nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒08‒07
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Paternalism, Cultural Transmission and Diffusion on Complex Networks By Panebianco, Fabrizio; Verdier, Thierry
  2. The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV By Durante, Ruben; Pinotti, Paolo; Tesei, Andrea
  3. Does meditation lead to more selfish or pro-social behaviors in a trust game? By Di Bartolomeo Giovanni; Stefano Papa
  4. Trust and reciprocity: Extensions and robustness of triadic design By Di Bartolomeo Giovanni; Papa Stefano
  5. Procedural Formalism and Social Networks in the Housing Market By Antoine Bonleu
  6. Do Social Factors Influence Investment Behaviour and Performance? Evidence from Mutual Fund Holdings. By Borgers, Arian; Derwall, Jeroen; Koedijk, Kees; ter Horst, Jenke
  7. "Thou shalt not leech" Are digital pirates conditional cooperators? By Wojciech Hardy; Michal Krawczyk; Joanna Tyrowicz
  8. Lending Credence: Motivation, Trust and Organic Certification By Holland, Steven
  9. Local Governance and Social Capital: Do chiefs matter? By Meriggi, Niccolo F.; Bulte, Erwin

  1. By: Panebianco, Fabrizio; Verdier, Thierry
    Abstract: We study cultural diffusion in a complex network where the transition probabilities are determined by a cultural transmission technology with endogenous vertical transmission rates (a la Bisin and Verdier, 2001). We derive a two-way epidemic model in which both the infection and the recovery rates are endogenous and depend on the topology of the network. First, we identify a "social structure bias" in cultural transmission that determines the direction of cultural change relating the economic structure of parental socialization incentives to the social network structure. Second, we characterize two balancing conditions satisfied by the network degree distribution and the vertical transmission rate distribution to ensure the sustainability of long run cultural heterogeneity. Third, we show how paternalistic motivations for endogenous cultural transmission interact with the "social structure bias" channel and maintain steady state cultural diversity for any network structure.
    Keywords: cultural transmission; diffusion; mean-field; social networks
    JEL: C73 L14 O33
    Date: 2015–07
  2. By: Durante, Ruben; Pinotti, Paolo; Tesei, Andrea
    Abstract: We investigate the political impact of entertainment television in Italy over the past thirty years by exploiting the staggered introduction of Silvio Berlusconi's commercial TV network, Mediaset, in the early 1980s. We find that individuals in municipalities that had access to Mediaset prior to 1985 - when the network only featured light entertainment programs - were significantly more likely to vote for Berlusconi's party in 1994, when he first ran for office. This effect persists for almost two decades and five elections, and is especially pronounced for heavy TV viewers, namely the very young and the old. We relate the extreme persistence of the effect to the relative incidence of these age groups in the voting population, and explore different mechanisms through which early exposure to entertainment content may have influenced their political attitudes.
    Keywords: entertainment; Italy; political participation; television; voting
    JEL: D72 L82 Z13
    Date: 2015–07
  3. By: Di Bartolomeo Giovanni; Stefano Papa
    Date: 2015–05
  4. By: Di Bartolomeo Giovanni; Papa Stefano
    Date: 2014–09
  5. By: Antoine Bonleu (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS)
    Abstract: Why do some OECD countries have high levels of procedural formalism (PF) in the housing market? We provide an explanation based upon complementarities between the strength of social networks and the stringency of procedural formalism. The interest of social networks is that conflict resolution is independent of the law. When local people belong to social networks whereas foreigners do not, PF may facilitate housing search for locals at the expense of foreigners. To illustrate this mechanism we build a search-theoretic model of the housing market. The model emphasizes that the support for PF increases with the size of social networks, the default probability on the rent, the proportion of foreigners, and market tightness.
    Keywords: housing market regulation, search and matching
    JEL: R38
    Date: 2014–11
  6. By: Borgers, Arian; Derwall, Jeroen; Koedijk, Kees; ter Horst, Jenke
    Abstract: We study the economic significance of social dimensions in investment decisions by analyzing the holdings of U.S. equity mutual funds over the period 2004-2012. Using these holdings, we measure funds’ exposures to socially sensitive stocks in order to answer two questions. What explains cross-sectional variation in mutual funds’ exposure to controversial companies? Does exposure to controversial stocks drive fund returns? We find that exposures to socially sensitive stocks are weaker for funds that aim to attract socially conscious and institutional investor clientele, and they relate to local political and religious factors. The financial payoff associated with greater “sin” stock exposure is positive and statistically significant, but becomes non-significant with broader definitions of socially sensitive investments. Despite the positive relation between mutual fund return and sin stock exposure, the annualized risk-adjusted return spread between a portfolio of funds with highest sin stock exposure and its lowest-ranked counterpart is statistically not significant. The results suggest that fund managers do not tilt heavily towards controversial stocks because of social considerations and practical constraints.
    Keywords: controversial stocks; mutual funds; sin stocks; social norms; socially responsible investing
    JEL: G11 G23 M14
    Date: 2015–07
  7. By: Wojciech Hardy (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Michal Krawczyk (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Joanna Tyrowicz (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw; National Bank of Poland)
    Abstract: In this project we investigate willingness to share and download cultural content by implementing a novel "piracy game" modelled after standard public good games. Subjects' decisions have real consequence, as they are rewarded with individual "transfer" on a file-sharing service. We find that willingness to share depends positively on the sharing by others. Interestingly, however, this tendency does not seem to be associated with reciprocity or other-regarding social preferences. We employ several measures of sharing - from self-reporting to experimental - and incorporate to the analysis other factors which may explain the autonomous willingness to share, irrespective of the group effects. We find that conditional cooperation in content sharing is fairly prevalent, but unrelated to personality traits, attitude towards risk, attitude towards the other, marginal valuation, as well as socio-demographic characteristics.
    Keywords: digital piracy, Big Five, public goods, laboratory experiment
    JEL: C92 D63
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Holland, Steven
    Abstract: The information asymmetries inherent in credence goods have typically led economists to conclude these markets require well-defined quality standards and third-party verification that producers are meeting those standards. Nonetheless, many producers of credence goods appear to be opting out of certification. Why? This paper builds in previous research and develops a theoretical framework to think about how producers’ motivation and relationships with consumers affect the necessity and effectiveness of certification. I find the degree to which a consumer trusts the producer of a credence good and the certification standard that governs it, and the degree to which the producer is motivated to produce a good of a certain quality, both have important effects on certification-based regulation.
    Keywords: credence goods, certification, organic, trust, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Meriggi, Niccolo F.; Bulte, Erwin
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, International Development, Political Economy, Public Economics,
    Date: 2015–06–04

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