nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒05‒16
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Homophily and Triadic Closure in Evolving Social Networks By Irene Crimaldi; Michela Del Vicario; Greg Morrison; Walter Quattrociocchi; Massimo Riccaboni
  2. Donations, risk attitudes and time preferences: A study on altruism in primary school children By Silvia Angerer; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Matthias Sutter
  3. Peer Effects, Fast Food Consumption and Adolescent Weight Gain By Bernard Fortin; Myra Yazbeck
  4. The Sound of Others: Surprising Evidence of Conformist Behavior By Crosetto, Paolo; Filippin, Antonio
  5. Conspicuous work : peer working time, labour supply, and happiness for male workers By Collewet M.M.F.; Grip A. de; Koning J. de
  6. Just Tell me What my Neighbors Do! Public Policies for Households Recycling By Ankinée Kirakozian; Christophe Charlier
  7. The influence of group identity on farmer’s decision making: an experimental economics approach on a family farming case in Costa Rica By Schickramm, Lena; Saenz-Segura, Fernando; Schipper, Robert A.; Handgraaf, Michel
  8. Grading Hampers Cooperative Information Sharing in Group Problem Solving By Anne-Sophie Hayek; Claudia Toma; Dominique Oberlé; Fabrizio Butera
  9. The effect of trust and risk perception on citizen's intention to adopt and use e-government services in Jordan. By Adel Al Khattab; Hasan Al-Shalabi; Khamis Al-Khattab; Mahmaod Al-Rawad

  1. By: Irene Crimaldi (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies); Michela Del Vicario (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies); Greg Morrison (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies); Walter Quattrociocchi (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies); Massimo Riccaboni (IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies)
    Abstract: We present a new network model accounting for homophily and triadic closure in the evolution of social networks. In particular, in our model, each node is characterized by a number of features and the probability of a link between two nodes depends on common features. The bipartite network of the actors and features evolves according to a dynamics that depends on three parame-ters that respectively regulate the preferential attachment in the transmission of the features to the nodes, the number of new features per node, and the power-law behavior of the total number of observed features. We provide theoretical results and statistical estimators for the parameters of the model. We validate our approach by means of simulations and an empirical analysis of a network of scientifc collaborations.
    Keywords: social network, bipartite network, preferential attachment, homophily triadic closure, transitivity
    JEL: C13 C18 Z13
    Date: 2015–05
  2. By: Silvia Angerer; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Matthias Sutter
    Abstract: We present experimental evidence from a bilingual city in Northern Italy on whether the language spoken by a partner in a prisoner's dilemma game affects behavior and leads to discrimination. Running a framed field experiment with 828 six- to eleven-year old primary school children in the city of Meran, we find that cooperation generally increases with age, but that the gap between cooperation among in-group members and cooperation towards children speaking another language is considerable and increasing with age. This gap is due to both, in-group favoritism and language group discrimination.
    Keywords: Cooperation, discrimination, language, children, experiment
    JEL: C91 C93 D03
    Date: 2015–05
  3. By: Bernard Fortin; Myra Yazbeck
    Abstract: This paper aims at opening the black box of peer effects in adolescent weight gain. Using Add Health data on secondary schools in the U.S., we investigate whether these effects partly flow through the eating habits channel. Adolescents are assumed to interact through a friendship social network. We propose a two-equation model. The first equation provides a social interaction model of fast food consumption. To estimate this equation we use a quasi maximum likelihood approach that allows us to control for common environment at the network level and to solve the simultaneity (reflection) problem. Our second equation is a panel dynamic weight production function relating an individual’s Body Mass Index z-score (zBMI) to his fast food consumption and his lagged zBMI, and allowing for irregular intervals in the data. Results show that there are positive but small peer effects in fast food consumption among adolescents belonging to a same friendship school network. Based on our preferred specification, the estimated social multiplier is 1.15. Our results also suggest that,in the long run, an extra day of weekly fast food restaurant visits increases zBMI by 4.45% when ignoring peer effects and by 5.11%, when they are taken into account.
    Keywords: Obesity, overweight, peer effects, social interactions, fast food, spatial models
    JEL: C31 I10 I12
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Crosetto, Paolo (Université de Grenoble); Filippin, Antonio (University of Milan)
    Abstract: It has been shown that subjects tend to follow others' behavior even when the external signals are uninformative. In this paper we go one step further, showing that conformism occurs even when the choices of others are not even presented to the subjects, but just indirectly perceived. We use the "Click" version of the Bomb Risk Elicitation Task, in which subjects can infer the behavior of others only from the mass of clicks heard. This signal is payoff-irrelevant and largely uninformative about the actual choices of the other participants. Moreover, it is never mentioned in the instructions and therefore it must be spontaneously (and possibly unconsciously) perceived in order to be used. We control the exposure of subjects to clicks by implementing treatments with and without earmuffs. Moreover, we test whether the introduction of a minimal form of commonality, i.e., facing a common rather than individual resolution of uncertainty, makes conformism more likely to emerge. We find strong evidence of conformist behavior even in such an adverse environment. Simply hearing the others clicking affects subjects' behavior. Introducing a common random draw results in a further dramatic shift of the average choices, in particular by women.
    Keywords: conformism, risk attitude, experiment
    JEL: C81 C91 D81
    Date: 2015–04
  5. By: Collewet M.M.F.; Grip A. de; Koning J. de (GSBE)
    Abstract: This paper uncovers conspicuous work as a new form of status seeking that can explain social interactions in labour supply. We analyse how peer working time relates to both labour supply and happiness for Dutch male workers. Using a unique measure of peer weekly working time, we find that mens working time increases with that of their peers and that peer working time is negatively related to mens happiness. These findings are consistent with a conspicuous work model, in which individuals derive status from working time.
    Keywords: Externalities; General Welfare; Time Allocation and Labor Supply;
    JEL: J22 I31 D62
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Ankinée Kirakozian (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis; GREDEG CNRS); Christophe Charlier (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: An important stand of the economic literature focuses on how to provide the right incentives for households to recycle their waste. This body of work includes a growing number of studies inspired by psychology that seek to explain waste sorting, and pro-environmental behavior more generally, and highlight the importance of social approval and peer effect. The present theoretical work explores this issue. We propose a model that considers heterogeneous households that choose to recycle based on three main household characteristics: environmental preferences, opportunity cost of their tax expenditure, and their self-image. The model is original in depicting the interactions among households which enable them to form beliefs on recycling and allows them to assess their self-image. These interaction are explored through the model simulations. We point to how individual recycling decisions depend on these interactions, and how the effectiveness of public policies related to recycling is affected by a crowding-out effect. We consider three complementary policies in the model simulations: provision of incentives to recycle through taxation, provision of information on the importance of selective sorting, and a 'localized' approach that takes the form of a 'nudge'. We use the results of the simulations to quantify the consequences of the crowding out effect on total residual waste. This paper makes an original contribution by showing that when the individual decision is influenced by an internalized peer attention, beliefs about others' intrinsic and extrinsic values can be more important than others' observed behaviors.
    Keywords: Household recycling, Waste, Environmental regulation, Behavioral economics, Computational Techniques
    JEL: D10 D03 Q53 Q58
    Date: 2015–05
  7. By: Schickramm, Lena; Saenz-Segura, Fernando; Schipper, Robert A.; Handgraaf, Michel
    Abstract: A successful family farming sector is strategic for developing rural areas, but is is endangered by household-specific market failures, high transaction costs and low bargaining power. Contract farming and collective actions are two common institutional devices for acquiring a level of certainty regarding market information, delivery conditions and procurement prices. Farmers’ associations is one of the common form of collective actions, but faces problems of opportunistic behaviour from their participating members. The intensity of group identity felt by an individual member is an essential determinant of the level of commitment and support granted towards the association. This case study analyzes the interdependence between individual identification intensity and revealed commitment for a commodity specific association that is based on individual membership. Members and non-members of the association participated in a questionnaire followed by a natural field experiment concerning their social identity towards the existing pepper association. By manipulating the social identity variable it could be seen that social identity has an influence on the participation of the individual in the association. This effect could be found for members and non-members alike. Strengthened social identity generally increased the participation of the individual in the organisation.
    Keywords: Collective actions, social identity, willingness to participate, pepper, Farm Management,
    Date: 2015–04
  8. By: Anne-Sophie Hayek; Claudia Toma; Dominique Oberlé; Fabrizio Butera
    Abstract: We hypothesized that individual grading in group work, a widespread practice, hampers information sharing in cooperative problem solving. Experiment 1 showed that a condition in which members’ individual contribution was expected to be visible and graded, as in most graded work, led to less pooling of relevant, unshared information and more pooling of less-relevant, shared information than two control conditions where individual contribution was not graded, but either visible or not. Experiment 2 conceptually replicated this effect: Group members primed with grades pooled less of their unshared information, but more of their shared information, compared to group members primed with neutral concepts. Thus, grading can hinder cooperative work and impair information sharing in groups.
    Keywords: information sharing; grades; hidden profiles; cooperation; mixed-motives
    Date: 2015–05–06
  9. By: Adel Al Khattab (Al-Hussein Bin Talal University); Hasan Al-Shalabi (Al-Hussein Bin Talal University); Khamis Al-Khattab (Al-Hussein Bin Talal University); Mahmaod Al-Rawad (Al Hussain Bin Talal University)
    Abstract: Purpose: This study was undertaken with the primary aim of identifying, examining and providing an understanding of the factors that could affect citizens’ intention to adopt and use e-government services in Jordan.Design: The preliminary research model used here has been developed from the Technology Acceptance Model by incorporating additional constructs from other models, namely, web trust and perceived risk. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by the selected sample. The response rate of 59.2%. The data were analyzed using parametric statistics including ANOVA, MANOVA, means analysis, and the t-test.Findings: The finding of this study revealed that there are four main factors that affect citizen's intention to engage in electronic government services; these are perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, perceived risk, and trust in electronic channels. The findings have also revealed that the modified research model can explain 58.1 per cent of the variance in citizens' intention to adopt and use electronic government services. Limitations/Implications: A practical implication of the findings and conclusions of this study is that governments are urged to take into account the importance of perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, trust and perceived risk in influencing the intention of citizens to use e-government services. This study also serves as a tool for understanding user acceptance of Internet applications such as e-government technology. Originality: This study is one of the first to provide important information on factors affecting citizens intention to adopt and use electronic government services in Jordan.
    Keywords: Jordan, electronic government, technology adoption and acceptance, Perceived Risk, trust.
    JEL: D80 O32

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