nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2016‒07‒09
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Chips Are Down: The Influence of Family on Children's Trust Formation By Giulietti, Corrado; Rettore, Enrico; Tonini, Sara
  2. Religiosity and long-run productivity growth By Herzer, Dierk; Strulik, Holger
  3. Trust, Governance, and Growth: Exploring the Interplay By Bower, Thomas R.; Wilson, Paul N.
  4. Choosing a Partner for Social Exchange: Charitable Giving as a Signal of Trustworthiness By Fehrler, Sebastian; Przepiorka, Wojtek
  5. Trust and Financial Advice By Burke, Jeremy; Hung, Angela A.
  6. Peer sanctioning in isomorphic provision and appropriation social dilemmas By Abhijit Ramalingam; Antonio J. Morales; James M. Walker
  7. Cooperation and leadership in a segregated community: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment in a South African township By Daniela Grieco; Michela Braga; Francesco Brip
  8. Does the gender composition in couples matter for the division of labor after childbirth? By Moberg, Ylva
  9. Ability tracking and social capital in China's rural secondary school system By Fan Li; Prashant Loyalka; Hongmei Yi; Yaojiang Shi; Natalie Johnson; Scott Rozelle
  10. Philanthropic Behaviour of Quebecers By Rose Anne Devlin; Wenzhuo Zhao
  11. Can War Foster Cooperation? By Bauer, Michal; Blattman, Christopher J.; Chytilová, Julie; Henrich, Joseph; Miguel, Edward; Mitts, Tamar
  12. Refinement of the Equilibrium of Public Goods Games over Networks: Efficiency and Effort of Specialized Equilibria By Pandit, Parthe; Kulkarni, Ankur
  13. Internet and Voting in the Web 2.0 Era: Evidence from a Local Broadband Policy By Poy, Samuele; Schüller, Simone

  1. By: Giulietti, Corrado (University of Southampton); Rettore, Enrico (University of Trento); Tonini, Sara (University of Trento)
    Abstract: Understanding the formation of trust at the individual level is a key issue given the impact that it has been recognized to have on economic development. Theoretical work highlights the role of the transmission of values such as trust from parents to their children. Attempts to empirically measure the strength of this transmission relied so far on the cross-sectional regression of the trust of children on the contemporaneous trust of their parents. We introduce a new identification strategy which hinges on a panel of parents and their children drawn from the German Socio-Economic Panel. Our results show that: 1) a half to two thirds of the observed variability of trust is pure noise irrelevant to the transmission process; 2) this noise strongly biases the parameter estimates of the OLS regression of children's trust on parents' trust; however an instrumental variable procedure straightforwardly emerges from the analysis; 3) the dynamics of the component of trust relevant to the transmission process shed light on the structural interpretation of the parameters of this regression; 4) the strength of the flow of trust that parents pass to their children as well as of the sibling correlations due to other factors are easily summarized by the conventional R2 of a latent equation. In our sample, approximately one fourth of the variability of children's trust is inherited from their parents while two thirds are attributable to the residual sibling correlation.
    Keywords: trust, intergenerational transmission, siblings correlations, cultural transmission
    JEL: J62 P16 Z1
    Date: 2016–06
  2. By: Herzer, Dierk; Strulik, Holger
    Abstract: In this paper, we show, using a panel of developed countries, that there is a long-run negative association between church attendance and total factor productivity (TFP) with predictive causality running from declining church attendance to increasing factor productivity. According to our preferred estimate, about 18% of the increase in TFP from 1950 to 1990 is caused by declining religiosity. In order to explain this phenomenon, we integrate into standard R&D-based growth theory a micro-foundation of individual cognitive style, which is either intuitive-believing or reflective-analytical. Under the assumption that R&D productivity is positively influenced by a reflectiveanalytical cognitive style, we find that secularization leads to an increasing labor share in R&D and gradually increasing productivity growth. We use these insights to reflect on trends in religiosity and R&D-based growth in the very long run, from Enlightenment to the present day.
    Keywords: religiosity,church attendance,factor productivity,cognitive style,R&D-based growth
    JEL: N30 O11 C23
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Bower, Thomas R.; Wilson, Paul N.
    Abstract: Thin trust and efficacious governance are well-established contributors to economic progress but the interplay between these factors and their joint impact on human flourishing is unclear. We extend previous analyses by expanding the cross-sectional data set to over 100 countries and by employing simultaneous models to capture the interplay between trust, governance and economic growth. We find that in this interdependent system framework that (1) the effect of trust on growth is greater than shown in earlier analyses, (2) trust and governance are complementary components that under adverse circumstances can lead to a low-growth trust trap for some societies, (3) income inequality and fractionalization play important, intermediary roles in explaining levels of trust, governance, and ultimately, economic welfare, and (4) the colonization legacy of each country captures an important component of the current variation across countries in regard to their levels of trust, governance, and economic growth.
    Keywords: Trust, Social Capital, Governance, Institutions, Economic Growth, Interdependencies, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, International Development, O15, O17, )43,
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Fehrler, Sebastian (University of Konstanz); Przepiorka, Wojtek (Utrecht University)
    Abstract: People benefit from being perceived as trustworthy. Examples include sellers trying to attract buyers, or candidates in elections trying to attract voters. In a laboratory experiment using exchange games, in which the trustor can choose the trustee, we study whether trustees can signal their trustworthiness by giving to charity. Our results show that donors are indeed perceived as more trustworthy and they are selected significantly more often as interaction partners. As a consequence of this sorting pattern, relative payoffs to donors and non-donors differ substantially with and without partner choice. However, we do not find donors to be significantly more trustworthy than non-donors. Our findings suggest that publicly observable generosity, such as investments in corporate social responsibility or donations to charity during a political campaign, can induce perceptions of trustworthiness and trust.
    Keywords: costly signaling, social preferences, trust, trustworthiness, partner choice, corporate social responsibility, electoral competition
    JEL: C92 H41
    Date: 2016–06
  5. By: Burke, Jeremy; Hung, Angela A.
    Abstract: Trust plays an important role in financial decision-making, particularly regarding financial advice. In fact, investors cite "trust" as the most important determinant in seeking a financial service professional for advice (Hung et al., 2010). In this paper, we explore the relationships between financial trust and behaviors, attitudes, knowledge and preferences related to utilizing professional financial advice. Using survey and experiment data from the RAND-USC American Life Panel, we find that financial trust is correlated with advice usage and likelihood of seeking advisory services. Analysis of the experiment shows that trust is an important predictor of who chooses to receive advice, even after controlling for demographic characteristics and financial literacy. However, providing unsolicited advice has little impact on behavior, even for individuals with high levels of trust.
    Date: 2015–01
  6. By: Abhijit Ramalingam (University of East Anglia); Antonio J. Morales (University of Malaga); James M. Walker (Indiana University)
    Abstract: This study brings together two strands of experimental literature, positive versus negative frames of social dilemmas and the effectiveness of peer sanctioning in promoting cooperation. Examining provision and appropriation games that are strategically and payoff isomorphic, we find evidence of less cooperation in the appropriation game. However, we also find that peer sanctioning is able to overcome the decrease in cooperation in the appropriation game, leading to greater relative increases in contributions and earnings in that decision setting. This result appears to be linked to the fact that low contributors are targeted for punishment more frequently in the appropriation game.
    Keywords: social dilemma, experiment, provision, appropriation, cooperation, punishment
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D02 H41
    Date: 2016–05–18
  7. By: Daniela Grieco; Michela Braga; Francesco Brip
    Abstract: The paper presents the results of a lab-in-the-field experiment in three South African townships located in the suburbs of Cape Town. The experimental design consists of a set of decisions on how the members of a naturally occurring group allocate an endowment to a private or to a public account. In our treatments, we first manipulate the degree of participation of group members in the choice of the public good, from involvement of the group leader only, to collective discussion and to private voting. Additionally, we explore the effectiveness of monetary incentives (collective versus individual) set in order to promote participation. The results show that leader guidance and participatory incentives significantly raise cooperation and hold after controlling for a wide set of individual and group characteristics.
    Keywords: lab-in-the-field experiment, segregation, cooperation, leadership, participation, township Creation-Date: 2016
  8. By: Moberg, Ylva (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In this paper I compare the effect of entering parenthood on the spousal income gaps in lesbian and heterosexual couples using Swedish population wide register data. Comparing couples with similar pre-childbirth income gaps, a difference-in-differences strategy is used to estimate the impact of the gender composition of the couple on the spousal income gap after childbirth. The results indicate that the gender composition of the couple does matter for the division of labor after having children. Five years after childbirth the income gap is smaller in lesbian than in heterosexual couples also when comparing couples with the same pre-parenthood income gap. Heterosexual couples’ division of labor seems to be influenced by traditional gender norms, regardless of their pre-childbirth income gap. In lesbian couples the partners’ relative earnings before parenthood and a principle about fairness may be more important, as well as the partners’ preferences for giving birth as the birth giving partner typically spends more time on parental leave.
    Keywords: economics of gender; division of labor; labor supply; same-sex couples; transition to parenthood
    JEL: D13 J13 J16 J22
    Date: 2016–06–19
  9. By: Fan Li; Prashant Loyalka; Hongmei Yi; Yaojiang Shi; Natalie Johnson; Scott Rozelle
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is describe and analyze the relationship between ability tracking and student social capital, in the context of poor students in developing countries. Drawing on the results from a longitudinal study among 1,436 poor students across 132 schools in rural China, we find a significant lack of interpersonal trust and confidence in public institutions among poor rural young adults. We also find that there is a strong correlation between ability tracking during junior high school and levels of social capital. The disparities might serve to further widen the gap between the relatively privileged students who are staying in school and the less privileged students who are dropping out of school. This result suggests that making high school accessible to more students would improve social capital in the general population.
    Keywords: ability tracking, social capital, interpersonal trust, confidence in public institutions, rural secondary schooling
    Date: 2016–06
  10. By: Rose Anne Devlin (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON); Wenzhuo Zhao (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)
    Abstract: On average, residents of Quebec give less money and volunteer less time than those residing in all other provinces. This paper empirically examines and compares the giving and volunteering behaviour of Quebecers to that of other Canadians, with the aim of addressing why this difference may exist. We employ the most recent General Social Survey - Giving Volunteering and Participation (GSS GVP 2013) data set and Tobit procedures and find that Quebecers give less money partially because their average endowments of two important determinants, religiosity and household income, are low. Once demographic and socio-economic characteristics are controlled for, Quebecers cash donations are comparable to Ontarians and those in Atlantic Canada, and exceed those of residents of British Columbia; Quebecers are similar to others when it comes to volunteering for religious organizations, but they volunteer significantly less than others for secular ones.
    Keywords: charitable giving, volunteering, religious donations, secular contributions, Quebec
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Bauer, Michal (Charles University, Prague); Blattman, Christopher J. (Harris School, University of Chicago); Chytilová, Julie (Charles University, Prague); Henrich, Joseph (Harvard University); Miguel, Edward (University of California, Berkeley); Mitts, Tamar (Columbia University)
    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.
    Keywords: war, cooperation, social preferences, post-conflict development
    JEL: C80 D74 H56 O10 O12 O40
    Date: 2016–06
  12. By: Pandit, Parthe; Kulkarni, Ankur
    Abstract: Recently Bramoulle and Kranton presented a model for the provision of public goods over a network and showed the existence of a class of Nash equilibria called specialized equilibria wherein some agents exert maximum effort while other agents free ride. We examine the efficiency, effort and cost of specialized equilibria in comparison to other equilibria. Our main results show that the welfare of a particular specialized equilibrium approaches the maximum welfare amongst all equilibria as the concavity of the benefit function tends to unity. For forest networks a similar result also holds as the concavity approaches zero. Moreover, without any such concavity conditions, there exists for any network a specialized equilibrium that requires the maximum weighted effort amongst all equilibria. When the network is a forest, a specialized equilibrium also incurs the minimum total cost amongst all equilibria. For well-covered forest networks we show that all welfare maximizing equilibria are specialized and all equilibria incur the same total cost. Thus we argue that specialized equilibria may be considered as a refinement of the equilibrium of the public goods game. We show several results on the structure and efficiency of equilibria that highlight the role of dependants in the network.
    Keywords: Network games; public goods; specialized equilibria; independent sets; linear complementarity problems
    JEL: C7 C72
    Date: 2016–07–07
  13. By: Poy, Samuele (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Schüller, Simone (CESifo)
    Abstract: This article analyzes the impact of a local broadband expansion policy on electoral turnout and party vote share. We exploit a unique policy intervention involving staged broadband infrastructure installation across rural municipalities in the Province of Trento (Italy), thus generating a source of exogenous (spatial and temporal) variation in the provision of advanced broadband technology (ADSL2+). Using a difference-in-differences strategy, we find positive effects of broadband availability on overall electoral turnout at national parliamentary elections. Party vote share analysis shows significant shifts across the ideological spectrum. These shifts, however, are likely transitory rather than persistent. Placebo estimations support a causal interpretation of our results. We provide further evidence that broadband availability is linked to actual adoption in that the broadband policy increased overall Internet and broadband take-up among private households.
    Keywords: broadband internet, political participation, voting behavior, quasi-natural experiment
    JEL: D72 L82 L86
    Date: 2016–06

This nep-soc issue is ©2016 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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