nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒03‒27
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Urban Social Structure, Social Capital and Spatial Proximity By Patacchini, Eleonora; Picard, Pierre M; Zenou, Yves
  2. The impact of formal institutions on social trust formation: A social-cognitive approach By Tamilina, Larysa; Tamilina, Natalya
  3. Can Risk Averse Households Make Risky Investments? The Role of Trust in Others By Alessandro Bucciol; Barbara Cavasso; Luca Zarri
  4. The importance of social networks’ weak ties in business development By Alexandra Ioanid; Mihai Svasta; Maria Hermel-Stanescu
  5. Network formation with value heterogeneity: centrality, segregation and adverse effects By Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen
  6. Social network site users and political participation in Kyrgyzstan By Elira Turdubaeva
  7. How do you construct a political agenda? Co-participation patterns of social organizations in 2009-12 chilean protests By Juan Soto; Marcelo Lufin; Gonzalo Ibañez
  8. The use of Social Network Sites for the Employment Seeking Process By Tom Sander; Phoey Lee Teh; Biruta Sloka
  9. Possibilities of social networks usage in the process of brand value building and managing – results of survey focused on the customer's perceptions By Jana Majerová; Tomáš Klieštik, prof.
  10. The Use of Social Media as a Means of Political Communication: Comparision of AKP and CHP’s Facebook Comments in the Local Elections of 30 March 2014 By Emine Kılıçaslan; Hale Bozkurt
  11. Risky social networking practices among ‘under-age’ users: lessons for evidence-based policy By Sonia Livingstone; Kjartan Ólafsson; Elisabeth Staksrud

  1. By: Patacchini, Eleonora; Picard, Pierre M; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: We develop a theoretical model where the existence and intensity of dyadic contacts depend on location. We show that agents tend to interact more with agents that are highly central in the network of social contacts and that are geographically closer. Using a unique geo-coded dataset of friendship networks in the United States, we find evidence consistent with this model. The main empirical challenge, which is the possible endogenous network formation, is tackled by employing a Bayesian methodology that allows to estimate simultaneously network formation and intensity of network contacts.
    Keywords: Bayesian estimation; endogenous network formation; geographical space; Social interactions; social space
    JEL: R1 R23 Z13
    Date: 2015–03
  2. By: Tamilina, Larysa; Tamilina, Natalya
    Abstract: While formal institutions are recognized as having an effect on trust formation, no theoretical or empirical models exist to formalize this relationship. This study introduces a new conceptual framework to explain trust building by individuals and the role that formal rules and laws may play in this process. Drawing on a social-cognitive theory of psychology, we present trust as composed of personal, interpersonal, and intrapersonal components with the latter encompassing formal institutions. We further demonstrate that there are three mechanisms – sanction, legitimacy, and autonomy – through which formal institutions may affect trust levels either directly or indirectly. In addition, our empirical analysis furnishes evidence of heterogeneity in institutional effects on trust, suggesting that the autonomy dimension of the institutional framework is particularly important for trust formation processes.
    Keywords: Interpersonal trust, trust formation processes, formal institutions, social-cognitive psychology
    JEL: K4
    Date: 2014–05–01
  3. By: Alessandro Bucciol (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Barbara Cavasso (University of Padua); Luca Zarri (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: Using the 2006 wave of the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), this paper sheds light on the role jointly played by individuals’ financial risk tolerance and their level of trust in others (generalized trust) in affecting their risky assets investments. We document that large variation in risk tolerance and trust exists across European countries and households and we show that risky assets investments are more frequent and larger in households featuring either risk tolerance or (to a smaller extent) a combination of risk aversion and trust. Trust thus acts as a substitute (albeit an imperfect one) for risk tolerance. Our findings have implications for our understanding of heterogeneity in household financial decisions as well as of the role that trust can play as a lubricant of the economic system.
    Keywords: Portfolio Choice; Risk Tolerance, Generalized Trust
    JEL: D14 D03 G11 D81
    Date: 2015–03
  4. By: Alexandra Ioanid (University “Politehnica†of Bucharest); Mihai Svasta (University “Politehnica†of Bucharest); Maria Hermel-Stanescu (University “Politehnica†of Bucharest)
    Abstract: This paper aims to present the importance of weak ties in social networks for sharing information at personal level, across departments in a company, as well as between managers that seek business opportunities. Also, the paper shows that complex knowledge requires strong ties in order to be properly shared and used. Weak ties between departments in a company make information diffusion faster only if the knowledge shared is simple, otherwise if the information is complex, the communication between departments and the development of projects will encounter difficulties.The article analyses the structure and the dynamic of business social networks starting from Granovetter's theory and Burt’s social capital theory and offers practical examples of how to develop a business using the weak ties in social networks, such as the well-known Facebook platform or the professional oriented LinkedIn platform.
    Keywords: social networks, business development, weak ties, strong ties, social capital, Facebook, LinkedIn
    JEL: M39 Z19 A13
    Date: 2014–10
  5. By: Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen
    Abstract: We investigate formation of economic and social networks where agents may form or cut ties. The novelty is combining a setup where agents are heterogeneous in their talent for generating value in the links they form and value may also accrue from indirect ties. We provide sufficient conditions for assortative matching: agents of greater talent have partners of greater talent. A novel feature is that agents with higher talent are more central in networks. Another novel feature is degree assortativity: partnered agents have a similar number of partners. Two suboptimal network structures are noteworthy. One network displays excess assortativity as high and low talented types fail to connect, and thus inefficient due to payoff externalities despite otherwise obeying the conditions of Becker (1973). In another suboptimal network an agent of low talent becomes excessively central.
    Date: 2015–03
  6. By: Elira Turdubaeva (Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University)
    Abstract: There are a few key studies around the social impact of information technologies and Internet access within Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan, with a high level of political participation and an avant-garde position regarding internet access in Central Asia, broadband and social media penetration in the population, is a critical case for studying social media in relation to political participation. New media combined with a high level of internet freedom in Kyrgyzstan is a powerful tool that has the possibility to channel citizen opinion, offer an alternative to traditional print, TV and radio outlets, and craft new methods by which the citizen or collective interacts with the political and social environment (Robbins, 2012).According to some authors, the Tulip Revolution in 2005 in Kyrgyzstan was the ï¬rst revolution amongst post-Soviet nations where the Internet was considered a factor in disseminating information and mobilization political protest. Still in its infancy, the Internet in Kyrgyzstan played its first role – albeit a highly weak one – in supporting anti-government protests which overthrew President Akayev and his government during the “Tulip Revolution†in 2005.In 2010, five years after new media saw its first use as a political tool in the “Tulip Revolutionâ€, the significance of new media was revealed once more when Kyrgyzstan was mired in political conflict between the months of March and June. In March various online communities began reporting on allegations of widespread corruption in then President Bakiyev’s government. In spite of its further attempts to stifle political and social unrest by censoring traditional Kyrgyz media and blocking access to certain Russian TV stations, Bakiyev’s regime was unable to stop the elusive flow of information running through new media outlets. On April 7 an estimated 10,000 protesters gathered around Bishkek and successfully stormed the White House, forcing President Bakiyev to flee the country. This study analyzes the practices and attitudes of social media users and whether using social network sites alone drives previously inactive respondents to political participation. Three types of users – members of political parties, members of interest organizations, and non-members – are interviewed in focus groups about their attitudes to political content in the social network site Facebook.
    Keywords: Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, political participation, new media, interaction, social media, Tulip Revolution.
    Date: 2014–05
  7. By: Juan Soto (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Católica del Norte); Marcelo Lufin (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Católica del Norte); Gonzalo Ibañez (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Católica del Norte)
    Abstract: This paper analyse the network of social demonstrations of the recent "Chilean Student Winter" occurred between 2009 and 2012 by studying the co-participation patterns of social organizations using social network analysis. We describe main social actors and study the topological characteristics of the networks formed through social organizations, demonstrations and motives. Also, we study the change in the density of the network of demonstrations due to the rise of the ÒChilean Student WinterÓ at 2011. We found that in spite that the ÒChilean Student WinterÓ was mainly a student revolution, organizations of workers are the protagonist of this period according to the network analysis. Additionally, there are a significant change in the global cohesion or density of the demonstrationÕs network at 2011-12 in relation to 2009-2010.
    Keywords: Social Network Analysis, Social Movements, Chilean Protests.
    Date: 2015–03
  8. By: Tom Sander (University of Latvia); Phoey Lee Teh (Sunway University); Biruta Sloka (University of Latvia)
    Abstract: Social networks are becoming more and more important in employment seeking process. The importance of social networks in this respect has been researched also in academic research worldwide and discussed on scientific conferences. The aim of the paper is to analyse the experience of the use of social network sites (SNS) with empirical results of 28 interviews with employment seeking individuals to identify the behaviour of employment seeking individuals and to identify further information regarding the employment seeking process in SNSs. In addition is an objective of the paper to falsify the dimensions of Sander / Teh. That the framework of the dimensions can be used to investigate SNSs and to describe the social capital theory of SNSs (Sander & Teh 2014a). The importance of real social networks are presented in many papers but the perspective of the employment seeking individual in SNSs needs further and deeper research.
    Keywords: social network sites; employment seeking process, social capital theory
    JEL: M20 J01 J62
    Date: 2014–10
  9. By: Jana Majerová (University of Zilina in Zilina, Faculty of operation and economics of transport and communications, Department of economics); Tomáš Klieštik, prof. (University of Zilina in Zilina, Faculty of operation and economics of transport and communications, Department of economics)
    Abstract: Worldwide importance of brands has acquired a new dimension and an increasing emphasis putted on the marketing strategies of branding has become an imperative of the company’s success. One of the possible ways how to develop branding strategies is the e-marketing usage. The basic problem of the realized survey was the insufficient use of e-marketing in the context of branding. So, the aim of the survey was to obtain information about the specifics of Slovak customer's perception of branding activities, which is necessary to take into account in the process of implementation of foreign theoretical concepts formulated in the context of e-marketing implementation.Given the above, the aim of this paper is to present results of the questionnaire survey. But according to its limited extent, we focus only on the selected findings which form the basic framework for social networks usage in the context of branding in specific Slovak conditions. These are indicators of the following:•the communication policy has a significant impact on brand value perception, what implies the necessity of new trends (social networks usage also) monitoring and their application into praxis,•usage of the social networks is redeemable also by their nature, because they themselves represent the life style of user which plays a very important role in the process of customer’s identification with the brand identity,•social networks create a suitable environment for internet advertising which influences the customers mostly in the process of brand value creation,•social networks are suitable for propagation of messages concerning about brand's social responsible behavior, which has an impact on the perceived brand value.On the other hand we consider necessary to point out the findings which are able to disprove effectiveness of the social networks. These findings are as follows:•advertising is suitable tool of the marketing communication only in the first stages of the brand’s life cycle,•customer's trust into the communication activities of brands realized via social networks is still low.The whole text of the paper is focused on the justification of all mentioned findings in the context of the results of realized survey with acceptance of the specifics of Slovak customer's behavior.
    Keywords: brand, branding, brand value, e-marketing, communication policy, social networks
    JEL: M30
    Date: 2014–12
  10. By: Emine Kılıçaslan (Trakya University); Hale Bozkurt (Adnan Menderes University)
    Abstract: The developments in the field of internet and computers have paved the way for the formation of social media and a new media was born. Also, these developments created new platforms for communication. Rapid changes have occurred especially in the last decade. These changes have led social media to develop and pervade into every aspect of our life. In this respect the web 2-based internet has offered people new social environments where they can share theid ideas, feelings and knowledge and even their creativity. Particularly, these developments in social media were seen for politicians as a new field of propaganda and political communication. For this reason, social media platforms are used as an important means for political advertising in election campaigns. This situation arising as a result of technologcial developments has given rise to the widespread appearance of political communication in social media platforms. The use of social media becomes highly important for politicians in political campaigns. Therefore, the notion of ‘digital politics’ and ‘online politics’ have found a place in the political and academic literature. This study is an examination of the working of campaigns taking place in social media during the 30 March 2014 local elections in Turkey. The use of Facebook in political campaigns as a means of political communication is analyzed using the content analysis method. In this way, the political discourses of AKP and CHP are compared on the basis of their campaigns in the last local elections.
    Keywords: Political Communication, Social Media, Local Elections
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2014–10
  11. By: Sonia Livingstone; Kjartan Ólafsson; Elisabeth Staksrud
    Abstract: European self-regulation to ensure children's safety on social networking sites requires that providers ensure children are old enough to use the sites, aware of safety messages, empowered by privacy settings, discouraged from disclosing personal information, and supported by easy to use reporting mechanisms. This article assesses the regulatory framework with findings from a survey of over 25000 9- to 16-year-olds from 25 European countries. These reveal many underage children users, and many who lack the digital skills to use social networking sites safely. Despite concerns that children defy parental mediation, many comply with parental rules regarding social networking. The implications of the findings are related to policy decisions on lower age limits and self-regulation of social networking sites.
    Keywords: children; social networkin sites; skills; risk; privacy; Internet
    JEL: L91 L96
    Date: 2013–04

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