nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒04‒25
twelve papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Other-regarding Preferences, Group Identity and Political Participation: An Experiment By Pedro Robalo; Arthur Schram; Joep Sonnemans
  2. Strong intrinsic motivation By Dessi, Roberta; Ristichini, Aldo
  3. Social Relations, Incentives, and Gender in the Workplace By Okemena Onemu
  4. Superstars need Social Benefits: An Experiment on Network Formation By Boris van Leeuwen; Theo Offerman; Arthur Schram
  5. Forbidden Fruits: The Political Economy of Science, Religion, and Growth By Roland Bénabou; Davide Ticchi; Andrea Vindigni
  6. Ethnic Diversity and Team Performance: A Field Experiment By Sander Hoogendoorn; Mirjam van Praag
  7. Socio-cultural Diversity and Urban Buzz By Daniel Arribas-Bel; Karima Kourtit; Peter Nijkamp
  8. Social coordination with locally observable types By Ennio Bilancini; Leonardo Boncinelli
  9. Social Network Effects and Green Consumerism By Dominic Hauck; Erik Ansink; Jetske Bouma; Daan van Soest
  10. Can Violence Harm Cooperation? Experimental Evidence By De Luca, Giacomo; Sekeris, Petros; Spengler, Dominic
  11. The effects of social media on cognitive development in undergraduate economics students By Ling Ting and Naiefa Rashied
  12. Diffusion of Behavior in Network Games Orchestrated by Social Learning By Jia-Ping Huang; Maurice Koster; Ines Lindner

  1. By: Pedro Robalo (CREED, University of Amsterdam); Arthur Schram (CREED, University of Amsterdam); Joep Sonnemans (CREED, University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We experimentally study the relationship between other-regarding preferences, group identity and political participation. In doing so, we propose a novel group identity induction procedure that succeeds in creating environments where in-group bias is either high or low. At the individual level, we find that both altruistic subjects and group identifiers participate above average. The most competitive subjects participate much less often than other types, while the most altruistic subjects manage to sustain high participation levels. At the aggregate level, we observe only few statistically significant differences between environments where group identity is high and low. This suggests that the higher participation observed in field settings for close-knit (political) groups might be due to underlying mobilization processes rather than a heightened sense of group-belonging.
    Keywords: Group identity, Other-regarding preferences, Political participation, Participation Game, Experiment
    JEL: A13 C91 C92 D72
    Date: 2013–06–11
  2. By: Dessi, Roberta; Ristichini, Aldo
    Abstract: A large literature in psychology, and more recently in economics, has argued that monetary rewards can reduce intrinsic motivation. We investigate whether the negative impact persists when intrinsic motivation is strong, and test this hypothesis experimentally focusing on the motivation to undertake interesting and challenging tasks, informative about individual ability. We find that this type of task can generate strong intrinsic motivation, that is impervious to the effect of monetary incentives, particularly when the individual is "racing against himself". In our experiments, monetary incentives have no significant impact on performance. In a second experiment using the same kind of task but a setting designed to weaken intrinsic motivation, monetary incentives do have a significant, positive, effect on performance. This result confirms that our experimental setup may, with appropriate conditions, replicate the known crowding out effects.
    Date: 2015–04
  3. By: Okemena Onemu (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Gender differences in preferences regarding social relationships and competitive environments are well documented in psychology and economics. Research also shows that social relationships and competition among co-workers are affected by the incentive schemes workers are exposed to. We combine these two stylized facts and hypothesize that men and women differ in how they rate their co-worker relationships when they work under individual incentives, group incentives, or a combination of the two. This hypothesis is explored using survey data on 14,743 highly educated employees from 78 different organizations in the Netherlands. We find correlational evidence that, in the absence of individual incentives, group incentives improve co-worker relationships for women, but deteriorate co-worker relationships for men.
    Keywords: Incentives, gender differences, interpersonal relations, social interaction
    JEL: J3 M52
    Date: 2014–01–13
  4. By: Boris van Leeuwen (University of Amsterdam); Theo Offerman (University of Amsterdam); Arthur Schram (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We investigate contributions to the provision of public goods on a network when efficient provision requires the formation of a star network. We provide a theoretical analysis and study behavior in a controlled laboratory experiment. In a 2x2 design, we examine the effects of group size and the presence of (social) benefits for incoming links. We find that social benefits are highly important. They facilitate convergence to equilibrium networks and enhance the stability and efficiency of the outcome. Moreover, in large groups social benefits encourage the formation of superstars: star networks in which the core contributes more than expected in the stage-game equilibrium. We show that this result is predicted by a repeated game equilibrium.
    Keywords: Network formation, networked public goods, peer production, social benefits, open source software
    JEL: C91 D85 H41
    Date: 2013–08–08
  5. By: Roland Bénabou; Davide Ticchi; Andrea Vindigni
    Abstract: We analyze the joint dynamics of religious beliefs, scientific progress and coalitional politics along both religious and economic lines. History offers many examples of the recurring tensions between science and organized religion, but as part of the paper's motivating evidence we also uncover a new fact: in both international and cross-state U.S. data, there is a significant and robust negative relationship between religiosity and patents per capita. The political-economy model we develop has three main features: (i) the recurrent arrival of scientific discoveries that generate productivity gains but sometimes erode religious beliefs; (ii) a government, endogenously in power, that can allow such innovations to spread or instead censor them; (iii) a religious organization or sector that may invest in adapting the doctrine to new knowledge. Three long-term outcomes emerge. First, a "Secularization" or "Western-European" regime with declining religiosity, unimpeded science, a passive Church and high levels of taxes and transfers. Second, a "Theocratic" regime with knowledge stagnation, extreme religiosity with no modernization effort, and high public spending on religious public goods. In-between is a third, "American" regime that generally (not always) combines scientific progress and stable religiosity within a range where religious institutions engage in doctrinal adaptation. It features low overall taxes, together with fiscal advantages or societal laws benefiting religious citizens. Rising income inequality can, however, lead some of the rich to form a successful Religious-Right alliance with the religious poor and start blocking belief-eroding discoveries and ideas.
    JEL: E02 H11 H41 N0 O3 O43 P16 Z1 Z12
    Date: 2015–04
  6. By: Sander Hoogendoorn (University of Amsterdam); Mirjam van Praag (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: One of the most salient and relevant dimensions of team heterogeneity is ethnicity. We measure the impact of ethnic diversity on the performance of business teams using a field experiment. We follow 550 students who set up 45 real companies as part of their curriculum in an international business program in the Netherlands. We exploit the fact that companies are set up in realistic though similar circumstances and that we, as outside researchers, had the unique opportunity to exogenously vary the ethnic composition of otherwise randomly composed teams. The student population consists of 55% students with a non-Dutch ethnicity from 53 different countries of origin, enabling us to include extremely diverse teams in our study. We find that a moderate level of ethnic diversity has no effect on team performance in terms of business outcomes (sales, prots and prots per share). However, if at least the majority of team members is ethnically diverse then more ethnic diversity seems to affect the performance of teams positively. Our data suggest that this positive effect might be related to the more diverse pool of relevant knowledge facilitating (mutual) learning within ethnically diverse teams.
    Keywords: Ethnic diversity, team performance, field experiment, entrepreneurship, (mutual) learning
    JEL: J15 L25 C93 L26 M13 D83
    Date: 2012–07–13
  7. By: Daniel Arribas-Bel (VU University Amsterdam); Karima Kourtit (VU University Amsterdam); Peter Nijkamp (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Cities have become playing grounds for competitive behaviour and rapid economic dynamics. But in many cities (or urban agglomerations) economic growth is mainly manifested in specific geographic areas, where creative people and innovative entrepreneurs are located. This paper offers first the foundation for analysing the so-called 'urban buzz' and its interlinked primary drivers. The paper will next develop an analytical framework for testing the buzz hypothesis, with a special reference to the importance of social networks in Amsterdam. In our empirical analysis, we use a unique data set on social network connectivity and spatial concentration in a city, based on location-sharing services through the use of Foursquare. Our urban buzz model shows clearly that buzz and socio-economic (cultural) diversity are closely connected phenomena.
    Keywords: cultural diversity, urban buzz, agglomeration, creativity, piazza, spatial dependence, social networks
    JEL: R1
    Date: 2013–08–06
  8. By: Ennio Bilancini; Leonardo Boncinelli
    Abstract: In this paper we study the typical dilemma of social coordination between a risk- dominant convention and a payoff-dominant convention. In particular, we consider a model where a population of agents play a coordination game over time, choosing both the action and the network of agents with whom to interact. The main novelty with respect to the existing literature is that: (i) agents come in two distinct types, (ii) the interaction with a di.erent type is costly, and (iii) an agent's type is unobservable prior to interaction. We show that when the cost of interacting with a different type is small with respect to the payo. of coordination, then the payoff-dominant convention is the only stochastically stable convention; instead, when the cost of interacting with a different type is large, the only stochastically stable conventions are those where all agents of one type play the payoff-dominant action and all agents of the other type play the risk-dominant action.
    Keywords: coordination, equilibrium selection, stochastic stability, learning, network formation
    JEL: C73 D83
    Date: 2014–12
  9. By: Dominic Hauck (VU University Amsterdam); Erik Ansink (VU University Amsterdam); Jetske Bouma (PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency); Daan van Soest (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: One of the drivers of green consumerism are social network externalities that are associated with buying 'green' because green consumerism is fashionable, or because of reputation effects. We analyze how the strength of this social network effect impacts green consumerism, environmental externalities and total welfare. We discuss a model where products are differentiated according to their environmental quality, where the production of green products generates positive externalities to all, and where those consumers purchasing a green product variety receive the additional benefits of being a member of the network of green consumers. Depending on the strength of the social network effect, we show that (a) firms may produce lower quality, (b) the market may generate fewer positive environmental externalities, and (c) total welfare may deteriorate. The main policy implication is that if there is a network effect, regulators should choose a stricter minimum environmental quality standard.
    Keywords: Quality Differentiation, Social Network Effect, Minimum Environmental Quality Standard
    JEL: D11 L15 Q31
    Date: 2014–12–04
  10. By: De Luca, Giacomo; Sekeris, Petros; Spengler, Dominic
    Abstract: While folk theorems for dynamic renewable common pool resource games sustain cooperation as an equilibrium, the possibility of reverting to violence to appropriate the resource destroys the incentives to cooperate, because of the expectation of conflict when resources are sufficiently depleted. In this paper, we provide experimental evidence that individuals behave according to the theoretical predictions. For high stocks of resources, when conflict is a highly costly activity, participants cooperate less than in the control group, and they play the non-cooperative action with higher frequency. This comes as a consequence of the (correct) anticipation that, when resources run low, the conflict option is used by a large share of participants.
    Keywords: Experiment, Dynamic Game, Cooperation
    JEL: C72 C73 C91 D74
    Date: 2015–04–15
  11. By: Ling Ting and Naiefa Rashied
    Abstract: The study attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of social media on cognitive development among undergraduate economics students at a South African university. The study collects data on student postings to discussion topics posted on Facebook and Twitter. The use of 3 well-known rubrics for evaluating cognitive development: Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2001), revised Bloom’s taxonomy (Anderson et al. 2001), and Greenlaw and Deloach (2003), are used. Results indicate that student posts fall mainly into lower levels of thinking suggesting that social media may not be effective in cultivating critical thinking. Moreover, these results shed light on the voluntary versus mandatory nature of participation, the time length for student responses, and “big think†style questions in a developing country context (i.e. poor internet).
    Keywords: Social media, teaching and learning, critical thinking
    JEL: A20 A22
    Date: 2015
  12. By: Jia-Ping Huang (VU University Amsterdam); Maurice Koster (University of Amsterdam); Ines Lindner (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: The novelty of our model is to combine models of collective action on networks with models of social learning. Agents are connected according to an undirected graph, the social network, and have the choice between two actions: either to adopt a new behavior or technology or stay with the default behavior. The individual believed return depends on how many neighbors an agent has, how many of those neighbors already adopted the new behavior and some agent-specic cost-benefit parameter. There are four main insights of our model: (1) A variety of collective adoption behaviors is determined by the network. (2) Average inclination governs collective adoption behavior. (3) Initial inclinations determine the critical mass of adoption which ensures the new behavior to prevail. (4) Equilibria and dynamic be- havior changes as we change the underlying network and other parameters. Given the complexity of the system we use a standard technique for estimating the solution.
    Keywords: Diffusion, Social Networks, Social Learning, Tipping, Technology Adoption
    JEL: C72 C73 D83 D85 O33
    Date: 2013–12–20

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.
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