nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒10‒10
eight papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Do People Who Care About Others Cooperate More? Experimental Evidence from Relative Incentive Pay By Pablo Hernandez; Dylan Minor; Dana Sisak
  2. That's just - not fair: Gender differences in notions of justice By Becker, Nicole; Häger, Kirsten; Heufer, Jan
  3. Language and intergroup discrimination. Evidence from an experiment By Dominique Cappelletti; Luigi Mittone; Matteo Ploner
  4. Social Networks and Maternal Health Care Utilisation in Tanzania By Alfred K. Mukong and Justine Burns
  5. Equality Concerns and the Limits of Self-Governance in Heterogeneous Populations By Gangadharan, Lata; Nikiforakis, Nikos; Villeval, Marie Claire
  6. Competitive pricing strategies in social networks By Chen, Ying-Ju; Zenou, Yves; Zhou, Junjie
  7. Intergenerational Correlations of Extreme Right-Wing Party Preferences and Attitudes toward Immigration By Avdeenko, Alexandra; Siedler, Thomas
  8. Some Causes are More Equal than Others? Behavioral Spillovers in Charitable Giving By Ek, Claes

  1. By: Pablo Hernandez (New York University AD); Dylan Minor (Harvard Business School, Strategy Unit); Dana Sisak (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: We experimentally study ways in which the social preferences of individuals and groups affect performance when faced with relative incentives. We also identify the mediating role that communication and leadership play in generating these effects. We find other-regarding workers tend to depress efforts by 15% on average. However, selfish workers are nearly three times more likely to lead workers to coordinate on minimal efforts when communication is possible. Hence, the other-regarding composition of a team of workers has complex consequences for organizational performance.
    Keywords: Social Preferences, Relative Performance, Collusion, Leadership
    Date: 2015–09
  2. By: Becker, Nicole; Häger, Kirsten; Heufer, Jan
    Abstract: In Becker et al. (2013a,b), we proposed a theory to explain giving behaviour in dictator experiments by a combination of selfishness and a notion of justice. The theory was tested using dictator, social planner, and veil of ignorance experiments. Here we analyse gender differences in preferences for giving and notions of justice in experiments using the same data. Similar to Andreoni and Vesterlund (2001), we find some differences in giving behaviour. We find even stronger differences in the notion of justice between men and women; women tend to be far more egalitarian. Using our preference decomposition approach from Becker et al. (2013a) and parametric estimates, we show that differences in the giving behaviour between men and women in dictator experiments are explained by differences in their notion of justice and not by different levels of selfishness. We employ both parametric and non-parametric techniques, and both methods confirm the result.
    Abstract: In Becker et al. (2013a,b) haben wir eine Theorie eingeführt, die das Verhalten in Diktatorspielen als Kombination aus Eigennutz und Gerechtigkeitsvorstellung erklärt. Die Theorie wurde mit Diktatorspielen, Sozialer-Planer-Spielen, und Schleier-der-Ignoranz-Spielen getestet. Hier analysieren wir jetzt Geschlechterunterschiede in den Präferenzen für das Abgeben von Geld und den Gerechtigkeitsvorstellungen in Experimenten mit den selben Daten. Ähnlich wie bei Andreoni und Vesterlund (2001) finden wir einige Unterschiede im Verhalten beim Abgeben von Geld. Die Unterschiede in den Gerechtigkeitsvorstellungen zwischen Männern und Frauen sind noch deutlicher: Frauen tendieren erheblich stärker zu Egalitarismus. Mit unserem Ansatz zur Zerlegung von Präferenzen aus Becker et al. (2013a) und parametrischen Schätzungen zeigen wir, dass Unterschiede im Verhalten beim Abgeben von Geld zwischen Männern und Frauen in Diktatorspielen durch Unterschiede in den Gerechtigkeitsvorstellungen erklärt werden können, aber nicht durch unterschiedliche Grade an Eigennutz. Wir nutzen sowohl parametrische als auch nicht-parametrische Ansätze, welche beide das Ergebnis bestätigen.
    Keywords: altruism,dictator games,distribution,experimental economics,gender differences,justice,social preferences
    JEL: C91 D12 D61 D63 D64 J16
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Dominique Cappelletti; Luigi Mittone; Matteo Ploner
    Abstract: Language is one of the most salient dimensions of ethnocultural identity and clearly marks who is and who is not a member of the group. We conduct an experiment to investigate the role of language in intergroup discrimination in the creation of social capital, here operationalised as a measure encompassing trust, trustworthiness, cooperation, and coordination. We observe the behaviour of the members of a minority language community when they receive the instructions written in their own idiomatic language and when they receive them written in the surrounding language. We find a language effect on behaviour, but this effect is gender specific. When deciding in the surrounding language, participants do not treat ingroup and outgroup members differently. When deciding in their own idiomatic language, females show intergroup discrimination and treat ingroup members more favourably compared to how they treat them when deciding in the surrounding language. We also observe that the behaviour participants exhibit in the experiment positively correlates with their attitudes as measured by the standard trust survey question used as a proxy for social capital.
    Keywords: language, intergroup discrimination, social capital, experiment
    JEL: C9
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Alfred K. Mukong and Justine Burns
    Abstract: Social networks are increasingly being recognised as having an important influence on the health market outcomes, as they facilitate the exchange of information on health care related issues. Networks reduce search costs by providing information to peers about the appropriate health care providers and details about the functioning of the health care system. In this paper, we examine the impact of information externalities generated through network membership on maternal health care utilisation in Tanzania. We further propose new approaches for quantifying the size of one's network. We adopt an econometric approach that minimises the problems of omitted variable bias. Using the Demographic and Health Survey data for Tanzania, a country characterised by low levels of maternal health care utilisation we find that social networks may enhance antenatal completion and early antenatal check-up probabilities by an additional 6-35 percent and sometimes up to 59 percent. The results suggest that failure to adequately control for omitted variables would lead to substantial under-estimation of the network eect. Finally, we show that irrespective of the measure of the size of the networks, high qualitynetworks have better outcomes than low quality networks.
    Keywords: Maternal Healthcare, Social Networks, Tanzania
    JEL: I11 Z13
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Gangadharan, Lata (Monash University); Nikiforakis, Nikos (New York University, Abu Dhabi); Villeval, Marie Claire (CNRS, GATE)
    Abstract: Mechanisms to overcome social dilemmas provide incentives to maximize efficiency. However, often – such as when agents are heterogeneous – there is a trade-off between efficiency and equality. Agents' concerns for equality in such instances can limit the ability of mechanisms to promote efficiency. We provide evidence for this from a public good experiment using a simple mechanism which allows individuals to communicate periodically with other group members and reward them for their actions. We show that, in homogeneous populations – where there is no tension between efficiency and equality – the mechanism permits group to obtain maximum efficiency. This is not the case in heterogeneous populations where individuals derive different benefits from cooperation. Although almost all heterogeneous groups agree to follow specific contribution rules with positive contributions, most of them either prioritize equality over efficiency or strike a compromise between the two. These findings suggest that equality concerns can impose limits on the ability of heterogeneous populations to reach efficient outcomes through self-governance.
    Keywords: communication, rewards, cooperation, normative conflict, heterogeneity
    JEL: C92 H41 D74
    Date: 2015–09
  6. By: Chen, Ying-Ju; Zenou, Yves; Zhou, Junjie
    Abstract: We study pricing strategies of competing firms who sell heterogeneous products to a group of customers in a social network. Goods are substitutes and each customer gains network externalities from her neighbors who consume the same products. We show that there is a unique subgame-perfect equilibrium where, first, firms choose the prices of each good for each consumer, and, then, individuals decide their consumption of the goods. We also fully characterize the equilibrium prices for any network structure, and relate these equilibrium outcomes to the familiar Katz-Bonacich network centrality measures. Contrary to the monopoly case, the equilibrium price of a customer not only depends on her own characteristics but also on others' characteristics. We show that firms price discriminate and charge lower prices to more central consumers. This means that more central consumers obtain a larger discount because of their impact in terms of consumption on their neighbors. We also show that the firms' equilibrium profits can decrease when either the network becomes denser or network effects are higher.
    Keywords: competition; differentiated products; pricing; social networks
    JEL: D43 D85 L13 L14
    Date: 2015–10
  7. By: Avdeenko, Alexandra (University of Mannheim); Siedler, Thomas (University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: This study analyzes the importance of parental socialization on the development of children's far right-wing preferences and attitudes towards immigration. Using longitudinal data from Germany, our intergenerational estimates suggest that the strongest and most important predictor for young people's right-wing extremism are parents' right-wing extremist attitudes. While intergenerational associations in attitudes towards immigration are equally high for sons and daughters, we find a positive intergenerational transmission of right-wing extremist party affinity for sons, but not for daughters. Compared to the intergenerational correlation of other party affinities, the high association between fathers' and sons' right-wing extremist attitudes is particularly striking.
    Keywords: political preferences, extremism, gender differences, longitudinal data, intergenerational links
    JEL: C23 D72 J62 P16
    Date: 2015–09
  8. By: Ek, Claes (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: People can often contribute to prosocial causes by several means; for instance, environmentally friendly activities include sorting household waste, buying organic products, and donating to NGOs. Policy to encourage prosocial behavior is sometimes directed only towards a particular activity, however, and such policies may give rise to `behavioral spillovers', affecting efforts on other prosocial activities. We examine such spillovers in the lab. In a version of the dictator game, experimental subjects could donate to two different real-world charities, and to simulate activity-specific policy, the relative productivity of the charities varied. We hypothesize, first, that an increase in the productivity of one charity will `crowd out' contributions to the other charity. Second, we introduce several treatments to test whether crowding occurs even across (possibly very) dissimilar alternatives. Crowding-out occurs significantly in all cases, but the effect is systematically weaker, the more dissimilar are the charity alternatives. In our most dissimilar treatment, it is only half as large as when alternatives are very similar.
    Keywords: charitable giving; dictator game; public goods; prosocial behavior
    JEL: C91 D03 H41
    Date: 2015–10–02

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