nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒07‒25
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. A note on social capital, space and growth in Europe By Luciano Lavecchia
  2. Corruption and Tax Evasion: Reflections on Greek Tragedy By Anastasia Litina; Theodore Palivos
  3. How was the Weekend? How the Social Context Underlies Weekend Effects in Happiness and other Emotions for US Workers By John F. Helliwell; Shun Wang
  4. Civic capital and the Vertical Integration of Service Provision: Evidence from Italy. By M. Bürker; G. A. Minerva
  5. Reflecting on ‘An economic model of social capital and health’ By Martin Knapp
  6. Institutionalize reciprocity to overcome the public goods provision problem By Hiroki Ozono; Yoshio Kamijo; Kazumi Shimizu
  7. Microsocial Foundation Strategies of Economic Behavior: Analysis of the Mechanisms of Conversion of Social Capital By Stepantsov, Pavel; Jigareva, P.
  8. Synopsis: Social networks and factor markets: Panel data evidence from Ethiopia: By Abay, Kibrom A.; Kahsay, Goytom A; Berhane, Guush
  9. Economic and Social Impacts of the Media By Stefano DellaVigna; Eliana La Ferrara
  10. Peer Effects and Incentives By Matthias Kräkel

  1. By: Luciano Lavecchia (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This note replicates the analysis of Tabellini (2010) on the relationship between social capital and regional economic growth in Europe, extending that work and the underlying dataset by focusing on the spatial dimension of social capital and introducing a definition of contiguity among European regions. We find a sizable and robust contribution of social capital to regional growth. We also estimate a Spatial autoregressive model with autoregressive disturbances (SARAR) and a Spatial Durbin Error model (SDEM). The results confirm the positive role of social capital, highlighting the importance of spatial spillovers, which warrants further discussion.
    Keywords: social capital, space, growth, Europe, sarar, sdem
    JEL: A13 O10 N13
    Date: 2015–07
  2. By: Anastasia Litina (University of Luxembourg); Theodore Palivos (Athens University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: We provide empirical support and a theoretical explanation for the vicious circle of political corruption and tax evasion in which countries often fall into. We address this issue in the context of a model with two distinct groups of agents: citizens and politicians. Citizens decide the fraction of their income for which they evade taxes. Politicians decide the fraction of the public budget that they peculate. We show that multiple self-fulfilling equilibria with different levels of corruption can emerge based on the existence of strategic complementarities, indicating that “corruption” may corrupt. Furthermore, we find that standard deterrence policies cannot eliminate the multiplicity of equilibria. Instead, policies that impose a strong moral cost on tax evaders and corrupt politicians can lead to a unique equilibrium.
    Keywords: Corruption; Tax Evasion; Multiple Equilibria; Social Stigma
    JEL: D73 E62 H26
    Date: 2015–06
  3. By: John F. Helliwell; Shun Wang
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate the size of weekend effects for seven emotions and then explore their main determinants for the working population in the United States, using the Gallup/Healthways US Daily Poll 2008-2012. We first find that weekend effects exist for all emotions, and that these effects are not explained by sample selection bias. Full-time workers have a larger weekend effects than do part- time workers for all emotions except sadness, for which weekend effects are almost identical for all workers. We then explore the sources of weekend effects and find that workplace trust and workplace social relations, combined with differences in social time spent with family and friends, together almost fully explain the weekend effects for happiness, laughter, enjoyment and sadness, for both full-time and part-time workers, with significant but smaller proportions explained for the remaining three emotions - worry, anger and stress.
    JEL: I31 J81
    Date: 2015–07
  4. By: M. Bürker; G. A. Minerva
    Abstract: This paper studies whether civic capital acts an effective restraint against opportunistic behavior in transactions, looking at the degree of outsourcing to external suppliers of services in Italian firms. Our results show that, on average, firms tend to outsource more services where civic capital is higher. This effect is particularly strong for firms operating in industries where businesses can easily adjust the level of purchased services to their idiosyncratic needs. To address the issue of endogeneity we also instrument the current stock of civic capital by historical variables. We argue that the rise in the propensity to engage in transactions with outside service suppliers is evidence of a decrease in the opportunistic behavior between the parties involved in the transaction.
    Keywords: Civic Capital; Opportunism; Vertical Integration; Service outsourcing; Transaction Cost Economics
    JEL: Z13 L23 A13 D23
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Martin Knapp
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2015–06–21
  6. By: Hiroki Ozono (Faculty of Law, Economics and Humanities, Kagoshima University); Yoshio Kamijo (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Kazumi Shimizu (School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University)
    Abstract: Cooperation is fundamental to human societies, and one of the important paths for its emergence and maintenance is reciprocity. In prisoner’s dilemma (PD) experiments, reciprocal strategies are often effective at attaining and maintaining high cooperation. In many public goods (PG) games or n-person PD experiments, however, reciprocal strategies are not successful at engendering cooperation. In the present paper, we attribute this difficulty to a coordination problem against free riding among reciprocators: Because it is difficult for the reciprocators to coordinate their behaviors against free riders, this may lead to inequality among players, which will demotivate them from cooperating in future rounds. We propose a new mechanism, institutionalized reciprocity (IR), which refers to embedding the reciprocal strategy as an institution (i.e., institutionalizing the reciprocal strategy). We experimentally demonstrate that IR can prevent groups of reciprocators from falling into coordination failure and achieve high cooperation in PG games. In conclusion, we argue that a natural extension of the present study will be to investigate the possibility of IR to serve as a collective punishment system.
    Keywords: operation, public goods game, laboratory experiment, institutionalized reciprocity, raise the stakes strategy, collective punishment
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 M54
    Date: 2015–07
  7. By: Stepantsov, Pavel (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Jigareva, P. (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: As the results of the study "Eurobarometer in Russia," social capital is one of the main resources that underpin social and economic well-being of Russians. The number of social ties and dictate the intensity of contacts at the micro-level characteristics of the economic behavior of the Russians, their financial strategies, as well as their career path. Meanwhile, it remains unclear how the Russians manage to convert social capital into real economic resources. The text is based on the methodology of the study of practices and strategies of economic behavior of the population, developed on the basis of a pan-European study "Eurobarometer".
    Keywords: Eurobarometer, social capital, well-being
    Date: 2015–06
  8. By: Abay, Kibrom A.; Kahsay, Goytom A; Berhane, Guush
    Abstract: In the absence of well-established factor markets, the roles of indigenous institutions and social networks as mobilizing factors for agricultural production can be substantial. We investigate the role of an indigenous social network in Ethiopia, the iddir, in facilitating factor market transactions among smallholder farmers. Using detailed longitudinal household survey data and employing a difference-in-differences approach, we find that iddir membership improves households’ access to factor markets. Specifically, we find that by joining an iddir network, households’ access to land, labor, and credit improves between 7 and 11 percentage points. Furthermore, our findings indicate that iddir networks crowd-out borrowing from local moneylenders (locally referred as Arata Abedari), a relatively expensive credit source, virtually without affecting borrowing from formal credit sources. These results improve our understanding of the role informal market arrangements, such as social networks, can play in mitigating factor market inefficiencies in poor rural markets. The results also have important policy implications for designing alternative policy measures which aim to improve these markets.
    Keywords: Social networks, Panel data, social networks, iddir networks, factor market imperfections, factor market transactions, crowding-out,
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Stefano DellaVigna; Eliana La Ferrara
    Abstract: In this survey, we review the literature on the impact of exposure to the media. We cast a wide net and cover media impacts on education, family choices, labor and migration decisions, environmental choices, health, crime, public economics, attitudes, consumption and savings, and development economics. We stress five themes. First, the demand for entertainment plays a key role, with the economic impacts emerging largely as by-products. Second, to understand the media effects one cannot just focus on the direct effect of exposure but one needs to take into account the crowding-out of alternative activities (substitution effect). Third, the sources of identification play a critical role in determining what is known: credible estimates of short- and long run effects are available for some topics and some media but not for others. Fourth, most of the evidence on social and economic impacts is for exposure to the entertainment media such as television, as opposed to the printed press. Fifth, for the policy impacts both the substitution effect of media exposure and the demand for entertainment play an important role.
    JEL: A13 D01 D10 H4 I10 I20 J0 K42 L82 L96 O10
    Date: 2015–07
  10. By: Matthias Kräkel
    Abstract: In a multi-agent setting, individuals often compare own performance with that of their peers. These comparisons in?uence agents? incentives and lead to a noncooperative game, even if the agents have to complete independent tasks. I show that depending on the interplay of the peer effects, agents?efforts are either strategic complements or strategic substitutes. I solve for the optimal monetary incentives that complement the peer effects and show that the principal prefers sequential effort choices of the agents to choosing efforts simultaneously.
    Keywords: externalities, moral hazard, other-regarding preferences
    JEL: C72 D03 D86
    Date: 2014–10

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