nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2016‒03‒23
seventeen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Economic Consequences of Social Network Structure By Jackson, Matthew O.; Rogers, Brian; Zenou, Yves
  2. Networks and the macroeconomy: an empirical exploration By Acemoglu, Daron; Akcigit, Ufuk; Kerr, William R.
  3. Estimating Social Preferences and Gift Exchange at Work By Stefano DellaVigna; John A. List; Ulrike Malmendier; Gautam Rao
  4. Signaling cooperation By Heinz, Matthias; Schumacher, Heiner
  5. Does Trust Matter for Entrepreneurship: Evidence from A Cross-Section of Countries By Oasis Kodila-Tedika; Julius A. Agbor
  6. Social capital and debt contracting: evidence from bank loans and public bonds By Hasan, Iftekhar; Hoi, Chun-Keung (Stan); Wu, Qiang; Zhang, Hao
  7. Gender-specific Reference-dependent Preferences in an Experimental Trust Game By Hiromasa Takahashi; Junyi Shen; Kazuhito Ogawa
  8. Partners in Crime: Schools, Neighborhoods and the Formation of Criminal Networks By Stephen B. Billings; David J. Deming; Stephen L. Ross
  9. The Natural Resource Curse Revisited:Theory and Evidence from India By Dhillon, Amrita; Krishnan, Pramila; Patnam, Manasa; Perroni, Carlo
  10. Election, Implementation, and Social Capital in SchoolBased Management: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on the COGES Project in Burkina Faso By Sawada, Yasuyuki; Aida, Takeshi; Griffen, Andrew S; Kozuka, Eiji; Noguchi, Haruko; Todo, Yasuyuki
  11. "Peer Effects on Vaccination: Experimental Evidence from Rural Nigeria" By RyokoSato; Yoshito Takasaki
  12. The Sensitive Nature of Social Trust to Intelligence By Oasis Kodila-Tedika; Simplice Asongu; Florentin Azia-Dimbu
  13. The not so Gentle Push: Behavioral Spillovers and Policy Instruments By Giovanna d’Adda; Valerio Capraro; Massimo Tavoni
  14. Does Fundraising Create New Giving? By Jonathan Meer
  15. Social Media in Virtual Marketing By Jalees, Tariq; Tariq, Huma; Zaman, Syed Imran; Alam Kazmi, Syed Hasnain
  16. Constructing Social Division to Support Cooperation By Choy, James P.
  17. Homo moralis: Personal characteristics, institutions, and moral decision-making By Deckers, Thomas; Falk, Armin; Kosse, Fabian; Szech, Nora

  1. By: Jackson, Matthew O. (Stanford University); Rogers, Brian (Washington University); Zenou, Yves (Monash University,, Department of Economics,)
    Abstract: We survey the literature on the economic consequences of the structure of social networks. We develop a taxonomy of `macro' and `micro' characteristics of social interaction networks and discuss both the theoretical and empirical findings concerning the role of those characteristics in determining learning, diffusion, decisions, and resulting behaviors. We also discuss the challenges of accounting for the endogeneity of networks in assessing the relationship between the patterns of interactions and behaviors.
    Keywords: Social networks; Social economics; Homophily; Diffusion; Social learning contagion; Centrality measures; Endogeneity; Network formation
    JEL: C72 D85 L14 Z13
    Date: 2016–03–07
  2. By: Acemoglu, Daron; Akcigit, Ufuk; Kerr, William R.
    Abstract: The propagation of macroeconomic shocks through input-output and geographic networks can be a powerful driver of macroeconomic fluctuations. We first exposit that in the presence of Cobb-Douglas production functions and consumer preferences, there is a specific pattern of economic transmission whereby demand-side shocks propagate upstream (to input-supplying industries) and supply-side shocks propagate downstream (to customer industries) and that there is a tight relationship between the direct impact of a shock and the magnitudes of the downstream and the upstream indirect effects. We then investigate the short-run propagation of four different types of industry-level shocks: two demand-side ones (the exogenous component of the variation in industry imports from China and changes in federal spending) and two supply-side ones (TFP shocks and variation in knowledge/ideas coming from foreign patenting). In each case, we find substantial propagation of these shocks through the input-output network, with a pattern broadly consistent with theory. Quantitatively, the network-based propagation is larger than the direct effects of the shocks. We also show quantitatively large effects from the geographic network, capturing the fact that the local propagation of a shock to an industry will fall more heavily on other industries that tend to collocate with it across local markets. Our results suggest that the transmission of various di¤erent types of shocks through economic networks and industry interlinkages could have first-order implications for the macroeconomy.
    Keywords: economic fluctuations, geographic collocation, input-output linkages, networks, propagation, shocks
    JEL: E32
    Date: 2015–12–09
  3. By: Stefano DellaVigna; John A. List; Ulrike Malmendier; Gautam Rao
    Abstract: We design a model-based field experiment to estimate the nature and magnitude of workers’ social preferences towards their employers. We hire 446 workers for a one-time task. Within worker, we vary (i) piece rates; (ii) whether the work has payoffs only for the worker, or also for the employer; and (iii) the return to the employer. We then introduce a surprise increase or decrease in pay (‘gifts’) from the employer. We find that workers have substantial baseline social preferences towards their employers, even in the absence of repeated-game incentives. Consistent with models of warm glow or social norms, but not of pure altruism, workers exert substantially more effort when their work is consequential to their employer, but are insensitive to the precise return to the employer. Turning to reciprocity, we find little evidence of a response to unexpected positive (or negative) gifts from the employer. Our structural estimates of the social preferences suggest that, if anything, positive reciprocity in response to monetary ‘gifts’ may be larger than negative reciprocity. We revisit the results of previous field experiments on gift exchange using our model and derive a one-parameter expression for the implied reciprocity in these experiments.
    JEL: C93 D64
    Date: 2016–02
  4. 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: signaling,public goods,labor markets,extracurricular activities
    JEL: C72 C92 D82
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Oasis Kodila-Tedika (Université de Kinshasa Département d’Eco); Julius A. Agbor (Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: Differences in trust levels between countries explain the observed discrepancies in entrepreneurial spirit amongst them. We test this hypothesis with a cross-section of 60 countries in 2010. Our findings suggest that about half of the variation in entrepreneurial spirit across countries in the world is driven by trust considerations. This result is robust to regional clustering, to outliers and to alternative conditioning variables. The findings of the study suggest that while formal incentives to nurture entrepreneurship must be maintained, policy-makers should also seek to pay attention to the role of trust cultivated through informal networks.
    Keywords: trust, institution, entrepreneurship
    Date: 2015–12
  6. By: Hasan, Iftekhar; Hoi, Chun-Keung (Stan); Wu, Qiang; Zhang, Hao
    Abstract: We find that firms headquartered in U.S. counties with higher levels of social capital incur lower bank loan spreads. This finding is robust to using organ donation as an alternative social-capital measure and incremental to the effects of religiosity, corporate social responsibility, and tax avoidance. We identify the causal relation using companies with a social-capital-changing headquarter relocation. We also find that high-social-capital firms face loosened nonprice loan terms, incur lower at-issue bond spreads, and prefer bonds over loans. We conclude that debt holders perceive social capital as providing environmental pressure constraining opportunistic firm behaviors in debt contracting.
    Keywords: social capital, cooperative norm, moral hazard, cost of bank loans, public bonds
    JEL: G21 G32 Z13
    Date: 2015–11–20
  7. By: Hiromasa Takahashi (Faculty of International Studies, Hiroshima City University); Junyi Shen (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan); Kazuhito Ogawa (Faculty of Sociology and Center for Experimental Economics, Kansai University)
    Abstract: We examine gender-specific reference-dependent preferences in a trust game experiment. Different participation fees and one question eliciting subjects' reference points were used to categorize subjects into three frames: the gain frame, gain or loss frame, and loss frame. We find that (i) men are risk-seeking in both the gain and the loss frame; (ii) women are not always more risk-averse than men; and (iii) women display other-regarding preferences only when they are in the gain frame. These results demonstrate the importance of taking account of both gender differences and reference-dependent preferences when examining individuals' economic behavior.
    Keywords: Reference-dependent preference, Gender difference, Trust game experiment, Risk preference, Other-regarding preference
    JEL: C72 C91
    Date: 2016–09
  8. By: Stephen B. Billings (University of North Carolina-Charlotte); David J. Deming (Harvard University); Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Why do crime rates differ greatly across neighborhoods and schools? Comparing youth who were assigned to opposite sides of newly drawn school boundaries, we show that concentrating disadvantaged youth together in the same schools and neighborhoods increases total crime. We then show that these youth are more likely to be arrested for committing crimes together – to be “partners in crime”. Our results suggest that direct peer interaction is a key mechanism for social multipliers in criminal behavior. As a result, policies that increase residential and school segregation will – all else equal – increase crime through the formation of denser criminal networks.
    Keywords: Youth Crime, Schools, Criminal Partnerships, Neighborhood Effects, Social Interactions
    JEL: I2 J1 K4 R2
    Date: 2016–03
  9. By: Dhillon, Amrita (Kings College and CAGE, University of Warwick); Krishnan, Pramila (University of Cambridge and CEPR); Patnam, Manasa (CREST-ENSAE); Perroni, Carlo (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: I construct a model of religion as an institution that provides community enforcement of contracts within families. Family altruism implies that family members cannot commit to reporting broken contracts to the community, so the community must monitor contract performance as well as in icting punishment. The community has less information than family members, and so community monitoring is ine cient. I provide evidence from a study of Amish institutions, including qualitative evidence from sociological accounts and quantitative evidence from a novel dataset covering nearly the entire Amish population of Holmes county, Ohio. I nd that 1) Amish households are not unitary, 2) the Amish community helps to support families by in icting punishments on wayward family members, 3) without the community Amish people have di culty committing to punishing family members, and 4) Amish community membership strengthens family ties, while otherwise similar religious communities in which there is less need for exchange between family members have rules that weaken family ties. My model has implications for understanding selection into religious practice and the persistence of culture.
    Keywords: Natural Resource Curse, Political Secession JEL Classification:
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Sawada, Yasuyuki; Aida, Takeshi; Griffen, Andrew S; Kozuka, Eiji; Noguchi, Haruko; Todo, Yasuyuki
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the role of School Management Committees (COGES) in Burkina Faso. These committees include elected members of each community, and are tasked with setting and implementing annual school plans. The study adopted a hybrid evaluation method incorporating a randomized controlled trial and a large-scale artefactual field experiment a la Levitt and List (2007) on public goods with monetary rewards, to closely examine unexplored issues impacting on the sustainability of community-driven projects, and to identify at least partially the mechanisms of this sustainability. We found that the COGES project significantly increased social capital in the form of voluntary contributions to public goods, especially by linking those that people can be connected to vertically. On average, the direct increase in voluntary contributions to public goods from the implementation of the COGES project was between 8.0 and 10.2%. For groups composed of school principals, teachers, and parents, the average contribution increased by between 12.7 and 24.1% through the democratic election of school management committee members, and by between 11.0 and 17.2% through the implementation of the COGES project. These results suggest that community management projects can improve local cost recovery by increasing local contributions of public goods, potentially leading to better fiscal sustainability in community-driven projects. Moreover, the results based on our hybrid experiments are largely in line with real-world decisions observed in the schools under our investigation. As a byproduct, our findings are supportive of models of other-regarding preferences.
    Keywords: school-based management , randomized controlled trials , artefactual field experiments , public goods game , social capital , sustainability of development project
    Date: 2016–03–10
  11. By: RyokoSato (Global Asia Institute, National University of Singapore); Yoshito Takasaki (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: Understanding how and why social interactions matter for people's vaccination behavior is important for disease control. This paper conducts the first causal analysis of peer effects on vaccination in developing countries. We created exogenous variations in peers' vaccination behaviors by randomizing cash incentives for tetanus vaccine take-up among Nigerian women. Vaccine take-up among friends strongly increased women's take-up; having a friend getting vaccinated increases the likelihood that one receives a vaccination by 18.9 percentage points. The peer effects among friends are heterogeneous by one's belief about vaccine safety and access to health clinics in a way that is consistent with whether or not a woman visits a clinic with her friend. This provides evidence for collective action as a mechanism underlying the positive peer effect.
  12. By: Oasis Kodila-Tedika (Université de Kinshasa Département d’Eco); Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Florentin Azia-Dimbu (Université Pédagogique Nationale Faculté)
    Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between social trust and intelligence. The extreme bound analysis of Levine and Renelt is employed to directly assess the strength of the nexus. The findings confirm the positive and robust nexus between social trust and intelligence. We have contributed to the literature by confirming that the previously established positive linkage between intelligence and trust is not statistically fragile. In fact the nexus withstands further empirical scrutiny with more robust empirical strategies.
    Keywords: Trust; Intelligence; Human Capital; Extreme Bound Analysis
    JEL: G20 I20 I29 J24 P48 Z13
    Date: 2016–03
  13. By: Giovanna d’Adda (Politecnico di Milano); Valerio Capraro (Center for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI)); Massimo Tavoni (Politecnico di Milano, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC))
    Abstract: We examine whether spillovers of pro-social behavior depend on how behavioral changes are induced. We conduct a large experiment using economic games, with a Dictator Game (DG) followed by either an identical game or a Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD). We influence initial behavior through widely used policy instruments, either behaviorally informed (default, social norms) or with an economic/regulatory rationale (incentives, regulation). Our results provide evidence of positive spillovers to subsequent economic games (which are not treated), but only for the traditional economic/regulatory interventions and within the same game type. Specifically, inducing higher giving in the first stage leads to subsequent higher altruism in the DG, but not to more cooperation in the PD. The carry over of pro-social behavior appears to be driven by an anchoring on the initial donation. We also measure observers’ beliefs and we find that these results are not correctly anticipated by third parties, who systematically overestimate both the direct effect of behaviorally informed interventions on initial donations and their spillover to subsequent donations.
    Keywords: Pro-social Behavior, Traditional and Behavioral Policies, Spillover Effects, Online Experiment
    JEL: H4 I3
    Date: 2015–10
  14. By: Jonathan Meer
    Abstract: Despite an extensive literature on the impacts of a variety of charitable fundraising techniques, little is known about whether these activities increase overall giving or merely cause donors to substitute away from other causes. Using detailed data from, an online platform linking teachers with prospective donors, I examine the extent to which matching grants for donations to certain requests affect giving to others. Eligibility for matches is determined in entirely by observable attributes of the request, providing an exogenous source of variation in incentives to donate to between charities. I find that, while matches increase giving to eligible requests, they do not appear to crowd out giving to similar ones, either contemporaneously or over time.
    JEL: D64 H41
    Date: 2016–02
  15. By: Jalees, Tariq; Tariq, Huma; Zaman, Syed Imran; Alam Kazmi, Syed Hasnain
    Abstract: Social media usage in the world and especially in Pakistan has a high growth due to which it (social media) has a potential of becoming an effective marketing tool. Despite its comparatively low cost and significance, marketers are not effectively utilizing social media. Thus the aim of this study is to measure the influence (effect) of four social variables: social capital, trust, homophily and interpersonal influence on electronic word of mouth (eWOM) communication. The sample size for the study is 300 and preselected enumerator’s collected the data from the leading shopping malls of the city. Although the scales and measures adopted for this study have been earlier validated in other countries, however the same were re-ascertained on the present set of data. After preliminary analysis, including normality and validity the overall model was tested through Structural Equation Model (SEM). This was carried out in two stages - initially CFA for all the constructs was ascertained which was followed by CFA of the overall model. Developed conceptual framework was empirically tested on the present set of data in Pakistan which adequately explained consumer attitudinal behavior towards electronic word of mouth (eWOM) communication. Three hypotheses failed to be rejected and one was rejected. Trust was found to be the strongest predictor of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) communication, followed by homophily and social capital. Interpersonal influence has no relationship with electronic word of mouth (eWOM) communication. The results were consistent to earlier literature. Implication for markers was drawn from the results.
    Keywords: eWOM; social capital; trust; homophily and interpersonal influence; social media
    JEL: M1 M3 M31
    Date: 2015–03–01
  16. By: Choy, James P. (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Many societies are divided into multiple smaller groups. Certain kinds of interaction are more likely to take place within a group than across groups. I model a reputation effect that enforces these divisions. Agents who interact with members of different groups can support lower levels of cooperation with members of their own groups. A hierarchical relationship between groups appears endogenously in equilibrium. Group divisions appear without any external cause, and improvements in formal contracting institutions may cause group divisions to disappear. Qualitative evidence from the anthropological literature is consistent with several predictions of the model.
    Keywords: Cooperation, Caste, Social Institution JEL Classification: C73, O12, O17
    Date: 2016
  17. By: Deckers, Thomas; Falk, Armin; Kosse, Fabian; Szech, Nora
    Abstract: This paper studies how individual characteristics, institutions, and their interaction influence moral decisions. We validate a moral paradigm focusing on the willingness to accept harming third parties. Consequences of moral decisions are real. We explore how moral behavior varies with individual characteristics and how these characteristics interact with market institutions compared to situations of individual decision-making. Intelligence, female gender, and the existence of siblings positively influence moral decisions, in individual and in market environments. Yet in markets, most personalities tend to follow overall much lower moral standards. Only fluid intelligence specifically counteracts moraleroding effects of markets.
    Keywords: homo moralis,moral personality,real moral task,markets and personality,trade and morals
    JEL: D02 D03 J10
    Date: 2016

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