nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒12‒01
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Immigrants and Gender Roles: Assimilation vs. Culture By Blau, Francine D.
  2. The Role of Individual Social Capital in Wage Determination: Evidence from China By LIU Yang
  3. Social Networks and Labour productivity: A survey of recent theory and evidence By Farzana Afridi; Amrita Dhillon; Swati Sharma
  4. Other-Regarding Preferences and Reciprocity: Insights from Experimental Findings and Satisfaction Data By L. Becchetti; V. Pelligra; S.F. Taurino
  5. Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households: Evidence from Sweden By Hederos Eriksson, Karin; Stenberg, Anders
  6. Modern Family: Female Breadwinners and the Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Norms By Panos Mavrokonstantis
  7. Volunteering to take on power: Experimental evidence from matrilineal and patriarchal societies in India By Banerjee, Debosree; Ibañez, Marcela; Riener, Gerhard; Wollni, Meike
  8. Social Interactions in Job Satisfaction By Tumen, Semih; Zeydanli, Tugba
  9. Signaling Cooperation By Heinz, Matthias; Schumacher, Heiner
  10. Incentives for Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Reputations By Christine L. Exley
  11. Wage Elasticities in Working and Volunteering: The Role of Reference Points in a Laboratory Study By Christine L. Exley; Stephen J. Terry

  1. By: Blau, Francine D. (Cornell University)
    Abstract: This paper examines evidence on the role of assimilation versus source country culture in influencing immigrant women's behavior in the United States – looking both over time with immigrants' residence in the United States and across immigrant generations. It focuses particularly on labor supply but, for the second generation, also examines fertility and education. We find considerable evidence that immigrant source country gender roles influence immigrant and second generation women's behavior in the United States. This conclusion is robust to various efforts to rule out the effect of other unobservables and to distinguish the effect of culture from that of social capital. These results support a growing literature that suggests that culture matters for economic behavior. At the same time, the results suggest considerable evidence of assimilation of immigrants. Immigrant women narrow the labor supply gap with native‐born women with time in the United States, and, while our results suggest an important role for intergenerational transmission, they also indicate considerable convergence of immigrants to native levels of schooling, fertility, and labor supply across generations.
    Keywords: gender, immigration, labor supply, wages, social capital, culture, human capital
    JEL: J13 J16 J22 J24 J61
    Date: 2015–11
  2. By: LIU Yang
    Abstract: This study examines the role of the individual level of social capital in the process of workers' wage determination in a Nash-bargaining wage model using Chinese micro-level data. We find a significant contribution of individual-specific social capital towards the wage level. In particular, larger individual social networks and workers' positive attitudes towards social capital increase the wage level significantly. Moreover, the effect of social capital on the wage level is much larger for male workers than females. Our results indicate that construction of individual social capital could increase workers' wages, while effort should be made to reduce unequal contributions of social capital between males and females.
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Farzana Afridi (Economics and Planning Unit,Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi and Research Fellow, IZA); Amrita Dhillon (Department of Political Economy, King’s College London, External Affiliate, CAGE, University of Warwick and Associate Member, Nuffield College.); Swati Sharma (Economics and Planning Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)
    Abstract: In this paper we survey some of the more recent theoretical and empirical literature on social networks and labour productivity. We discuss the use of referrals in recruitment of workers and the possible mechanisms underlying their use as well as ex-post effects on productivity from having connected workers in the firm and the channels for these effects. We also suggest some open questions for further research.
    Keywords: Referrals, Screening, Search, Learning, Moral Hazard, Peer effects, co-worker networks, strength of ties, wage premia, wage penalty, favouritism. JEL Classification: J41, J31, D82, D86, O12, O17
    Date: 2015
  4. By: L. Becchetti; V. Pelligra; S.F. Taurino
    Abstract: We measure satisfaction about experimental outcomes, personal and other participants’ behaviour after a multiperiod ‘hybrid contribution’ multiplayer prisoner’s dilemma (the Vote-with-the-Wallet game). Our work shows that participants who cooperated above median (which we define as strong cooperators) are significantly more satisfied with the game in proportion to their cooperative choice, irrespective of the material pay- off they obtain. On the contrary, their satisfaction for the other players’ behavior is negatively correlated with the extent of their own cooperative behavior and the non-cooperative behavior of the latter. The satisfaction of strong cooperators for their behavior in the game depends in turn on the share of their own cooperative choices. We document that a broader utility function including heterogeneity in expectations on other players’ behavior, other-regarding preferences, and a negative reciprocity argument may account for the combination of the behavioral and self-reported data.
    Keywords: Subjective Well-Being, social preferences, Vote-with-the-Wallet, lab experiment
    JEL: C72 C92 I31
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Hederos Eriksson, Karin (SOFI, Stockholm University); Stenberg, Anders (SOFI, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Bertrand et al. (2015) show that among married couples in the US, the distribution of the share of the household income earned by the wife exhibits a sharp drop just to the right of .50. They argue that this drop is consistent with a social norm prescribing that a man should earn more than his wife. We repeat this analysis for Sweden, ranked as one of the world's most gender equal countries. Analyzing Swedish population register data, we do not find support for the norm that a man should earn more than his wife.
    Keywords: gender roles, marriage market, gender gap, gender identity
    JEL: D10 J12 J16
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: Panos Mavrokonstantis
    Abstract: In this paper I investigate the intergenerational transmission of gender norms. The norm I focus on is the traditional view that it is the role of the mother to look after young children and the role of the father to be the breadwinner. I develop a model of identity formation where a child's gender norm is endogenous to two main sources of socialisation: her family on the one hand, and society at large on the other. Using data from the Next Steps survey and the International Social Survey Programme, I examine the intergenerational transmission of gender norms in England when the norms of the family, and the society it is embedded in, are oppositional. My findings indicate between-sex heterogeneity in the transmission of gender norms from parents to children. Boys raised in modern families (i.e. where the mother is the breadwinner) are less likely to develop traditional norms. However, compared to those in traditional families, girls raised in modern families are actually more likely to be traditional; in opposition to their family's but in line with society's norm. Examining further outcomes associated with gender norms, I find that girls raised in modern families are also less likely to state that being able to earn high wages is important for them, and are less likely to pursue a science degree at university level. I use my identity formation model to argue that these results can be explained by heterogeneity in preferences for conformity to the family, and present empirical evidence that indeed, girls in modern families are less conformist than those in traditional families. Using a regression discontinuity design, I further show that this weaker preference for conformity is in fact a result of the treatment of living in a modern family.
    Keywords: intergenerational transmission, gender norms, gender inequality
    JEL: D10 J16 Z13
    Date: 2015–11
  7. By: Banerjee, Debosree; Ibañez, Marcela; Riener, Gerhard; Wollni, Meike
    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 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 retaliation against the norm enforcer, result in increased participation of the segregated gender. Our results suggest that the organizational environment can be adjusted to increase the 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
  8. By: Tumen, Semih (Central Bank of Turkey); Zeydanli, Tugba (Collegio Carlo Alberto)
    Abstract: The literature documents that job satisfaction is positively correlated with worker performance and productivity. We examine whether aggregate job satisfaction in a certain labor market environment can have an impact on individual-level job satisfaction. If the answer is yes, then policies targeted to increase job satisfaction can increase productivity not only directly, but through spillover externalities too. We seek an answer to this question using two different data sets from the United Kingdom characterizing two different labor market environments: Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS) at the workplace level (i.e., narrowly defined worker groups) and British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) at the local labor market level (i.e., larger worker groups defined in industry x region cells). Implementing an original empirical strategy to identify spillover effects, we find that one standard deviation increase in aggregate job satisfaction leads to a 0.42 standard deviation increase in individual-level job satisfaction at the workplace level and 0.15 standard deviation increase in individual-level job satisfaction at the local labor market level. These social interactions effects are sizable and should not be ignored in assessing the effectiveness of the policies designed to improve job satisfaction.
    Keywords: job satisfaction, social interactions, spillovers, hierarchical model, WERS, BHPS
    JEL: C31 D62 J28
    Date: 2015–11
  9. By: Heinz, Matthias; Schumacher, Heiner
    Abstract: We examine what an applicant’s vita signals to potential employers about her willingness to cooperate in teams. Intensive social engagement may credibly reveal that an applicant cares about the well-being of others and therefore is less likely to free-ride in teamwork situations. We find that contributions in a public goods game strongly increase in a subject’s degree of social engagement as indicated on her résumé (and rated by an independent third party). Engagement in other domains, such as student or sports associations, is not positively correlated with contributions. In a prediction experiment with human resource managers from various industries, we find that managers use résumé content effectively to predict relative differences in subjects’ willingness to cooperate. Thus, young professionals signal important behavioral characteristics to potential employers through the choice of their extracurricular activities.
    Keywords: extracurricular activities; labor market; public good; signaling
    JEL: C72 C92 D82
    Date: 2015–11
  10. By: Christine L. Exley (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit)
    Abstract: Do monetary incentives encourage volunteering? Or, do they introduce a "greedy" signal and hence crowd out the motivation to volunteer? Since the strength of this greedy signal is normally unobserved, the answer is theoretically unclear, and corresponding empirical evidence is mixed. I overcome this ambiguity by examining individuals for whom the greedy signal strength is likely weak - those with public reputations about their past volunteer behavior. In a laboratory experiment, I show that crowd out in response to public incentives is much less likely among those with public, as opposed to private, reputations.
    Keywords: incentives; image motivation; volunteer; prosocial behavior; altruism; gender
    JEL: C91 D64 H41
    Date: 2015–07
  11. By: Christine L. Exley (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit); Stephen J. Terry (Boston University)
    Abstract: Volunteers provide a large source of labor in the United States, yet volunteer effort is often unresponsive to traditional incentives. To clarify the sources of this unresponsiveness within volunteering, we appeal to a classic explanation: targeting behavior. In particular, we provide a laboratory test of effort response to changes in wages, either accrued to individuals or to a charity, in the presence of expectations-based reference points or targets. When individuals earn money for themselves, higher wages lead to higher effort with relatively muted targeting behavior. When individuals earn money for a charity, higher wages instead lead to lower effort with substantial targeting behavior. For managers contemplating the use of performance goals or targets within nonprofit organizations, our results suggest careful consideration about the extent to which they may render other incentives less effective.
    Keywords: reference points; wage elasticities; labor supply; effort; volunteering; prosocial behavior
    JEL: D12 D64 D84 J22 H41
    Date: 2015–09

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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