nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2016‒10‒09
four papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Disentangling Social Capital: Lab-in-the-Field Evidence on Coordination, Networks, and Cooperation By Sandra Polania-Reyes
  2. Do migrants think differently? Evidence from East European and post-Soviet states By Ruxanda Berlinschi; Ani Harutyunyan
  3. Targeted socialization and production By Albornoz, Facundo; Cabrales, Antonio; Hauk, Esther
  4. Immigrant Birthcountry Networks and Unemployment Duration: Evidence around the Great Recession By Mundra, Kusum; Rios-Avila, Fernando

  1. By: Sandra Polania-Reyes
    Abstract: Although social capital has been considered of the utmost importance for development it remains a complex and elusive concept. Different dimensions of social capital form part of the puzzle: cooperation is an individual other-regarding preference; social norms stem from beliefs about others' behavior; and the formation of such beliefs is mediated by attributes of the social network. To disentangle social capital we conduct an artefactual field experiment with 714 households at the inset of a Conditional Cash Transfer program in an urban context. To our knowledge this is the first paper that disentangles cooperation from coordination by conducting a minimum effort coordination game with Pareto ranked equilibria. Willingness to cooperate is teased out using a public goods game. By controlling for the density of network information we capture the role of connections, which is the third element of the mixture. We also look at the relation between our experimental data and traditional survey measures of social capital. Our identification strategy allows us to assess whether exposure to the program could be helping individuals overcome strategic uncertainty and select the most efficient equilibrium in the coordination game. The regressions suggest that the program helps overcome the coordination failure through different channels. In particular, the evidence suggests there is a spillover effect of the monetary incentive as it facilitates a social norm, which itself allows individuals to overcome the coordination failure. We rule out confounding factors such as individual socio-economic characteristics, social capital accumulation, willingness to cooperate and connectivity.
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Ruxanda Berlinschi; Ani Harutyunyan
    Abstract: This research analyzes differences in values and beliefs between individuals in European and post-Soviet states who intend to emigrate and those who do not. In particular, we investigate which political, economic and social values and beliefs are significant determinants of the intention to emigrate, after controlling for relevant socio-economic and demographic confounding factors. The results indicate that self-selection patterns exist in some dimensions, such as evaluation of home country governance and institutions, political participation and trust in other people, while they are absent in other dimensions, such as economic liberalism, views on democracy and free markets. Results also indicate that migrant self-selection patterns are heterogeneous across regions. This analysis aims to improve our understanding of the determinants of emigration, as well as of its possible consequences on the dynamics of governance and institutions.
    Keywords: Migration determinants, Culture, Transition economies
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Albornoz, Facundo; Cabrales, Antonio; Hauk, Esther
    Abstract: We study a model that integrates productive and socialization efforts with network choice and parental investments. We characterize the unique symmetric equilibrium of this game. Individuals underinvest in productive and social effort. However, solving only the investment problem can exacerbate the misallocations due to network choice, to the point that in the presence of congestion e ects the intervention may generate an even lower social welfare than no intervention at all. We also study the interaction of parental investment with network choice. In many scenarios, intergenerational transmission of abilities leads to a tendency towards to conformism, which aggravates potential problems of network overpopulation. We relate our equilibrium results with the existing evidence on parental occupational transmission.
    Keywords: peer effects ; network formation ; parental involvement ; intergenerational mobility ; cultural identity ; immigrant sorting. JEL classification numbers: D85 ; I20 ; I28 ; J15 ; J24 ; J61 ; J62
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Mundra, Kusum (Rutgers University); Rios-Avila, Fernando (Levy Economics Institute)
    Abstract: Using data from the CPS this paper examines the role of birth-country networks on immigrants' unemployment duration from 2001 to 2013. We find that networks significantly lower unemployment duration for all immigrants. Varying the effect of networks over duration categories we find that networks are more effective in lowering duration for immigrants unemployed for 1-2 months than immigrants who are unemployed for longer periods and this effect is further strengthened during the post recession period. This supports the Calvo-Armengol and Jackson hypothesis which posits that longer the agent is unemployed, less effective are her social networks in job search. Our findings are robust to different specifications.
    Keywords: social networks, immigrants, unemployment duration, Great Recession
    JEL: J61 J64 D10
    Date: 2016–09

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