nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2016‒09‒18
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. "Get rid of the four olds": the long-lasting impact of the Chinese Cultural Revolution on Chinese society By Kerstin Schopohl
  2. Responding to (Un)Reasonable Requests By Vittorio Pelligra; Tommaso Reggiani; Daniel John Zizzo
  3. Network economics and the environment: insights and perspectives By Sergio Currarini; Carmen Marchiori; Alessandro Tavoni
  4. Democracy and social capital in Greece By Daskalopoulou, Irene
  5. The Development of Methodological Tools to Assess Public Confidence in the Civil Servants By Litvintseva, Elena Anan'evna; Karpichev, Viktor Sergeevich; Mamedov, Nizami; Afanasieva, N.V.; Rybakova, I.N.; Skipetrova, T.V.; Fateev, I.V.
  6. Designing Online Marketplaces: Trust and Reputation Mechanisms By Michael Luca
  7. Multilevel Transmission of Cultural Attitudes and Entrepreneurial Intention: Evidence from High-School Students By A. Tubadji; E. Santarelli; R. Patuelli

  1. By: Kerstin Schopohl
    Abstract: This paper studies the long-term impact of the Chinese Cultural Revolution on interpersonal trust, mental health and perceived equality. The Cultural Revolution was a social upheaval in China between 1966 and 1976 initiated by China’s leader Mao Zedong that resulted in a period of anarchy, violence and chaos as well as a large number of deaths, injuries and much persecution across China and was in particular targeted at intellectuals and the wealthy. The Cultural Revolution is likely to have had a long-lasting impact on social capital and preferences as well as on mental well-being. Using data from the Chinese General Social Survey as well as county level data on the number of abnormal deaths and victims of political persecution between 1966 and 1971 from Walder and Su (2003), I use a difference-in-difference strategy comparing individuals born before the Cultural Revolution with those born thereafter as well as across different counties to estimate the impact of Cultural Revolution intensity measured by victims and abnormal deaths on interpersonal trust, depression and perceived equality. To control for potential endogeneity due to unobservables as well as for measurement error, I instrument Cultural Revolution Intensity with the number of universities in a county at the time of the Cultural Revolution. I find that the Cultural Revolution is associated with lower levels of interpersonal trust, perceived equality and depression for more educated individuals born before the Cultural Revolution. These results are largely robust to a battery of tests. This shows that violence and conflict can have long-lasting effects on societies and that the consequences of the Cultural Revolution persist in China up to today.
    Keywords: Cultural Revolution; China; Trust; Mental Health; Persistence
    JEL: Z13 N45 N35 P26
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Vittorio Pelligra (University of Cagliari); Tommaso Reggiani (LUMSA University); Daniel John Zizzo (Newcastle University Business School)
    Abstract: We consider the notions of static and dynamic reasonableness of requests in a trust game experiment. We vary systematically the experimental norm of what is expected from trustees to return to trustors, both in terms of level of each request and in terms of sequence of the requests. Static reasonableness matters in a self-biased way, in the sense that low requests justify returning less but high requests tend to be ignored. Dynamic reasonableness also matters, in the sense that, if requests keep increasing, trustees return less than if requests of different size are presented in random or decreasing order. Requests never systematically increase trustworthiness, but may decrease it.
    Keywords: trust; trustworthiness; norms; reasonableness; moral wiggle room; moral licensing
    JEL: C91 D01 D03 D63
    Date: 2016–09
  3. By: Sergio Currarini; Carmen Marchiori; Alessandro Tavoni
    Abstract: Local interactions and network structures appear to be a prominent feature of many environmental problems. This paper discusses a wide range of issues and potential areas of application, including the role of relational networks in the pattern of adoption of green technologies, common pool resource problems characterized by a multiplicity of sources, the role of social networks in multi-level environmental governance, infrastructural networks in the access to and use of natural resources such as oil and natural gas, the use of networks to describe the internal structure of inter-country relations in international agreements, and the formation of bilateral “links” in the process of building up an environmental coalition. For each of these areas, we examine why and how network economics would be an effective conceptual and analytical tool, and discuss the main insights that we can foresee.
    Keywords: networks; environmental externalities; technological diffusion; gas pipelines; common-pool-resources; multi-level governance; coalitions
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2015–09
  4. By: Daskalopoulou, Irene
    Abstract: Democracy is the notion broadly used to denote a society’s commitment towards freedom and a better way of life. The minimum conditions that a country must adhere to in order to be acknowledged as democratic refer to arrangements between rulers and the ruled. In that sense, the key attributes of democracy are institutional guarantees referred to as either political rights and liberties or contestation for public office power and people’s participation. To the extent that these key attributes of democracy are shaped within a variety of different societal contexts, democracy is not a quality that either exists or not. Rather, different democracies exist depending largely on a wide set of societal characteristics. The research aim relates to the analysis of the relationship between democracy and social capital in Greece. In particular, we try to answer the question of whether we can speak of a “democracy – trust continuum” in Greece as suggested by the available literature, and if yes, where in this continuum could we possibly place Greece. An exploratory meta-analysis is used in order to sketch the country’s profile with respect to these phenomena and analyze the democracy – types of trust interrelationship as manifested in the case of Greece.
    Keywords: Democracy, social capital, social trust, Greece
    JEL: D71 D73 H3 O2
    Date: 2016–09–12
  5. By: Litvintseva, Elena Anan'evna (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Karpichev, Viktor Sergeevich (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Mamedov, Nizami (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Afanasieva, N.V. (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Rybakova, I.N. (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Skipetrova, T.V. (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Fateev, I.V. (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: The paper presents the results of a scientific analysis of trust as a special form of manifestation of social reality and human existence, certain areas of freedom, the result of co-existence of individuals and social groups. Public trust is a key characteristic of Russian society, which manifests itself as an interpersonal level and at the level of social, including the credibility of the public institutions and the state as a whole.Conceptual development of public trust as a social mechanism for the stabilization of society and the state allowed to consider the phenomenon of "confidence" to the citizens of the state civil servants in the logic of "power - control - citizens' trust - co-management (civic engagement)"
    Keywords: civil servants, public police, confidence
    Date: 2016–06–28
  6. By: Michael Luca
    Abstract: Online marketplaces have proliferated over the past decade, creating new markets where none existed. By reducing transaction costs, online marketplaces facilitate transactions that otherwise would not have occurred and enable easier entry of small sellers. One central challenge faced by designers of online marketplaces is how to build enough trust to facilitate transactions between strangers. This paper provides an economist’s toolkit for designing online marketplaces, focusing on trust and reputation mechanisms.
    JEL: D47 D8 J15
    Date: 2016–09
  7. By: A. Tubadji; E. Santarelli; R. Patuelli
    Abstract: Intention toward any occupational choice can be widely categorized as a rational choice process combined with a subjective attitude function. There is extensive literature dealing with the formation of intention toward entrepreneurship in adolescents, in particular as a result of either parental (vertical) transmission of social capital or network effects from peers or neighbours (the latter two being two different levels of horizontal transmission varying in proximity in terms of bonding and bridging). We contribute to this literature by considering the joint effect of all these three levels simultaneously, in order to avoid an underspecification of the model due to omission of important cultural factors. We hypothesize that such three levels identify a mechanism where the individual perception of their importance interacts with their objective characteristics. With data for second-year high-school students, and employing empirical triangulation through Logit and 3SLS methods, we find evidence for a strong parental effect and of secondary peer effects on student intention. We also detect clear endogenous effects from the neighbourhood and the overall cultural context. Moreover, entrepreneurship is confirmed to be perceived, even by students, as a buffer for unemployment and social mobility.
    JEL: R32 R38 Z10 J60
    Date: 2016–08

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