nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒04‒11
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Online social networks and trust By Fabio Sabatini; Francesco Sarracino
  2. Trust and Trustworthiness of Immigrants and Native-Born Americans By James C. Cox; Wafa Hakim Orman
  3. Gender Differences in the Distribution of Total Work-Time of Latin-American Families: The Importance of Social Norms By Campaña, Juan Carlos; Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio; Molina, José Alberto
  4. Neighborhood Effects in Education By Del Bello, Carlo L.; Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves
  5. Linking Team Leaders’ Human & Social Capital to their Team Members’ Career Advancement By Malhotra, Pearl; Singh, Manjari
  6. Are Results of Social- and Self-Image Concerns in Voluntary Contributions Game Similar? By Martin Daniel Siyaranamual
  7. Can Farmers Create Efficient Information Networks? Experimental Evidence from Rural India By A. Stefano Caria; Marcel Fafchamps
  8. Becoming “We” Instead of “I”, Identity Management and Incentives in the Workplace. By Jocelyn Donze; Trude Gunnes
  9. Political Connections and Firm Value: Evidence from the Regression Discontinuity Design of Close Gubernatorial Elections By Do, Quoc-Anh; Lee, Yen-Teik; Nguyen, Bang Dang

  1. By: Fabio Sabatini; Francesco Sarracino
    Abstract: We explore how participation in social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook and Twitter affects the most economically relevant aspect of social capital, trust. We use measures of trust in strangers (or social trust), trust in neighbours and trust in the police. We address endogeneity in the use of SNS by exploiting the variation in the availability of broadband for high-speed Internet, which relates to technological characteristics of the pre- existing voice telecommunication infrastructures. We find that all the proxies of trust significantly decrease with participation in online networks. We discuss several interpretations of the results in light of the specific features of Internet-mediated social interaction.
    Keywords: Internet; broadband; online networks; social networking sites; Facebook; trust; social capital; hate speech.
    JEL: C36 D85 O33 Z1
    Date: 2015–04–04
  2. By: James C. Cox; Wafa Hakim Orman
    Abstract: Trust and trustworthiness are crucial to amelioration of social dilemmas. Distrust and malevolence aggravate social dilemmas. We use an experimental moonlighting game with a sample of the U.S. population, oversampling immigrants, to observe interactions between immigrants and native-born Americans in a social dilemma situation that can elicit both benevolent and malevolent actions. We survey participants in order to relate outcomes in the moonlighting game to demographic characteristics and traditional, survey-based measures of trust and trustworthiness and show that they are strongly correlated. Overall, we find that immigrants are as trusting as native-born U.S. citizens when they interact with native-born citizens but do not trust other immigrants. Immigrants appear to be less trustworthy overall but this finding disappears when we control for demographic variables. Women and older people are less likely to trust but no more or less trustworthy. Highly religious immigrants are less trusting and less trustworthy than both other immigrants and native-born Americans.
    Keywords: experiment, trust, trustworthiness, religiosity, immigrants, native-born
    Date: 2015–03
  3. By: Campaña, Juan Carlos (University of Zaragoza); Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio (University of Zaragoza); Molina, José Alberto (University of Zaragoza)
    Abstract: We analyze differences by gender in the time dedicated to total work (paid and unpaid) by families in Latin America, with particular attention to the effect of social norms. To this end, we use survey data on time use in Mexico (2009), Peru (2010), Ecuador (2012) and Colombia (2012), to estimate differential equations through OLS. Our results reveal differences between countries in terms of the gender distribution of total work (paid work plus unpaid work), with Colombia and Peru being more equitable. These two countries could be approaching a situation of "iso-work", or equality of work, in the sense that men and women spend similar amounts of time in total work. When considering the social norms that explain gender differences in the time spent in total work, we use data from the last wave (2010-2014) of the World Values Survey (WVS). Our results indicate that the more egalitarian countries exhibit the highest levels of equality in the distribution of work. It is important to know how men and women from these four countries distribute their time in total work, in order to understand why there are clear differences by gender.
    Keywords: total work, Latin America, differences by gender, social norms
    JEL: D13 J22 J13 J16
    Date: 2015–03
  4. By: Del Bello, Carlo L. (Paris School of Economics); Patacchini, Eleonora (Cornell University); Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Using unique geo-coded information on the residential address of a representative sample of American adolescents and their friends, we revisit the importance of geographical proximity in shaping education outcomes. Our findings reveal no evidence of residential neighborhood effects. Social proximity, as measured by similarity in religion, race and family income as well as in unobserved characteristics, appears to play a major role in facilitating peer influence. Our empirical strategy is able to control for the endogeneity of both social network and location choices.
    Keywords: neighborhood effects, social networks, link formation, education
    JEL: C21 Z13
    Date: 2015–03
  5. By: Malhotra, Pearl; Singh, Manjari
    Abstract: This paper looks at a conceptual model depicting the impact of high performing Team Leaders (TL) on their team members’ career advancement. Certain inherent factors present in high performing TLs are not usually linked to either the development or the career advancement of the team members; however their presence ensures that there is a positive impact. For this study those factors were classified into two main categories – a) Human Capital and b) Social capital. Using Social Learning Theory, one can say that high performing TLs provide modelling stimuli based on live experiences to their team members. Social modelling and learning in this context can further be understood using Social Network Theory. This impact is positively moderated by the strength of the TL-team member dyads, which can be theoretically examined through Leader-Membership exchange and supervisory support.
  6. By: Martin Daniel Siyaranamual (Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University)
    Abstract: Social interactions may encourage the cooperative behaviours by triggering either self-image concerns (when one sees others’ decisions without being seen) or social-image concerns (when one’s decision is seen by others). A laboratory experiment is designed to compare these two concerns directly, using a four-players finitely repeated public goods experiment on two directed star networks, self-image and social-image networks. The comparison of the players voluntary contributions in both types of networks reveals that their contributing behaviours are statistically indistinguishable. However, the players who belong to the self-image network are more willing to conform with the group behaviours, meaning that they will increase (reduce) the contributions if theirs are below (above) their groups average. Furthermore, I also find evidence that the contributing behaviours are more stable in the self-image networks than in the social-image network.
    Keywords: Social-image; Self-image; Directed network; Public good experiment
    JEL: C92 D19 H41 Z13
    Date: 2015–02
  7. By: A. Stefano Caria; Marcel Fafchamps
    Abstract: We run an artefactual field experiment in rural India which tests whether farmers can create efficient networks in a repeated link formation game, and whether group categorization results in homophily and loss of network efficiency. We find that the efficiency of the networks formed in the experiment is significantly lower than the efficiency which could be achieved under selfish, rational play. Many individual decisions are consistent with selfish rationality and with a concern for overall welfare, but the tendency to link with the ‘most popular’ farmer in the network causes large efficiency losses. When information about group membership is disclosed, social networks become more homophilous, but not significantly less efficient. Networks play an important role in the diffusion of innovations in developing countries. If they are inefficiently structured, there is scope for development policies that support diffusion.
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Jocelyn Donze; Trude Gunnes
    Abstract: In this article, we propose to view the firm as a locus of socialization in which employees with heterogeneous work attitudes can be motivated and coordinated through adherence to a social ideal of effort. We develop an agency model in which employees have both a personal and a social ideal of effort. The firm does not observe the personal ideals, but can make its workforce more sensitive to the social ideal by fostering interaction in the workplace. We show that there are two reasons why the firm invests in social bonding. First, it reinforces the effectiveness of monetary incentives. Second, strengthening the social ideal reduces the adverse selection problem and the need to devise distorted payment schemes. We also show that the firm allocates more time to social interaction when personal ideals of effort are low or heterogeneous.
    Keywords: agency theory, social interaction, social norms, norm regulation.
    JEL: D2 D8 J3 M5
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Do, Quoc-Anh; Lee, Yen-Teik; Nguyen, Bang Dang
    Abstract: Using the regression discontinuity design of close gubernatorial elections in the U.S., we identify a significant and positive impact of the social networks of corporate directors and politicians on firm value. Firms connected to elected governors increase their value by 3.89%. Political connections are more valuable for firms connected to winning challengers, for smaller and financially dependent firms, in more corrupt states, in states of connected firms’ headquarters and operations, and in closer, smaller, and active networks. Post-election, firms connected to the winner receive significantly more state procurement contracts and invest more than do firms connected to the loser.
    Keywords: close gubernatorial election; corruption; firm value; political connection; procurement; regression discontinuity design; social networks
    JEL: D72 D73 G28 G30 G34 G38 H57
    Date: 2015–04

This nep-soc issue is ©2015 by Fabio Sabatini. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.