nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2016‒06‒18
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Can War Foster Cooperation? By Michal Bauer; Christopher Blattman; Julie Chytilová; Joseph Henrich; Edward Miguel; Tamar Mitts
  2. Provision of public goods: Unconditional and conditional donations from outsiders By Esther Blanco; Tobias Haller; James M. Walker
  3. Guilt-Averse or Reciprocal? Looking at Behavioural Motivations in the Trust Game By Yola Engler; Rudolf Kerschbamer; Lionel Page
  4. A Lasting Effect of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic: Orphans and Pro-Social Behavior By Joshua Hall; Shree Baba Pokharel
  5. The Impact of Microfinance on Pro-Social Behaviors: Experimental Evidence of Public Goods Contributions in Uganda By Bryan McCannon; Zachary Rodriguez
  6. Social Ties of University Students: Evidence from a Longitudinal Survey in Russia By Ekaterina V. Krekhovets; Liudmila A. Leonova
  7. Values and Attitudes Towards Corruption: À Cross-Cultural Study in Four European Countries By Alexander Tatarko; Anna Mironova
  8. Impact of Government structure and interventions and social capital on the transformation of the smallholder vegetable industry: The case of Barangay Songco, Lantapan, Philippines By Romo, Glory Dee; Brown, Colin; Cramb, Rob
  9. Incentive of risk sharing and trust formation: Experimental and survey evidence from Bangladesh By Shoji, Masahiro

  1. By: Michal Bauer; Christopher Blattman; Julie Chytilová; Joseph Henrich; Edward Miguel; Tamar Mitts
    Abstract: In the past decade, nearly 20 studies have found a strong, persistent pattern in surveys and behavioral experiments from over 40 countries: individual exposure to war violence tends to increase social cooperation at the local level, including community participation and prosocial behavior. Thus while war has many negative legacies for individuals and societies, it appears to leave a positive legacy in terms of local cooperation and civic engagement. We discuss, synthesize and reanalyze the emerging body of evidence, and weigh alternative explanations. There is some indication that war violence especially enhances in-group or "parochial" norms and preferences, a finding that, if true, suggests that the rising social cohesion we document need not promote broader peace.
    JEL: C80 D74 H56 O10 O12 O40
    Date: 2016–06
  2. By: Esther Blanco; Tobias Haller; James M. Walker
    Abstract: The provision of public goods often benefits a larger group than those who actively provide the public good. In an experimental setting, this paper addresses institutional arrangements between subjects who can provide a public good (insiders) and subjects who benefit from the public good but cannot provide it (outsiders). We compare a setting of passive outsiders to situations where outsiders can either make unconditional transfers (donations) or conditional transfers (contracts) to the insiders. The primary behavioral question is to what extent outsiders will respond to the opportunity to subsidize the contributions of insiders and will insiders use such subsidies to increase contributions or simply substitute them for their own contributions. The results suggest the latter. In fact, once conditional or unconditional transfers are allowed, insiders decrease contributions to the public good relative to the baseline condition without transfers.
    Keywords: Public goods, Institution, Externality, Laboratory Experiment
    JEL: D70 H41 C92
    Date: 2016–05
  3. By: Yola Engler; Rudolf Kerschbamer; Lionel Page
    Abstract: For the trust game, recent models of belief-dependent motivations make opposite predictions regarding the correlation between back-transfers and secondorder beliefs of the trustor: While reciprocity models predict a negative correlation, guilt-aversion models predict a positive one. This paper tests the hypothesis that the inconclusive results in previous studies investigating the reaction of trustees to their beliefs are due to the fact that reciprocity and guilt-aversion are behaviorally relevant for different subgroups and that their impact cancels out in the aggregate. We find little evidence in support of this hypothesis and conclude that type heterogeneity is unlikely to explain previous results.
    JEL: C25 C70 C91 D63 D64
    Date: 2016–06–07
  4. By: Joshua Hall (West Virginia University, Department of Economics); Shree Baba Pokharel (West Virginia University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: The HIV/AIDS pandemic has caused numerous deaths. One unfortunate consequence of this is the deterioration in family structure and the prevalence of orphanhood. We investigate whether individuals who were orphaned as a child suffer long-term consequences through a underinvestment in their social capital. We conduct a framed field experiment in rural, southern Uganda where the HIV/AIDS pandemic hit hardest. In the experiment, subjects made decisions to contribute to a public good. Results indicate that adults who were orphaned as a child free ride more contributing less to the public good. We explore the mechanism through which their background operates. We provide evidence that an important channel is through social norms. Subjects orphaned when young tend to have lower expectations regarding typical behavior of others. A strong interaction effect is identified where those with the lowest expectations who were also orphaned contribute the least to the public good. Thus, we document long-term consequences to a community of the adverse health event.
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, orphan, pro-social behavior, public good, social capital, social norm, Uganda
    JEL: I15 D03 C93
    Date: 2016–06
  5. By: Bryan McCannon (West Virginia University, Department of Economics); Zachary Rodriguez (Saint Bonaventure University, School of Business)
    Abstract: We ask whether access to microfinance loans by the poor has a spillover effect on their pro†social behaviors. An experimental field study in southern, rural Uganda is conducted using free riding in public goods contributions as an assessment. We document higher levels of contributions by those who have previously received a microloan. This effect cannot be explained by changes in social norms, income effects, or sample selection bias. The results suggest that exposure to microfinance promotes social preferences.
    Keywords: experiment, field study, free riding, microfinance, public goods, social norm, social preference, Uganda
    Date: 2016–06
  6. By: Ekaterina V. Krekhovets (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Liudmila A. Leonova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Student friendship networks can be considered as social capital, which is known to be a very useful resource during university and after it. Several empirical studies have examined static models of student behaviour in social networks. In this study we analyse the dynamic changes of student social connections. We use original longitude data of student social ties from one Russian university. Data was collected within the framework of a research project of the International Research Laboratory for Institutional Analysis of Economic Reforms. To investigate factors influencing the evolution of social ties during university probit regressions were tested. We found that students with similar characteristics such as gender and academic achievement are more likely to become friends and continue to be friends. Both studying in the same group and living in a dormitory increase the likelihood of being friends. We also found a transitivity effect. We observe a positive effect of having common friend on friendship ties. We also notice a positive link between reciprocity and friendship stability.
    Keywords: social networks, friendship, higher education
    JEL: D85 I21 I23
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Alexander Tatarko (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anna Mironova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This article analyses the association between personal values and the acceptability of corruption in Russia, France, Germany, and Latvia. Several studies show that cultural values can be related to the level of corruption in the countries at the societal level. We look at the following two questions: (1) Can universal personal values influence the acceptability of corruption for an individual? (2) Is such an influence the same in different countries? A specialized methodology for assessing the acceptability of corruption for an individual was developed and validated. Individual values were assessed using the methodology developed by Schwartz. The studies were conducted in Russia (N=269), France (N=108), Germany (N=101) and Latvia (N=178). The results show that individual values have more inverse correlations with the acceptance of corruption than direct ones. In other words, values play an important role in limiting corrupt behaviour, but not in stimulating it. We discuss the correlations between personal values and the acceptability of corruption and analyse the psychology of these relationships
    Keywords: the acceptability of corruption, individual values
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Romo, Glory Dee; Brown, Colin; Cramb, Rob
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2016–02
  9. By: Shoji, Masahiro
    Abstract: Using data from a unique household survey and an artefactual field experiment conducted in rural Bangladesh, this study evaluates the impact on trust in community members of an incentive to maintain a risk-sharing arrangement between villagers. Risk sharing is a major opportunity for cooperation in rural economies, and the experience of cooperation could facilitate trust. In order to test this hypothesis, this study characterizes the incentive for risk sharing by the patterns of exogenous income shocks in the real world and risk preference, and trust in community members is elicited experimentally. The empirical results from dyadic regression demonstrate that villagers connected by a stronger incentive form higher level of trust. It is also found that villagers are more likely to share risks in villages that have stronger incentives. These findings suggest that the introduction of formal insurance, which reduces the incentive of risk sharing, could break down trust.
    Keywords: Trust formation; risk sharing; experiment; Bangladesh
    JEL: C91 D12
    Date: 2016–06–13

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