nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒10‒17
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Economic Growth and Evolution of Gender Equality By Tatiana Damjanovic; Geethanjali Selvaretnam
  2. Social Closure, Surnames and Crime By P. Buonanno; P. Vanin
  3. The Perils of Peer Punishment: Evidence from a Common Pool Resource Experiment By de Melo Gioia; Piaggio Matías
  4. To friends everything, to strangers the law? An experiment on contract enforcement and group identity By Marian Panganiban
  5. Social capital impact in Vietnam pepper supply chain management By Bui, Anh Kim
  6. On the interpretation of World Values Survey trust question - global expectations vs. local beliefs By Ritwik Banerjee
  7. Equality Concerns and the Limits of Self-Governance in Heterogeneous Populations By Lata Gangadharan; Nikos Nikiforakis; Marie Claire Villeval
  8. The Contexts of Social Inclusion By Hilary Silver
  9. Social interactions in inappropriate behavior for childbirth services: theory and evidence from the Italian hospital sector By Guccio, C.;; Lisi, D.;
  10. The Logic of Collective Action and Beyond By Roger D. Congleton
  11. Social network analysis using Stata By Thomas Grund

  1. By: Tatiana Damjanovic; Geethanjali Selvaretnam
    Abstract: We put forward a theoretical growth model where the degree of gender equality evolves towards the value maximising social output. It follows that a womans bargaining power positively depends on her relative productivity. When an economy is less developed, physical strength is quite important for production and therefore the total output is bigger when the man has larger share of the reward. As society develops and accumulates physical and human capital, the woman becomes more productive, which drives social norms towards gender equality. By endogenising gender balance of power we can explain why it di¤ers across societies and how it evolves over the time.
    Keywords: gender inequality, economic growth, female bargaining power, human capital, natural resources
    JEL: C72 C73 D13 J16 O41 O43
    Date: 2015–10
  2. By: P. Buonanno; P. Vanin
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of social closure on crime and tax evasion rates using disaggregated data for Italian municipalities. It measures the degree of social openness of a community by the diversity of its surname distribution, which reflects the history of migration and inbreeding. It shows that, all else equal, communities with a history of social closure have lower crime rates and higher tax evasion rates than more open communities. The effect of social closure is likely to be causal, it is relevant in magnitude, statistically significant, and robust to changes in the set of included controls, in the specific measures of dependent and independent variables, in the specification of the regression equation, and in the possible sample splits. Our findings are consistent with the idea that social closure strengthens social sancions and social control, thus leading to more cooperative outcomes in local interactions, but it reduces cooperation on a larger scale.
    JEL: A14 K42 Z13
    Date: 2015–10
  3. By: de Melo Gioia; Piaggio Matías
    Abstract: We provide experimental evidence on the effects of social disapproval by peers among communities of Uruguayan small-scale fishers exploiting a common pool resource (CPR). We combined this treatment with an in-group (groups from a single community) / mixed group (groups composed of fishers from different communities) treatment. We find that mixed groups, unlike in-groups, reduce their exploitation of the resource in response to the threat of punishment. Both in in-groups and mixed groups there is substantial antisocial punishment, which leads to increased extraction of the CPR by those who are unfairly punished. These findings indicate that effective peer punishment requires coordination to prevent antisocial targeting and to clarify the social signal conveyed by punishment.
    Keywords: Social disapproval; Social preferences; Common pool resource.
    JEL: D03 O12 C93
    Date: 2015–06
  4. By: Marian Panganiban (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn, and Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena)
    Abstract: Although the role of formal and informal institutions in promoting economic growth and sustaining exchange relations is now well established, explaining and differentiating how informal and formal rules affect individual behavior remain a challenge. This study aims to distill the essential characteristics of formal and informal institutions and disentangle their effects on trust and performance in exchange relations through a laboratory experiment. Formal institutions are modeled as third-party contract enforcement while informal institutions are represented as shared group identity. Results show that trust choices increase as contract enforcement increases but are not affected by shared group identity. However, performance is more likely to occur in interactions with in-group members than out-group members.
    Keywords: institutions, exchange relations, contract enforcement, group identity, laboratory experiments
    JEL: C72 C91 D03 D81
    Date: 2015–10–09
  5. By: Bui, Anh Kim
    Abstract: This article develops a set of indicators to assess social capital of the Vietnamese pepper supply chain in the three main aspects, i.e. trust, norm, and network. Likert scale is used to quantify the magnitude of the social capital and to calculate the social capital index. Then, the research evaluates the impact of social capital on the performance of the Vietnamese pepper supply chain using the Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). Finally, implications of the influence of social capital in supply chain management are discussed. This study contributes to the literature of social capital and SEM methodology.
    Keywords: social capital, supply chain, Structural Equation Modelling, pepper, Vietnam, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Ritwik Banerjee (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark; School of Information, University of Michigan, USA)
    Abstract: How should we interpret the World Values Survey (WVS) trust question? We conduct an experiment in India - a low trust country, to correlate the WVS trust question with trust decisions in an incentivized Trust Game. Evidence supports findings from one strand of the fractured literature - the WVS trust question captures expectations about others’ trustworthiness, though not always. We show that WVS trust question correlates with globally determined stable expectations but does not correlate with short term locally determined fluctuations in beliefs about trustworthiness. One implication of our study is that survey based methods may not be used to measure contextualized beliefs.
    Keywords: Corruption, Social Capital, Social Norm, Trust Games
    JEL: C91 C92 D03
    Date: 2015–08–10
  7. By: Lata Gangadharan (Monash University, Department of Economics - Monash University); Nikos Nikiforakis (New York University Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi); Marie Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - PRES Université de Lyon - CNRS)
    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
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Hilary Silver
    Abstract: In light of the emphasis on “inclusion” in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this paper contends that social exclusion and inclusion are context-dependent concepts in at least three senses. First, the ideal of an inclusive society varies by country and by region. Second, different places have different histories, cultures, institutions and social structures. These influence the economic, social and political dimensions of social exclusion and the interplay among them. Third, context – where one lives – shapes access to resources and opportunities. Social inclusion is thus spatially uneven. The paper also shows how context matters, identifying some of the mechanisms by which nation-states and localities influence processes of economic, social, and political exclusion and inclusion.
    Keywords: Social inclusion, social exclusion, groups, inequality
    JEL: I31 I38 Z13
    Date: 2015–10
  9. By: Guccio, C.;; Lisi, D.;
    Abstract: Empirical evidence supports the conjecture that social interactions among agents can produce both positive and negative effects. We build on this literature by exploring the role of social interactions in the hospital sector using the large incidence of cesarean sections, usually considered an inappropriate outcome in the childbirth service. In doing so, we lay out a simple model of hospitals’ behavior where the effect of peers’ behavior emerges simply by sharing the same institutional authority responsible for auditing inappropriate behavior. In this setting, enforcement congestion induces a peer effect among hospitals that could make inappropriate behaviors more likely. Then, using the risk-adjusted cesarean section rate of a large panel of Italian hospitals, we empirically investigate whether the behavior of each hospital is affected by the behavior of hospitals withinthe same region, after controlling for demand, supply, and financial factors. In particular, our empirical test employs both peer effects estimate and the spatial econometric approach, exploiting the panel dimension of our data. Both estimates show a significant and strong presence of peer effects among hospitals. We interpret this evidence as a presence of constraint interactions within the hospital sector, which has important implications for healthcare policies against inappropriateness.
    Keywords: social interactions; peer effects; cesarean section; spatial econometrics;
    JEL: I11 C31
    Date: 2015–09
  10. By: Roger D. Congleton (West Virginia University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This article provides an overview of Mancur Olson’s Logic of Collective Action and its impact on Olson’s subsequent work. It also suggests that the implications of his simple, elegant, theory have not yet been fully worked out. To illustrate this point, the second half of the essay demonstrates that the number of privileged and latent groups and their costs in a given society are not entirely determined by economic factors or group size alone. Politics, technology, and culture also matter.
    Keywords: collective action
    Date: 2015–05
  11. By: Thomas Grund (Institute for Analytical Sociology, Linköping University, Sweden)
    Abstract: The field of social network analysis is one of the most rapidly growing fields of the social sciences. Social network analysis focuses on the relationships that exist between individuals (or other units of analysis) such as friendship, advice, trust, or trade relationships. Network analysis is concerned with the visualization and analysis of network structures, as well as with the importance of networks for individuals’ propensities to adopt different kinds of behaviors. Up until now such analyses have only been possible to perform using specialized software for network analysis. This tutorial introduces the so-called nwcommands, a software suite with over 80 Stata commands for social network analysis. The software includes commands (and dialog boxes) for importing, exporting, loading, saving, handling, manipulating, replacing, generating, visualizing, and animating networks. It also includes commands for measuring various properties of the networks and the individual nodes, for detecting network patterns and measuring the similarity of different networks, as well as advanced statistical techniques for network analysis including MR-QAP and ERGM.
    Date: 2015–09–16

This nep-soc issue is ©2015 by Fabio Sabatini. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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