual decisions, gender matters strongly under group decisions. We find more lying in male groups and mixed groups than in female groups.
    Keywords: experiment; gender effects; group decisions; lying; unethical behaviour
    JEL: C91 C92 J16
    Date: 2014–12
  14. By: Felix Weinhardt
    Abstract: Children who grow up in deprived neighborhoods underperform at school and later in life but whether there is a causal link remains contested. This study estimates the short-term effect of very deprived neighborhoods, characterized by a high density of social housing, on the educational attainment of fourteen years old students in England. To identify the causal impact, this study exploits the timing of moving into these neighborhoods. I argue that the timing can be taken as exogenous because of long waiting lists for social housing in high-demand areas. Using this approach, I find no evidence for negative short-term effects on teenage test scores.
    Keywords: Neighborhood externalities; Education; Urban policy
    JEL: I21 J18 J24 R29
    Date: 2014–07
  15. By: Tara C. Reich; M. Sandy Hershcovis
    Abstract: Abstract Interpersonal mistreatment at work often occurs in the presence of others; however, these “others” are rarely examined in empirical research despite their importance to the context of the negative interaction. We conducted 2 experiments to examine how witnessing incivility affects observer reactions toward instigators and targets. In Study 1, participants (N = 60) worked virtually with an ostensible instigator and target. In Study 2, participants (N = 48) worked in vivo with confederates (hired actors) on a job task. Across these 2 studies, we found that observers of incivility tend to punish instigators while their reactions to targets were generally unaffected. Further, the effect of witnessing incivility was mediated by observers’ negative emotional reaction toward the instigator.
    Keywords: Incivility; Observers; Third-parties; Organizational Justice; Social Undermining; Workplace aggression; Deontic justice; Affective Events Theory
    JEL: R14 J01 J50
    Date: 2014

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