nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2016‒10‒23
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. To trust or to bid: an empirical analysis of social relationships on a fish market By Sylvain Mignot; Stéphanie Saba; Annick Vignes
  2. Undoing Gender with Institutions. Lessons from the German Division and Reunification By Quentin Lippmann; Alexandre Georgieff; Claudia Senik
  3. Free-Riding and Knowledge Spillovers in Teams: The Role of Social Ties By De Paola, Maria; Gioia, Francesca; Scoppa, Vincenzo
  4. Social Network, Financial Market Participation and Asset Allocation: Evidence from China By Hu, Jinyan; Jiang, Mingming; Zhang, Bo
  5. Influencing Connected Legislators By Battaglini, Marco; Patacchini, Eleonora
  6. Who Runs? Honesty and Self-Selection into Politics By Fehrler, Sebastian; Fischbacher, Urs; Schneider, Maik T.
  7. The Impact of Terrorism on Expectations, Trust and Happiness: The Case of the November 13 Attacks in Paris, France By Tom Coupe
  8. Antisocial Attitudes, Gender and Moral Judgments: An Experimental Study By Juergen Bracht; Adam Zylbersztejn
  9. Miscommunication in an investment game with one-way messages By Di Bartolomeo Giovanni; Papa Stefano
  10. Measuring Women's Empowerment: lessons to better understand domestic violence By Diana Lopez-Avila
  11. What can we learn about the embeddedness of commercial relationships from the study of powers of attorney? By Fabien Eloire; Claire Lemercier; Veronica Aoki Santarosa
  12. Self-Control and Peer Groups: An Empirical Analysis By Battaglini, Marco; Díaz, Carlos; Patacchini, Eleonora
  13. On the Origins of Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Sibling Correlations By Lindquist, Matthew; Sol, Joeri; van Praag, Mirjam; Vladasel, Theodor

  1. By: Sylvain Mignot (LEM - Lille - Economie et Management - Université de Lille, Sciences et Technologies - Fédération Universitaire et Polytechnique de Lille - Université de Lille, Sciences Humaines et Sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Stéphanie Saba (CRED - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Droit - UP2 - Université Panthéon-Assas - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche); Annick Vignes (ENPC - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), CAMS - Centre d'analyse et de mathématique sociale - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)
    Abstract: This article analyses the influence of trust on the functioning of a fish market, where agents can choose between bidding or exchanging through bilateral transactions. Even if it is well accepted in economy that trust plays an important role in transactions, its definition and its measurement stay, as far as we know, very elusive. Starting from the empirical analysis of the Boulogne-sur-Mer fish market, a market where people have the choice between trading through auctions or bilateral exchanges, we show how the social networks structure differ between the auction market and the bilateral one . We then propose a measurement of trust, based on the dynamics of agents encounters. We bring into the light that, when the transaction links on the auction market reflects the economic constraints of the partners, the relationships on the bilateral market depend on something more. Clearly, the bilateral transactions result from economics and non economics determinants.
    Keywords: social networks ,trust,market design
    Date: 2016–04–16
  2. By: Quentin Lippmann (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Alexandre Georgieff (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics); Claudia Senik (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics, UP4 - Université Paris-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Social scientists have provided empirical evidence that "gender trumps money", in the sense that gender norms can be more powerful then economic rationality in shaping daily arrangements between spouses. In particular, it has been shown that when they deviate from the "male breadwinner" norm, women react by "doing gender", i.e. overplaying their feminine role by increasing the number of housework hours that they accomplish. It has also been shown that the risk of divorce increases when a woman earns more than her husband. This paper shows that, however powerful, these norms are cultural and can be trumped by institutions. We use the 41-year division of Germany as a natural experiment and look at differences between East and West Landers in terms of gender behavior after the German reunification. As most countries of the socialist bloc, the former GDR had designed institutions that were much more gender equalizing than their counterpart in the former FRG. We show that these institutions have created a culture that keeps influencing behavior up to the current period. In particular, East Germany differs from West Germany in the sense that a woman can earn more than her husband without "doing gender" and without putting her marriage at risk.
    Keywords: Gender norms,Culture,Institutions,German Division,Household economics
    Date: 2016–04
  3. By: De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria); Gioia, Francesca (University of Edinburgh); Scoppa, Vincenzo (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: We investigate whether and how social ties affect performance in teams by implementing a field experiment in which a sample of undergraduate students are randomly assigned to either teams composed by friends or teams composed by individuals not linked by friendship relationships. Students undertake an intermediate exam divided into two parts: one graded on the basis of individual performance and the other graded on the basis of the team performance. We find that students assigned to socially connected teams perform significantly better than control students in both the team part and the individual part of the exam, suggesting that social ties are relevant both for solving free-riding problems and for inducing knowledge spillovers among teammates. The positive effect of friendship persists over time: treated students obtain better grades also in a second individual test after the conclusion of the experiment.
    Keywords: team, free-riding, knowledge spillover, social ties, randomized field experiment
    JEL: J33 J24 D82 D86 L14 C93
    Date: 2016–10
  4. By: Hu, Jinyan (School of Economics, Shandong University); Jiang, Mingming (School of Economics, Shandong University); Zhang, Bo (School of Economics, Shandong University)
    Abstract: According to the 2011 Chinese Household Finance Survey, about 21.8% of Chinese households participate in the financial market; risky financial assets account for about 8% of total household financial assets. Limited participation and low risky asset holding appear as two features of Chinese household finance. This paper explores the effects of social network, as an important content of social capital, on household financial market participation and asset allocations in both the formal and informal financial markets. Our analysis shows that households with a broader social network admit a higher possibility of financial market participation and a higher fraction of risky asset holding. This finding is robust to various control variables and to the instrumental variable estimations. In addition, two working mechanisms are identi ed. On the one hand, social network directly helps households to obtain necessary information, reducing the required participation cost and raising the chance of financial market participation. On the other hand, social network functions as an informal institution that facilitates household risk-sharing and affects their risk attitude, hence indirectly changing household financial market decisions.
    Keywords: Social Network, Financial Market Participation, Asset Allocation
    JEL: D31 G11 Z13
    Date: 2015–05–08
  5. By: Battaglini, Marco; Patacchini, Eleonora
    Abstract: This paper studies how interest groups allocate campaign contributions when congressmen are connected by social ties. We establish conditions for the existence of a unique Nash equilibrium in pure strategies for the contribution game and characterize the associated allocation of the interest groups' moneys. While the allocations are generally complex functions of the environment (the voting function, the legislators' preferences and the social network topology), they are simple, monotonically increasing functions of the respective legislators' Bonacich centralities when the legislators are office motivated or the number of legislators is large. Using data on the 109th-113th Congresses and on congressmen's alumni connections, we estimate the model and find evidence supporting its predictions.
    Keywords: economics of networks; interest groups
    JEL: D72 D78
    Date: 2016–10
  6. By: Fehrler, Sebastian (University of Konstanz); Fischbacher, Urs (University of Konstanz); Schneider, Maik T. (University of Bath)
    Abstract: We examine the incentives to self-select into politics and how they depend on the transparency of the entry process. To this end, we set up a two-stage political competition model and test its key mechanisms in the lab. At the entry stage, potential candidates compete in a contest to become their party's nominee. At the election stage, the nominated candidates campaign by making non-binding promises to voters. Confirming the model's key predictions, we find in the experiment that dishonest people over-proportionally self-select into the political race; and that this adverse selection effect can be prevented if the entry stage is made transparent to voters.
    Keywords: candidates, elections, campaigns, primaries, contest, voting, political economy, experiment, lying aversion, self-selection, cheap talk
    JEL: C92 D71 D83
    Date: 2016–10
  7. By: Tom Coupe (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: I use quasi-experimental evidence to measure the impact of the November 13, 2015 attacks in Paris, France on various channels through which terrorism can affect the economy. The evidence suggest the attacks reduced optimism and increased trust in the national government but did not affect current life satisfaction nor political orientation.
    Keywords: Terrorism, Trust, Happiness, Expectations
    JEL: I31 F52 Z13
    Date: 2016–10–19
  8. By: Juergen Bracht (University of Aberdeen Business School, Department of Economics, Edward Wright Building, Dunbar Street, Aberdeen, AB24 3QY, Scotland); Adam Zylbersztejn (Univ Lyon, Université Lyon 2, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-69342 Lyon, France)
    Abstract: We study questionnaire responses to moral dilemmas hypothetical situations in which sacrificing one life may save many other lives. We demonstrate gender differences in moral judgments: male participants are more supportive of the sacrifice than female participants. We investigate the importance of the previously studied source of the endorsement of the sacrfice: antisocial attitudes. First, we elicit the individual proneness to spiteful behavior using an incentivized experimental game. We demonstrate that spitefulness can be sizable but it is not associated with gender. Second, we find that gender is associated with moral judgments even when we account for individual differences in antisocial attitudes. Our results suggest that the performance of many institutions (related to the distribution of wealth or punishment, for instance) may be affected by the gender of the decision-makers.
    Keywords: Gender, moral dilemmas, moral judgments, spite, antisocial attitudes, experiment
    JEL: C91 D03 D63
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Di Bartolomeo Giovanni; Papa Stefano
    Abstract: This paper aims to study the effects of free-form messages (cheap talk) in an investment game as Berg et al. (1995). We guess that messages matter, but they may not affect the outcomes on average because different outcomes of communication can be systematically misunderstood generating different effects that offset each other. Considering a non-binary choice game, where misunderstandings are more likely to be observed, we test our intuition in two steps. First, we classify messages by their contents and then we verify their impact on participants’ behavior accordingly to their kind.
    Keywords: Trust, reciprocity, promises, requests, empty talk
    JEL: D03 C91 D83
    Date: 2016–07
  10. By: Diana Lopez-Avila (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper aims at shedding light on the relationship between women's empowerment and domestic violence. For this, we explore different ways to measure women's empowerment and domestic violence, and analyze whether the relation depends on the definitions used. We take advantage of a rich data set collected in rural Colombia, including several measures of self-esteem, disagreement towards domestic violence, participation in household decisions and social capital; and analyze the relationship with both aggressive and controlling ways of domestic violence. The results indicate that the different measures of women's empowerment help explain much better the aggressive ways of domestic violence than the controlling ones. Our results show a positive correlation between women's empowerment and domestic violence. This goes in line with the theories that argue that men use violence as a way to leverage their power within the household. Among the different latent measures of women's empowerment we used, we found that social capital and self-esteem are significantly correlated with aggressive domestic violence. We do not find that more common proxies, such as women's participation in household decisions, are significantly correlated to domestic violence.
    Keywords: Gender,Domestic Violence,Household bargaining models,Social Capital,D13, I15, J12, J16, O12
    Date: 2016–03
  11. By: Fabien Eloire (CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université de Lille, Sciences et Technologies); Claire Lemercier (CSO - Centre de sociologie des organisations - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Veronica Aoki Santarosa (University of Michigan [Ann Arbor])
    Abstract: This working paper gives the preliminary results of a research project on the uses of notarized powers of attorney in four large French commercial cities in the 18th and 19th centuries. Powers of attorney are often considered as symptoms of trust. We use them to test hypotheses on the embeddedness of commercial relationships. We find little support for the idea of an evolution from embedded to anonymous relationships. We therefore explore alternative hypotheses centered on the complementarity between embeddedness and formality; the importance of repeated interactions; and a broad homophily driving merchants to choose fellow merchants as proxies.
    Keywords: power of attorney,form of proxy,merchants,procuration,mandat,notaires
    Date: 2016–03–01
  12. By: Battaglini, Marco; Díaz, Carlos; Patacchini, Eleonora
    Abstract: We exploit the exogenous variation in peer groups generated by high school to college transitions to study the theoretical predictions of Battaglini, Benabou and Tirole's (2005) model of self-control in peer groups. We find evidence consistent with the two key predictions of this theory regarding the relationship between an agent's expected self-control problems and the size and composition of his or her social circles: (i) students embedded in social circles have more self-control than those who are alone and their self-control is increasing in the size of their social group; (ii) students' self-control is, however, a non-monotonic hump-shaped function of the average self-control of their friends.
    Keywords: peer effects; Self-Control
    JEL: C31 D71 D85 I21 Z13
    Date: 2016–10
  13. By: Lindquist, Matthew; Sol, Joeri; van Praag, Mirjam; Vladasel, Theodor
    Abstract: Promoting entrepreneurship has become an increasingly important part of the policy agenda in many countries. The success of such policies, however, rests in part on the assumption that entrepreneurship outcomes are not fully determined at a young age by factors that are unrelated to current policy. We test this assumption and assess the importance of family background and neighborhood effects as determinants of entrepreneurship, by estimating sibling correlations in entrepreneurship. We find that between 20 and 50 percent of the variance in different entrepreneurial outcomes is explained by factors that siblings share (i.e., family background and neighborhood effects). The average is 28 percent. Hence, entrepreneurship is far less than fully determined at a young age. Our estimates increase only a little when allowing for differential treatment within families by gender and birth order. We then investigate a comprehensive set of mechanisms that explain sibling similarities. Parental entrepreneurship plays a large role in explaining sibling similarities, as do shared genes. We show that neighborhood effects matter, but are rather small, particularly when compared with the overall importance of family factors. Sibling peer effects, and parental income and education matter even less.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Family Background; Intergenerational Persistence; Neighborhood Effects; Occupational Choice; Sibling Correlations.
    JEL: D13 J62 L26
    Date: 2016–10

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