nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒11‒15
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Social Networks and the Labour Market Mismatch By Kalfa, Eleni; Piracha, Matloob
  2. Nudge for (the Public) Good: How Defaults can affect Cooperation By Toke Reinholt Fosgaard; Marco Piovesan
  3. Network Effects on Worker Productivity By Lindquist, Matthew; Sauermann, Jan; Zenou, Yves
  4. Job Networks in Ýzmir: Why are Migrants Different? By Alper Duman; Idil Göksel
  5. Estimation of Peer Effects with Predicted Social Ties: Evidence from Two Universities in Brazil and Russia By Oleg V. Poldin; Tania P. Simoes; Marcelo Knobel; Maria M. Yudkevich
  6. Equality concerns and the limits of self-governance in heterogeneous populations By Lata Gangadharan; Nikos Nikiforakis; Marie Claire Villeval
  7. Risk-tolerant women donate more than men: Experimental evidence of dictator games By Müller, Stephan; Rau, Holger A.

  1. By: Kalfa, Eleni (University of Kent); Piracha, Matloob (University of Kent)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the extent to which social contacts and ethnic concentration affect the education-occupation mismatch of natives and immigrants. Using Australian panel data and employing a dynamic random effects probit model, we show that social capital exacerbates the incidence of over-education, particularly for females. Furthermore, for the foreign-born, ethnic concentration significantly increases the incidence of over-education. Using an alternative index, we also show that social participation, friends and support and ethnic concentration are the main contributors in generating a mismatch, while reciprocity and trust does not seem to have any effect on over-education for both, immigrants and natives. Finally, we show that social networks are more beneficial for the relatively better educated.
    Keywords: social capital, ethnic concentration, over-education
    JEL: F22 J61 Z13
    Date: 2015–11
  2. By: Toke Reinholt Fosgaard (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Marco Piovesan (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: In this paper we test the effect of non-binding defaults on the level of contribution to a public good. We manipulate the default numbers appearing on the decision screen to nudge subjects toward a free-rider strategy or a perfect conditional cooperator strategy. Our results show that the vast majority of our subjects did not adopt the default numbers, but their stated strategy was affected by the default. Moreover, we find that our manipulation spilled over to a subsequent repeated public goods game where there default was not manipulated. Here we found that subjects who previously saw the free rider default were significantly less cooperative than those who saw the perfect conditional cooperator default.
    Keywords: Cooperation, Nudging
    JEL: C90
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Lindquist, Matthew; Sauermann, Jan; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: We use data from an in-house call center of a multi-national mobile network operator to study how co-worker productivity affects worker productivity via network effects. We also exploit data from a field experiment to analyze how exogenous changes in worker productivity due to on-the-job training affect co-worker productivity, including non-trained workers. We show that there are strong network effects in co-worker productivity. This effect is driven by conformist behavior. We also show that exposure to trained workers increases the productivity of non-trained workers. This effect works through strategic complementarities (knowledge spillovers). We demonstrate how our network model of worker productivity can be used to inform a variety of practical decisions faced by personnel managers including the design of optimal training policy.
    Keywords: on-the-job training; peer effects; social networks; worker productivity
    JEL: J24 M53 Z13
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Alper Duman (Department of Economics, Izmir University of Economics); Idil Göksel (Department of Economics, Izmir University of Economics)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate the network effect on the probability of finding employment. This paper uses a specific data set from the Izmir region, prepared by the Turkish Statistical Institute for a specific project carried out by Izmir University of Economics in cooperation with the Izmir Chamber of Commerce, the Izmir branch of theTurkish Statistical Institute and the Turkish Labour Institute. Izmir, the third biggest city in Turkey, attracts both skilled and unskilled migrants, and has become one of the preferred destinations for migrants. The relative success of migrants in employment relates to their use of job search channels. We differentiate job search channels into formal/individual, and network forms. The latter refers to the job referral or job information diffusion through relatives and acquaintances. We find that migrants benefit from a comparative advantage in the usage of the network channel. Moreover, this network advantage is more robust for less educated workers.
    Keywords: Social networks, migrants, Izmir
    JEL: J15 J61 D83
  5. By: Oleg V. Poldin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Tania P. Simoes (University of Campinas (Unicamp).); Marcelo Knobel (University of Campinas (Unicamp).); Maria M. Yudkevich (National Research University Higher School of Economics.)
    Abstract: Social interactions with peers during learning have a significant impact on university students’ academic achievement. As social ties are voluntary, an empirical estimation of peer effects is exposed to a potential endogeneity problem. To overcome this issue, we propose to define the peer group of an individual as their predicted friends. The specific features of the learning environment in higher education institutions may affect dimensions along which friendship ties form. To test the presence of peer effects in different educational and cultural contexts, we use data on students studying in two universities located in two different countries, Brazil and Russia. We assume that friendship is affected by homophily in student attributes, such as having the same region of origin, the same gender, and sharing the same study group. In both institutions, we find positive externalities from having high-ability peers.
    Keywords: peer effects, academic achievement, social networks
    JEL: I21 Z13
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Lata Gangadharan (Department of Economics, Monash University, Clayton, Australia); Nikos Nikiforakis (Social Science Division, New York University Abu Dhabi, P.O. Box 129188, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates); Marie Claire Villeval (Université de Lyon, F-69007, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, 93, Chemin des Mouilles, F-69130, Ecully, France)
    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
  7. By: Müller, Stephan; Rau, Holger A.
    Abstract: In a within-subjects experiment we test the relation of risk preferences and charitable giving. Women not only give substantially more than men, but also show an economically significant positive correlation between risk tolerance and donation levels. We find no such correlation for men. Men and relative risk-averse women do not differ in donations. Thus, common findings of gender differences in charitable giving may be explained by risk-tolerant women donating more.
    Keywords: dictator game,experiment,gender differences,risk preferences
    JEL: C91 D64 D81 J16
    Date: 2015

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