nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒11‒21
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Volunteering to Take on Power: Experimental Evidence from Matrilineal and Patriarchal Societies in India By Debosree Banerjee; Marcela Ibanez; Gerhard Riener; Meike Wollni
  2. Incentives and Social Preferences: Experimental Evidence from a Seemingly Inefficient Traditional Labor Contract By Goto, Jun; Sawada, Yasuyuki; Aida, Takeshi; Aoyagi, Keitaro
  3. Trust, Ability-to-Pay, and Charitable Giving By Paul Missios; Ida Ferrara
  4. How forced displacement flows affect public good contributions: The social consequences of conflict in Colombia By Hopfensitz, Astrid; Miquel-Florensa, Josepa
  5. Young Adults Living with their Parents and the Influence of Peers By Adamopoulou, Effrosyni; Kaya, Ezgi
  6. Conflict, Institutions, and Economic Behavior: Legacies of the Cambodian Genocide By Kogure, Katsuo; Takasaki, Yoshito
  7. Impacts of Supporting Civic Participation in Local Governance: Experimental Evidence from Rwanda By Ira Nichols-Barrer; Ali Protik; Jacqueline Berman; Matt Sloan
  8. Economic downturn and volunteering: Do economic crises affect content generation on Wikipedia? By Kummer, Michael; Slivko, Olga; Zhang, Michael
  9. The Vote With the Wallet as a Multiplayer Prisoner’s Dilemma By Leonardo Becchetti; Francesco Salustri
  10. How the eurobarometer blurs the Line between research and propaganda By Höpner, Martin; Jurczyk, Bojan

  1. By: Debosree Banerjee (Georg-August-University Göttingen); Marcela Ibanez (Georg-August-University Göttingen); Gerhard Riener (University of Düsseldorf); Meike Wollni (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
    Abstract: Gender equity in the creation and enforcement of social norms is important not only as a normative principle but it can also support long term economic growth. Yet in most societies, coercive power is in the hands of men. We investigate whether this form of segregation is due to inherent gender differences in the willingness to volunteer for take on positions of power. In order to study whether potential differences are innate or driven by social factors, we implement a public goods game with endogenous third-party punishment in matrilineal and patriarchal societies in India. Our findings indicate that segregation in coercive roles is due to conformity with pre-assigned gender roles in both cultures. We find that women in the matrilineal society are more willing to assume the role of norm enforcer than men while the opposite is true in the patriarchal society. Moreover, we find that changes in the institutional environment that are associated with a decrease in the exposure and accountability of the norm enforcer, result in increased participation of the segregated gender. Our results suggest that the organizational environment can be adjusted to increase representation of women in positions of power, and that it is critical to take the cultural context into account.
    Keywords: Gender; Norm enforcement; Segregation; Third party punisher; Public goods game
    JEL: C90 C92 C93 C92 D03 D70 D81 J16
    Date: 2015–11–13
  2. By: Goto, Jun; Sawada, Yasuyuki; Aida, Takeshi; Aoyagi, Keitaro
    Abstract: This paper investigates the interplay between economic incentives and social norms in formulating rice planting contracts in the Philippines. In our study area, despite the potential for pervasive opportunistic behaviors by workers, a fixed-wage (FW) contract has been dominant for rice planting. To account for the use of this seemingly inefficient contractual arrangement, we adopt a hybrid experimental method of framed field experiments by randomized controlled trials (RCT), in which we randomly assign three distinct labor contracts—FW, individual piece rate (IPR), and group piece rate (GPR)—and artefactual field experiments to elicit social preference parameters. Through analyses of individual workers' performance data from framed field experiments and data on social preferences elicited by artefactual field experiments, three main empirical findings emerge. First, our basic results show the positive incentive effects in IPR and, equivalently, moral hazard problems in FW, which are consistent with standard theoretical implications. Second, non-monetary incentives seem to play a significant role under FW: while social preferences such as altruism and guilt aversion play an important role in stimulating incentives under FW, introducing monetary incentives crowds out such intrinsic motivations, and other nonmonetary factors such as positive peer effects significantly enhance incentives under a FW contract. Finally, as alternative hypotheses, our empirical results are not necessarily consistent with the hypothesis of the interlinked contract of labor and credit transactions in mitigating moral hazard problems, the optimality of FW contract under large effort measurement errors, and the intertemporal incentives arising from performance-based contract renewal probabilities. Hence, considering the interplay of intrinsic motivations and monetary incentives as well as the monetary costs of mitigating moral hazard and free-riding problems through IPR, we may conclude that seemingly perverse traditional contractual arrangements might be socially efficient.
    Keywords: Randomized controlled trials, incentives, social preferences, peer effect, labor contract, field experiments
    JEL: D03 C93 D22 C91
    Date: 2015–03
  3. By: Paul Missios (Department of Economics, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada); Ida Ferrara (Department of Economics, York University, Toronto, Canada)
    Abstract: In the literature on privately provided public goods, altruism has been motivated by what contributions can accomplish (public goods philanthropy), by the pleasure of giving (warm-glow philanthropy), or by the desire to personally make a difference (impact philanthropy). We revisit these motives but allow for income heterogeneity and distrust in the institutional structures involved. We also model socially motivated philanthropy when income-heterogeneous donors take trust and ability-to-pay into account. We show key differences across the four models in terms of crowding out and in the effects of income distribution. In the socially motivated model, low-income donors may contribute more than high-income donors, giving theoretical foundation to the frequently observed "U-shaped" pattern of giving.
    Keywords: Philanthropy, Social Motivation, Trust, Ability to Pay, Crowding Out.
    JEL: D03 H31 H41 Q53
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Hopfensitz, Astrid; Miquel-Florensa, Josepa
    Abstract: Low intensity armed conflict is usually related to population displacement, altering networks and social capital in affected regions. With an incentivized questionnaire performed in the Colombian coffee growing axis (Eje Cafetero), we observe contribution to an abstract and anonymous public good when contributions are not enforceable. Game contributions are significantly higher in regions with high net-changes of population due to displacement, both for regions with net in-flow and net out-flow, compared to a more stable area. We find that the effect is especially strong for women in net out-flow areas; usually the most affected if male family members are forcibly displaced. We further propose a local inspection mechanism, and show that it increases contributions in all areas independently of the displacement history of the location and the individuals preferences with respect to this mechanism.
    Keywords: Colombia ; conflict ; displacement ; public good games
    Date: 2014–01
  5. By: Adamopoulou, Effrosyni; Kaya, Ezgi (Cardiff Business School)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on young adults living with their parents in the U.S. and studies the role of peers. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) we analyze the influence of high school friends on the nest-leaving decision of young adults. We achieve identification by exploiting the differences in the timing of leaving the parental home among peers, the individual-specific nature of the peer groups that are based on friendship nominations, and by including school (net-work) and grade (cohort) fixed effects. Our results indicate that there are statistically significant peer effects on the decision of young adults to leave parental home. This is true even after we control for labor and housing market conditions and for a comprehensive list of individual and family-of-origin characteristics that are usually unobserved by the econometrician. We discuss various mechanisms and we confirm the robustness of our results through a placebo exercise. Our findings reconcile with the increasing trend of young adults living with their parents that has been observed in the US during the last 50 years.
    Keywords: peer effects; friends; living arrangements; leaving parental home
    JEL: D10 J12 J60 Z13
    Date: 2015–09
  6. By: Kogure, Katsuo; Takasaki, Yoshito
    Abstract: This paper examines potential long-term effects of the Cambodian genocide under the Pol Pot regime (1975-'79) on individual economic behaviors, taking into account underlying institutions. Combining spatial genocide data and census microdata, we examine effects of the genocide on subsequent parental investments in children's education of couples who had their first child during and after the Pol Pot regime. Under the state ownership of spouses and children, resulting from the complete denial of private ownership, the two couples had different institutional experiences during the Pol Pot regime: the former couples were controlled as family organizations, whereas the latter ones were controlled as individuals. Our results suggest that the genocide negatively influenced subsequent educational investments in children among the former couples, but not the latter ones. We provide underlying mechanisms behind these findings, which are coherent with social context.
    Keywords: conflict, genocide, institutions, education, Cambodia
    JEL: N35 O15 O17
    Date: 2015–03
  7. By: Ira Nichols-Barrer; Ali Protik; Jacqueline Berman; Matt Sloan
    Abstract: This paper evaluates a recent program sponsored by the Millennium Challenge Corporation to promote civic participation in local governance in Rwanda.
    Keywords: governance, democracy, civil society, citizen participation
    JEL: F Z
    Date: 2015–06–08
  8. By: Kummer, Michael; Slivko, Olga; Zhang, Michael
    Abstract: In this paper, we address the impact of surging unemployment on online public good provision. Specifically, we ask how drastically increased unemployment affects voluntary contributions of content to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. We put together a monthly country-level data set, which combines country specific economic outcomes with data on contributions to the online encyclopedia. As a source of exogenous variation in the economic state we use the fact that European countries were affected by the financial crisis in the US in September 2008 with different intensity. For European countries, we find that the economic downturn is associated with more viewership, which channels higher participation of volunteers in Wikipedia expressed in editing activity and content growth. We provide evidence for increased information search online or online learning as a potential channel of the change in public goods provision, which is a potentially important side effect of economic downturn.
    Keywords: public goods,unemployment,online platforms,user generated content
    JEL: D29 D80 H41 J60 L17
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Leonardo Becchetti (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Francesco Salustri (DEDI, University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: Socially responsible consumers and investors are increasingly using their consumption and saving choices as a “vote with the wallet” to award companies which are at vanguard in reconciling the creation of economic value with social and environmental sustainability. In our paper we model the vote with the wallet as a multiplayer prisoner’s dilemma, outline equilibria and possible solutions to the related coordination failure problem, apply our analysis to domains in which the vote with the wallet is empirically more relevant, and provide policy suggestions
    Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Multiplayer Prisoner’s Dilemma, Voting with the Wallet
    JEL: C72 C73 D11 H41 M14
    Date: 2015–11–08
  10. By: Höpner, Martin; Jurczyk, Bojan
    Abstract: This paper reviews Eurobarometer surveys from 1995 to 2010 and shows how Eurobarometer selects and frames questions in ways that systematically produce "integrationist" outcomes. The violations of the rules of good public opinion research concern incomprehensible, hypothetical, and knowledge-inadequate questions, unbalanced response options, insinuation and leading questions, context effects, and the strategic removal of questions that led to critical responses in previous Eurobarometer waves. It is highly unlikely that the violations happen unintentionally. Eurobarometer therefore blurs the line between research and propaganda.
    Abstract: Dieses Paper unterzieht die zwischen 1995 und 2010 durchgeführten Eurobarometer-Umfragen einer kritischen Überprüfung und weist nach, wie Fragen so ausgewählt und formuliert werden, dass sie zu "integrationistischen" Ergebnissen führen. Die Verletzungen der Regeln guter Umfrageforschung betreffen die Nutzung von überkomplizierten, hypothetischen und wissensinadäquaten Fragen, die Vorgabe einseitig gepolter Antwortkategorien, Suggestivfragen, Kontexteffekte sowie die strategische Entfernung von Fragen, die in früheren Befragungswellen zu unerwünschten Ergebnissen führten. Es ist sehr unwahrscheinlich, dass diese Regelverletzungen unintendiert geschehen. Das Eurobarometer verwischt daher die Grenze zwischen Forschung und Propaganda.
    Date: 2015

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