nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒09‒26
eighteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Role of Social Networks in Cultural Assimilation By Verdier, Thierry; Zenou, Yves
  2. Social Norms and Legal Design By Bruno Deffains; Claude Fluet
  3. What Policies Increase Prosocial Behavior? An Experiment with Referees at the Journal of Public Economics By Chetty, Raj; Saez, Emmanuel; Sándor, László
  4. Trust me, I'm a Banker: Analysing the Issue of Trust between Banks, Media and Customers By Lakhbir Singh
  5. Facebook-to-Facebook: Online Communication and Economic Cooperation By Anna Lou Abatayo; John Lynham; Katerina Sherstyuk
  6. Migrant Networks and Job Search Outcomes: Evidence from Displaced Workers By Colussi, Tommaso
  7. Should I double park or should I go? The effect of political ideology on collective action problems By Adam, Antonis; Drichoutis, Andreas C.; Georgoula, Maria; Kammas, Pantelis
  8. Dishonesty: From Parents to Children By Daniel Houser; John List; Marco Piovesan; Anya Samek; Joachim Winter
  9. Intergroup revenge: a laboratory experiment on the causes By David Hugh-Jones; Martin A. Leroch
  10. Group Formation, In-group Bias and the Cost of Cheating By Michaeli, Moti
  11. Where do I come from and where am I going? Social capital and young women’s educational transitions in South Africa By Annah Bengesai
  12. The Effect of Being the Only Child on Friendship Nominations By Guilherme Kenji Chihaya
  13. Waiting to Cooperate? Cooperation in one-stage and two-stage games By Todd Kaplan, Bradley Ruffle
  14. Social Identity and Punishment By Jeffrey V. Butler; Pierluigi Conzo; Martin A. Leroch
  15. No Place like Home: Opinion Formation with Homophily and Implications for Policy Decisions By Önder, Ali Sina; Portmann, Marco; Stadelmann, David
  16. An empirical study about a diffusion of Automated External Defibrillator and social capital By Yuriko Isada; Fumihiko Isada
  17. Tax morale and reciprocity. A case study from Vietnam By Jahnke, Bjoern
  18. Making the Most of Diversity: How Collectivism Mutes the Disruptive Effects of Demographic Heterogeneity on Group Performance By Chatman, Jennifer A.; Sherman, Eliot L.; Doerr, Bernadette M.

  1. By: Verdier, Thierry (Paris School of Economics); Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We develop a model where, in the first stage, minority individuals have to decide whether or not they want to assimilate to the majority culture while, in the second stage, all individuals (both from the majority and the minority group) embedded in a network have to decide how much effort they exert in some activity (say education). We show that the more central minority agents are in the social network, the more they assimilate to the majority culture. We also show that denser networks tend to favor assimilation so that, for example, it is easier to assimilate in a complete network than in a star-shaped network. Finally, we show that the subgame-perfect equilibrium is not optimal because there is not enough activity and assimilation. We then endogeneize the network and show under which condition a complete or a star network is an equilibrium with assimilation.
    Keywords: assimilation, majority individuals, ethnic minorities, network centrality, network formation
    JEL: D85 J15 Z13
    Date: 2015–09
  2. By: Bruno Deffains; Claude Fluet
    Abstract: We compare fault-based and strict liability offences in law enforcement when behavior is influenced by informal prosocial norms of conduct. Fault tends to be more effective than strict liability in harnessing social or self-image concerns. When enforcement relies on fines and assessing fault is not too costly, the optimal legal regime is fault-based with a standard consistent with the underlying social norm if convictions would seldom occur under optimal enforcement; otherwise liability should be strict. When sanctions are nonmonetary or when stigmatization imposes a deadweight loss, the legal standard may be harsher or more lenient than the social norm.
    Keywords: Social preferences, regulatory offences, law enforcement, strict liability, fault, legal standard, compliance, deterrence,
    JEL: D8 K4 Z13
    Date: 2015–09–16
  3. By: Chetty, Raj; Saez, Emmanuel; Sándor, László
    Abstract: We evaluate policies to increase prosocial behavior using a field experiment with 1,500 referees at the Journal of Public Economics. We randomly assign referees to four groups: a control group with a six week deadline to submit a referee report, a group with a four week deadline, a cash incentive group rewarded with $100 for meeting the four week deadline, and a social incentive group in which referees were told that their turnaround times would be publicly posted. We obtain four sets of results. First, shorter deadlines reduce the time referees take to submit reports substantially. Second, cash incentives significantly improve speed, especially in the week before the deadline. Cash payments do not crowd out intrinsic motivation: after the cash treatment ends, referees who received cash incentives are no slower than those in the 4 week deadline group. Third, social incentives have smaller but significant effects on review times and are especially effective among tenured professors, who are less sensitive to deadlines and cash incentives. Fourth, all the treatments have little or no effect on agreement rates, quality of reports, or review times at other journals. We conclude that small changes in journals’ policies could substantially expedite peer review at little cost. More generally, price incentives, nudges, and social pressure are effective and complementary methods of increasing prosocial behavior.
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Lakhbir Singh (The University of Derby)
    Abstract: The main aim of this research project is to investigate the hegemonic and post hegemonic arrangement regarding trust and power in order to establish whether the concept of ‘trust’ between banks, customers and the media is a viable construct. In order to fully analyse this research area the issue of trust will be examined with relevant theories. The theories that will be chosen will be hegemony and posthegemony with the focus on power distribution. While looking into these theories and applying them to the research question other theories may emerge as relevant for example understanding consumer behaviour in this area from a new perspective will give important insights to banking and other financial institutions looking to rebuild trust with their customers. There is a clear knowledge gap after analysing literature and this investigation has the potential to fill that gap. In order to fill this gap ‘trust’ must be defined. After developing the new definition of trust applicable to the question at hand, the thesis will examine primary data, such as interviews with customers and media articles. After analysing all the literature at hand what was found was that many articles on trust is that even though there are a large database regarding trust in various fields within business there is little research when analysing trust in the banking sector let alone the types of trust that is relevant and important for the banking sector.
    Keywords: Trust, Hegemony, Media
  5. By: Anna Lou Abatayo (University of Hawaii at Manoa); John Lynham (University of Hawaii at Manoa); Katerina Sherstyuk (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: Communication is often critical for economic cooperation and enhancement of trust. Traditionally, direct face-to-face communication has been found to be more effective than any form of indirect, mediated communication. We study whether this is still the case given that many people routinely use texting and online social media to conduct economic transactions. In out laboratory experiment, groups of participants communicate either (i) face-to-face, (ii) through the most popular online social network – Facebook, or (iii) using text messaging, before participating in a public goods or a trust game. While people talk significantly more under traditional face-to-face, discussion through Facebook and text messages prove as effective as face-to-face communication in enhancing cooperation and increasing trust. For all three media, discussions that focus on the game of use more positive emotion words are correlated with enhanced trust. It appears that young American adults are now just as adept at communicating and reducing social distance online as they are in person.
    Keywords: communication technology; laboratory experiments; public good games; trust games
    JEL: C91 C92 D03 D71
    Date: 2015–09
  6. By: Colussi, Tommaso (IZA)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how immigrants' job search outcomes are affected by the labor market outcomes of workers from the same country of origin they are connected to. Connections are identified based on having worked for the same firm in the past. Using matched employer-employee micro data from Italy and an instrumental variables approach, I show that an increase in the employment prospects of socially connected workers improves immigrants’ job search outcomes. The analysis of post-displacement outcomes sheds light on the different mechanisms generating the social effect.
    Keywords: migration, job displacements, networks
    JEL: J61 J63
    Date: 2015–09
  7. By: Adam, Antonis; Drichoutis, Andreas C.; Georgoula, Maria; Kammas, Pantelis
    Abstract: Collective action problems, such as double parking behavior, are pervasive in everyday life. This paper presents the results from a field survey that was carried out at one of the main and busiest streets of the city of Ioannina in Greece, in order to investigate the effect of political ideology on double parking behavior. We find that individuals placing themselves either on the extreme Left or the extreme Right on a [0-10] political spectrum, are characterized by increased propensity of double parking behavior. Taking into account that both the extreme Left and the extreme Right Greek parties are strongly in favor of state intervention, our empirical findings could be read as follows. Subjects that believe in the superiority of state intervention rely heavier on incentives and constraints provided by the law and therefore in the absence of an effective monitoring mechanism they fail to internalize the social cost of their actions. In contrast, subjects that are in favor of decentralized market solutions, take into account the social impact of their actions even in the absence of a strong monitoring state mechanism.
    Keywords: Collective Action; Political Ideology; Political Behavior
    JEL: C93 H23 H41
    Date: 2015–09–16
  8. By: Daniel Houser (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University); John List (Department of Economics, University of Chicago); Marco Piovesan (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Anya Samek (Center for Economic and Social Research, University of Southern California); Joachim Winter (Department of Economics, University of Munich)
    Abstract: Acts of dishonesty permeate life. Understanding their origins, and what mechanisms help to attenuate such acts is an underexplored area of research. This study takes an economics approach to explore the propensity of individuals to act dishonestly across different contexts. We conduct an experiment that includes both parents and their young children as subjects, exploring the roles of moral cost and scrutiny on dishonest behavior. We find that the highest level of dishonesty occurs in settings where the parent acts alone and the dishonest act benefits the child. In this spirit, there is also an interesting, quite different, effect of children on parents’ behavior: parents act more honestly under the scrutiny of daughters than under the scrutiny of sons. This finding sheds new light on the origins of the widely documented gender differences in cheating behavior observed among adults, where a typical result is that females are more honest than males. Length: 48
    Keywords: cheating, dishonesty, ethical judgment, social utility, field experiment
    JEL: C91 D63
    Date: 2015–09
  9. By: David Hugh-Jones (Department of Government, University of Essex); Martin A. Leroch (Institute of Political Science, Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet Mainz)
    Abstract: Field studies of conflict report cycles of mutual revenge between groups, often linked to perceptions of intergroup injustice. Which motivations account for such behavior is, however, not clear. We test the hypothesis that people are predisposed to reciprocate against groups. In a laboratory experiment, subjects who were harmed by a partner’s uncooperative action reacted by harming other members of the partner’s group. This group reciprocity was only observed when one group was seen as unfairly advantaged. Our results support a behavioral mechanism leading from perceived injustice to intergroup conflict. We discuss the relevance of group reciprocity to political and economic phenomena including conflict, discrimination and team competition.
  10. By: Michaeli, Moti
    Abstract: Group formation and in-group bias - preferential treatment for insiders - are widely observed social phenomena. This paper demonstrates how they arise naturally when people incur a psychological cost as the result of defecting when facing cooperators, when this cost is increasing and concave in the number of such defections. If some group members are asocial, i.e., insusceptible to that cost, then, under incomplete information, free-riding and cooperation can coexist within groups. Signaling of one's type can enable groups to screen out free-riders, but signalling is costly, and its availability may decrease the welfare of all the individuals in society.
    Keywords: In-Group Bias, Group Formation, Costly Signalling, Prisoner's Dilemma Game
    JEL: D7 D03 Z13 D64 D82 C72
    Date: 2015
  11. By: Annah Bengesai (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
    Abstract: One of the goals of the transformation of education in South Africa has been to improve educational attainment. In spite of this, South Africa still exhibits low mean years of schooling (9 years) as a consequence of high dropout rates, with a significant proportion of female students at each age cohort not making the transition from one educational level to the next. This has raised the question of what enables or hinders successful educational transitions. Increasingly, there is recognition that social capital is integral in helping students successfully negotiate these transitions. This social capital inheres in personal experiences and interactions that students have with others over space and time and facilitates social outcomes. Using three waves of the National Income Dynamics Study (South Africa), this study sought to model the influence of social capital on the probability of making the following educational transitions: primary school completion, high school completion and post-secondary education completion. Acknowledging the protective effect of education on young women, this study makes the argument that it is the interrelationship between the key educational transitions which shape educational productivity. A retrospective methodology is adopted to disentangle the effect of events occurring in one trajectory on those in another. In particular, the study applies a sequential logit model to estimate transition probabilities of passing through key educational transitions.
    Keywords: educational attainment, sequential logit, transition probabilities, South Africa
  12. By: Guilherme Kenji Chihaya (Department of Geography and Economic History, Umea University)
    Abstract: The literature on sociability stresses that contact with siblings may endow children with the competences needed for interacting with peers. In this paper I examine the effect of the number of siblings at home on friendship nominations at school. I use data for three countries (Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden) from the first wave of the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey in Four European Countries, which targeted 18,716 pupils aged 15 years old in 480 secondary schools over England, Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands. I employ the exponential random graph model to explore the effect of having siblings on being nominated as a friend, aggregating the estimates from individual classroom networks using meta-analysis. The estimated average effect of being the only child on forming a network tie is negative, albeit small, suggesting that some children benefit from having siblings when it comes to sociability. However, our models show that there is significant variability in the effect size across classrooms, an indication that this effect may be context dependent and that the average effect size is not a good representation the effect for all networks studied. Moreover, this effect is only marginally significant once other covariates are controlled for. I conclude that there is only weak support for social learning theory, and that there is a need to study the contextual factors mediating the effect of having siblings on sociability.
    Keywords: friendship, social networks, siblings, social learning
    JEL: D85 Z13
    Date: 2015
  13. By: Todd Kaplan, Bradley Ruffle (Wilfrid Laurier University)
    Abstract: Cooperation between two players often requires exactly one to take the available action, while the other acquiesces. If the decisions whether to pursue the action are made simultaneously, then neither or both may acquiesce leading to an inefficient outcome. However, inefficiency may be avoided if players move sequentially. We test experimentally whether two-stage versions of this entry-exit game enhance cooperation. In one version, players may wait in the first stage to see what their paired player did and then coordinate in the second stage. In another version, sequential decision-making is imposed by assigning one player to move in stage one and the other player in stage two. Although there are fewer cooperative decisions in the two-stage treatments, we show that subjects coordinate better on efficient cooperation and on avoiding both acquiescing. Consequently they achieve higher profits. Yet, the least cooperative pairs do worse in the two-stage games than their single-stage counterparts. They use the second stage not to facilitate coordination but to disguise their uncooperative play or to punish their opponents.
    Keywords: experimental economics, cooperation, efficiency, two-stage games, turn-taking.
    JEL: C90 Z13
    Date: 2015–09–16
  14. By: Jeffrey V. Butler (Department of Economics, University of Nevada); Pierluigi Conzo (University of Turin, Campus Luigi Einaudi and CSEF, Dept of Economics and Statistics, University of Naples Federico II); Martin A. Leroch (Institute of Political Science, Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet Mainz)
    Abstract: Third party (bystander) punishment is crucial for sustaining cooperative behavior. Through laboratory experiments we investigate the interaction between group identi- cation and a bystander's punishment preferences by inducing minimal groups and giving a bystander the opportunity to levy a xed amount of punishment on the perpetrator of an unfair act towards a defenseless victim. We elicit the bystander's valuation for punishment in four cases: when the perpetrator, the victim, both or neither are members of the bystander's group. For predictions, we construct three separate frameworks diering by whether the primary eect of group identity is to create an empathetic bond between in-group members or to aect the weights placed on others' money earnings (distributional social preferences). The frameworks yield starkly dierent ordinal predictions about the bystander's value for punishment across two cases: i) when the perpetrator and victim are both members of the bystander's group; ii) when only the victim is an in-group member. The empathetic bond framework predicts that punishment will be more highly valued in the latter case, while the distributional preferences frameworks suggest the opposite. Our data support the predictions of the rst. Finally, we conduct control sessions where groups are not induced and nd that bystanders tend to treat others as in-group members unless specically divided into distinct groups.
    Keywords: Identity, social norms, culture, cheating, in-group bias, punishment
    JEL: D74 Z1
    Date: 2015–05–28
  15. By: Önder, Ali Sina (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies); Portmann, Marco (University of Fribourg.); Stadelmann, David (University of Bayreuth and CREMA)
    Abstract: We demonstrate a simple model of opinion diffusion where a local opinion leader acts as the initiator of public discussion. We show the possibility of driving a significant wedge between opinions of two groups that exhibit homophily even though individuals are highly conformist. In particular, we show that there exists an opinion gap between the group which the opinion leader belongs to (referred to as the residence community) and the other group; and this opinion gap is increasing in the relative size of the residence community. Using a unique dataset of national referenda in Switzerland from 2008 to 2012, we show that members of parliament (MPs) match referenda outcomes in their residence communities closer than they do in neighboring communities, and this wedge interacts signi cantly with the relative size of the residence community, thus aligning with our theoretical conjectures. We conclude that observed opinion gaps can actually be overrated to the extent that they are driven by structures that underlie the social web of different groups within the society.
    Keywords: Opinion Leadership; Diffusion; Homophily; Communication in Networks; Voter Preferences; Representation
    JEL: D72 D85 H79
    Date: 2015–09–12
  16. By: Yuriko Isada (Kwansei Gakuin University); Fumihiko Isada (Kansai University)
    Abstract: The objective of this research is to clarify empirically about the relationship of a diffusion of a use of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and social capital. AED is expected as a medical equipment for first-aid lifesaving activities by bystanders. And a large amount of public expense is supplied to an installation and training course of AED late years. On the other side, the opportunity for bystanders to actually use AED is rare. As the background, the problem about the consciousness of the ordinary citizen about a use of a medical equipment can be supposed. In this research, the hypothesis that rich social capital raise the consciousness to a use of AED was formed. As a methodology, the questionnaire to 1000 ordinary citizens was carried out. As a result of the survey, especially a social network, a reciprocal activity, and health consciousness are significantly correlated to a participation rate to a lifesaving training course, etc. Furthermore, they were raising the consciousness to the use of AED. In conclusion, the effort towards rich social capital is useful to improvement in the ratio of lifesaving by AED.
    Keywords: Automated External Defibrillator, Social capital, first-aid lifesaving, Bystanders
    JEL: I18 Z13 H00
  17. By: Jahnke, Bjoern
    Abstract: Understanding the effects of reciprocity on tax morale is crucial to explain tax compliance behavior. However, there is only little research about which sources of reciprocity affect tax morale most. Thus, this paper for the first time gauges the effects from two sources of reciprocity on tax morale in an empirical study. The first source, vertical reciprocity, measures how tax payers value their contributions to the government. The second source, horizontal reciprocity, examines the impact of the perceived compliance behavior of other tax payers. The focus of the study is on Vietnam. The country seems to be a promising spot for this type of research because it exhibits an exceptional high level of tax morale and collectivism but only has low tax audit probabilities. This analysis is based on a consumer survey in the City of Hue which combines and extends questions from previous versions of the European and the World Value Survey. The result shows that both reciprocity measures are significantly correlated with tax morale but that vertical reciprocity prevails.
    Keywords: Tax morale, Tax compliance, Tax evasion, Reciprocity
    JEL: D79 H26 Z13
    Date: 2015–09
  18. By: Chatman, Jennifer A.; Sherman, Eliot L.; Doerr, Bernadette M.
    Abstract: We advance social identity theory by hypothesizing that the content of demographic attributes on which members differ, and not just their distribution, influences the relationship between a group’s composition and its performance. We test this theoretical logic, using both laboratory and field data, by investigating groups with different distributions of members (from the same or different nations) and cultural orientations (individualistic or collectivistic). We hypothesize that, because a collectivistic orientation promotes group identification, a focus on collective goals, and a sense of being an interchangeable exemplar of the group, it also reduces the polarizing effects of demographic heterogeneity and improves group performance. Using an experimental design, we find that subjects primed with a collectivistic rather than an individualistic orientation see less distinction between nationally homogeneous and heterogeneous groups, and expect the group to be more successful. We also analyze archival data representing 5,460 Himalayan climbing expeditions and find that expeditions characterized by higher levels of national heterogeneity are more likely to reach the summit if more members hail from collectivistic rather than individualistic countries. Simultaneously considering the distribution and content of attributes on which members differ will accelerate the evolution of a comprehensive theory of social identity processes and consequences.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Date: 2015–01–28

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