nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2016‒11‒20
nineteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Social capital and large-scale agricultural investments: An experimental investigation in Zambia By Khadjavi, Menusch; Sipangule, Kacana; Thiele, Rainer
  2. Bridging or Bonding? Preferences for Redistribution and Social Capital in Russia By Ekaterina Borisova; Andrei Govorun; Denis Ivanov
  3. Information Disclosure and Cooperation in a Finitely-repeated Dilemma: Experimental Evidence By Kamei, Kenju
  4. Social comparison nudges: Guessing the norm increases charitable giving By Bartke, Simon; Friedl, Andreas; Gelhaar, Felix; Reh, Laura
  5. Delegation to workers across countries and industries : social capital and coordination needs matter By Asuyama, Yoko
  6. 'Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.' A BHPS study of the interaction between giving and welfare By Lorna Zischka; Mark Casson; Marina Della Giusta
  7. Gender and cooperative preferences on five continents By Furtner, Nadja C.; Kocher, Martin G.; Martinsson, Peter; Matzat, Dominik; Wollbrant, Conny
  8. Co-financing agreements and reciprocity: When 'no deal' is a good deal By Dooseok Jang; Amrish Patel; Martin Dufwenberg
  9. The invisible hand of informal (educational) communication!?: Social capital considerations on Twitter conversations among teachers By Rehm, Martin; Notten, Ad
  10. Wage Determination in Social Occupations: The Role of Individual Social Capital By Hotchkiss, Julie L.; Rupasingha, Anil
  11. In-group and Out-group Biases in the Marketplace: A Field Experiment during the World Cup By Sang-Hyun Kim; Fernanda L. Lopez de Leon
  12. Cultural Determinants of Gender Roles: Pragmatism Is an Important Factor behind Gender Equality Attitudes among Children of Immigrants By Ljunge, Martin
  13. Origins and implications of family structure across Italian provinces in historical perspective By Pierluigi Conzo; Arnstein Aassve; Giulia Fuochi; Letizia Mencarini
  14. The Interaction between Prosocial (Giving) Behaviours and Social Cohesion By Lorna Zischka
  15. Helping without Trusting: Disentangling Prosocial Behaviours By Lorna Zischka; Marina Della Giusta
  16. Does social interaction make bad policies even worse? Evidence from renewable energy subsidies By Inhoffen, Justus; Siemroth, Christoph; Zahn, Philipp
  17. Grading On A Curve: When Having Good Peers Is Not Good By Caterina Calsamiglia; Annalisa Loviglio
  18. More than Just Friends? School Peers and Adult Interracial Relationships By Merlino, Luca Paolo; Steinhardt, Max F.; Wren-Lewis, Liam
  19. Speaking to the people? Money, trust, and central bank legitimacy in the age of quantitative easing By Braun, Benjamin

  1. By: Khadjavi, Menusch; Sipangule, Kacana; Thiele, Rainer
    Abstract: Large-scale agricultural investments (LSAIs) typically depend on strong formal institutions and market-oriented intensive farming, whereas informal institutions tend to characterize the traditional villages located around them. We investigate changes to social capital in such villages when LSAIs materialize in their vicinity. Specifically, we employ a lab-in-the-field and a natural field experiment to elicit cooperation levels in villages that lie in the direct proximity of two LSAIs and compare them to villages further away. Our results reveal more cooperative outcomes for villages around the LSAIs. Smallholders who have worked on large-scale farms also show greater levels of cooperation than those who have no such work experience. Moreover, villages closer to the LSAIs demonstrate a higher propensity to share the public good provided in the natural field experiment. Taken together, these results suggest that beyond direct effects on employment, LSAIs yield positive externalities on cooperation, which are likely to be driven by increased exposure to more market-oriented forms of agriculture.
    Keywords: social capital,market exposure,cooperation,large-scale agricultural investments,field experiment,smallholders,Zambia
    JEL: C93 O10 O13 P14 Q12 Q15
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Ekaterina Borisova (International center for the study of institutions and development, National research university higher school of economics (Moscow)); Andrei Govorun (International center for the study of institutions and development, National research university higher school of economics (Moscow)); Denis Ivanov (International center for the study of institutions and development, National research university higher school of economics (Moscow))
    Abstract: Does bridging or bonding social capital matter for redistribution preferences? Existing literature demonstrates causal link between measures of social capital and such preferences but does it mostly for developed countries with good enforcement of formal rules and without a distinction between two completely different types of social capital. We argue that welfare state relies on contributions from an immense number of anonymous citizens, thus attitudes towards strangers, i.e. generalized trust and solidarity should be salient. Using two surveys of about 34,000 and 37,000 Russians we prove this proposition showing the importance of the bridging type but not the bonding one. Instrumenting social capital with education, climate and distance from Moscow we deal with endogeneity concerns. Additionally we claim that connection between social capital and redistribution preferences for less developed countries such as Russia could be similar to developed countries
    Keywords: preferences for redistribution; inequality; social capital; trust; corruption; Russia
    JEL: Z13 H10
    Date: 2016–11
  3. By: Kamei, Kenju
    Abstract: A large volume of theoretical and experimental studies have suggested that making information on people’s past behaviors visible to others may lead to the evolution of cooperation in finitely-repeated environments. But, do people endogenously cooperate with randomly-matched peers by revealing their past when they have an option to hide it? This paper experimentally shows that cooperation does not evolve in a random-matching environment because a large fraction of people do not choose to reveal their past behavior. However, when a costly sorting mechanism (where disclosers are matched with other disclosers; and likewise non-disclosers with other non-disclosers) is present, a stable number of subjects decide to costly disclose their past to join the reputation community and cooperate with other disclosers. Our study at the same time shows that when the sorting process is free, the high efficiency in the reputation community decreases as strategic subjects tend to join the reputation community and attempt to exploit cooperators. These findings suggest an important role of costly sorting mechanisms in the formation of communities (including online platforms) in order for people to sustain a high level of cooperation norms.
    Keywords: experiment, cooperation, finitely-repeated dilemma, repeated games, reputation
    JEL: C73 C9 D0 H41
    Date: 2016–09–25
  4. By: Bartke, Simon; Friedl, Andreas; Gelhaar, Felix; Reh, Laura
    Abstract: Social comparison nudges that employ descriptive norms were found to increase charitable giving. This paper finds that individuals who receive a descriptive norm donate significantly more when they have to guess the descriptive norm beforehand. We argue that guessing draws attention to the norm and therefore increases its effectiveness. Our results suggest that the effectiveness of nudges that use descriptive norms depends on how the a priori beliefs about the descriptive norm are updated.
    Keywords: social comparison nudge,attention,field experiment,charitable giving,social norms
    JEL: C93 D03 D64 H4
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Asuyama, Yoko
    Abstract: The degree of delegating authority to non-managerial and non-supervisory workers substantially varies across countries and industries. By examining worker-level data from 14 countries, I empirically explain this variation by region-specific social capital that proxies workers' degree of self-centeredness and the industry-specific need for coordination. The empirical results of this study confirm the theoretical predictions by Alonso et al. (2008) for the first time: the negative association between coordination needs and decentralization is mitigated in regions with lower self-centeredness of workers. In particular, when self-centeredness of workers (respectively, need for coordination) is very low, the degree of delegation is always high regardless of the level of the need for coordination (self-centeredness of workers). Positive associations between delegation and its benefits, including job satisfaction, wages (proxy for higher productivity), and skill upgrading of workers, are also found. These results imply that people's degree of self-centeredness affects a country's economic development patterns by changing the degree of decentralization and its benefits.
    Keywords: Industrial management, Human resources, Coordination, Decentralization, Delegation, PIAAC, Social Capital, Trust
    JEL: L22 L23 Z13
    Date: 2016–10
  6. By: Lorna Zischka (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Mark Casson (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Marina Della Giusta (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the interaction between individual giving and individual welfare. ‘Giving’ includes volunteering, engagement in community groups and hospitality. ‘Welfare’ includes life-satisfaction, trust, liking for one’s neighbourhood and crime fears. From British longitudinal data, time lags were used to establish the direction of causality. A two-way process was identified: people who were part of giving networks in the first 5 years of the study became better off by the end of 10 years, but also being better off made it more likely that people increased their giving over time. The existence of lags in both equations makes the system dynamic, suggesting that a favourable social environment cues prosocial behaviours, and these prosocial behaviours then go on to maintain and improve the social environment. The existence of giving behaviours indicates the prosocial nature of civic sector interactions, and these contribute to welfare through the cycle of response and counter-response.
    Date: 2016–11–05
  7. By: Furtner, Nadja C. (University of Munich, Munich, Germany); Kocher, Martin G. (University of Munich, Munich, Germany); Martinsson, Peter (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Matzat, Dominik (University of Munich, Munich, Germany); Wollbrant, Conny (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Evidence of gender differences in cooperation in social dilemmas is inconclusive. This paper experimentally elicits unconditional contributions, a contribution vector (cooperative preferences), and beliefs about the level of others’ contributions in variants of the public goods game. We show that existing inconclusive results can be understood and completely explained when controlling for beliefs and underlying cooperative preferences. Robustness checks based on data from around 450 additional independent observations around the world confirm our main empirical results: Women are significantly more often classified as conditionally cooperative than men, while men are more likely to be free riders. Beliefs play an important role in shaping unconditional contributions, and they seem to be more malleable or sensitive to subtle cues for women than for men.
    Keywords: Public goods; conditional cooperation; gender; experiment
    JEL: C91 D64 H41
    Date: 2016–11
  8. By: Dooseok Jang (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology); Amrish Patel (University of East Anglia); Martin Dufwenberg (University of Arizona)
    Abstract: Institutions for co-financing agreements often exist to encourage public good investment. Can such frameworks deliver maximal investment when agents are motivated by reciprocity? We demonstrate that indeed they can, but not in the way one might expect. If maximal investment is impossible in the absence of the institution and public good returns are high, then an agreement signed by all parties cannot lead to full investment. However, if all parties reject the co-financing agreement, then an informal deal to invest can lead to full investment. Agreement institutions may thus do more than just facilitate the signing of formal agreements; they may play a critical role in igniting informal cooperation underpinned by reciprocity.
    Keywords: co-financing agreements, informal agreements, public goods, reciprocity
    JEL: C72 D03 F53 H41
    Date: 2016–11–09
  9. By: Rehm, Martin (UNU-MERIT, and University Duisburg–Essen); Notten, Ad (UNU-MERIT, and Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Twitter can contribute to the continuous professional development of teachers by initiating and fostering informal learning. Social capital theory can aid to analyse the underlying communication processes and outcomes. Yet, previous research has largely neglected teachers and the role of social capital on Twitter. The present study addresses this shortcoming by analysing a hashtag conversation among German speaking teachers. Using social network analysis, we are able to show the relevance of the structural dimension of social capital in Twitter conversations among teachers.
    Keywords: informal learning, teacher professional development, social capital, social network analysis, social media
    JEL: I21 I28 D83 D85 O33 O35
    Date: 2016–09–14
  10. By: Hotchkiss, Julie L. (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta); Rupasingha, Anil (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
    Abstract: We make use of predicted social and civic activities (social capital) to account for selection into "social" occupations. Individual selection accounts for more than the total difference in wages observed between social and nonsocial occupations. The role that individual social capital plays in selecting into these occupations and the importance of selection in explaining wage differences across occupations is similar for both men and women. We make use of restricted data from the 2000 decennial census and the 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey. Individual social capital is instrumented by distance-weighted surrounding census tract characteristics.
    Keywords: social capital; wage differentials; occupational choice; switching regression; nonpublic data; factor analysis
    JEL: C34 J24 J31
    Date: 2016–11–01
  11. By: Sang-Hyun Kim (University of East Anglia); Fernanda L. Lopez de Leon (University of Kent)
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of group identity on discrimination by conducting an audit study in electronics markets in Sao Paulo, Brazil during the 2014 Brazil World Cup (WC). To manipulate the visibility of buyers? group membership we made them wear shirts of national football teams, and exploit the outcomes of the WC matches, which arguably affected the salience of sellers?group identity. Although we ?nd that foreigners are overcharged, we do not detect discrimination against buyers wearing a rival team shirt. In contrast, we do detect in-group market favouritism (i.e., lower prices) towards buyers wearing the Brazil shirt when Brazil had won a match in the very recent past. Our analysis rejects the explanation that sellers?behaviour were always motivated by economic pro?ts. Instead, the results indicate taste-based discrimination (Becker, 1957) and shed light on the ways in which in-group and out-group biases occur in market outcomes.
    Keywords: in-group and out-group discrimination, bargaining in the marketplace
    JEL: C93 D71 J15
    Date: 2016–11
  12. By: Ljunge, Martin (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence of how attitudes toward gender roles in the home and market are shaped by Hofstede’s six cultural dimensions. Children of immigrants in a broad set of European countries with ancestry from across the world are studied. Individuals are examined within country of residence using variation in cultural dimensions across countries of ancestry. The approach focuses attention on how gender roles are shaped across generations within families. Both influences on the father’s and mother’s side are studied. Ancestry from more masculine cultures shape more traditional gender roles on both parents’ sides. On the father side more pragmatic cultures foster gender equality on the mother’s side power distance promote equality attitudes, although this influence differs markedly between daughters and sons. Pragmatism is in several circumstances the strongest influence on gender norms.
    Keywords: Gender roles; intergenerational transmission; Hofstede cultural dimensions; Gender
    JEL: D13 D83 J16 Z13
    Date: 2016–11–02
  13. By: Pierluigi Conzo; Arnstein Aassve; Giulia Fuochi; Letizia Mencarini
    Abstract: The paper provides a framework of how culture affects citizens' subjective well-being. According to self-determination theory, well-being is driven by the satisfaction of three basic psychological needs: autonomy, relatedness and competence. We assess if and to what extent generalized trust and the values of obedience and respect influence the EuropeansÕ satisfaction of these needs, controlling for income and education. We find positive impact of generalized morality (i.e. high trust and respect, low obedience). Results are robust to different checks for endogeneity, including instrumental variable regressions at country, regional and individual level as well as to panel-data estimations.
    Keywords: self-determination, culture, trust, subjective well-being, happiness, life satisfaction
    Date: 2016–11
  14. By: Lorna Zischka (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: A controlled experiment establishes that differences in relational proximity can evoke or suppress a willingness to give to an unrelated cause. Four treatment groups underwent the same set of exercises but two in a closer relational environment and two in a more distant relational environment. Half of the subjects in each relational environment further received an unannounced doubling of pay. On exit, all participants had the option to give to charity. The experiment showed that the charitable giving was driven by relational factors, not by pay. We can learn that pro-social (pro-giving) inclinations interact with the wider social environment, and that these complex relational parameters may be evaluated by easy-to-measure giving patterns.
    Keywords: giving, experiment, pro-social, charity, endowment, social capital
    Date: 2016–07–03
  15. By: Lorna Zischka (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Marina Della Giusta (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: na
    Keywords: giving, prosocial attitudes, social cohesion, trust
    Date: 2016–10
  16. By: Inhoffen, Justus; Siemroth, Christoph; Zahn, Philipp
    Abstract: Minimum prices above the market level can lead to ineffcient production and oversupply. We investigate whether this effect is even more pronounced when decision makers are influenced by their social environment. Using data of minimum prices for renewable energy production in Germany, we analyze if individual decisions to install solar panels are affected by the investment decisions of others. We implement a propensity score matching routine on municipality level and estimate that existing panels in the municipality increase the probability and number of further installations considerably, even in areas with minimal solar potential. This social effect is stronger in areas with more solar potential and less unemployment. A higher number of existing panels and more concentrated installations increase the social effect further. We discuss policy implications of these social effects.
    Keywords: EEG , Minimum Prices , Peer Effects , Public Policy , Renewable Energy , Social Interaction , Social Effect , Social Multiplier , Solar Power , Solar Panels , Subsidy
    JEL: H23 L14 Q42 Q48 Q58
    Date: 2016
  17. By: Caterina Calsamiglia (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Annalisa Loviglio (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and Barcelona GSE)
    Abstract: Student access to education levels, tracks or bachelor specialties is usually determined by their previous performance, measured either by internal exams, designed and graded by teachers in school, or external exams, designed and graded by central authorities. We say teachers in school grade on a curve whenever having better performing peers harms the grade obtained and hence the evaluation of a given student. We use rich administrative records from public schools in Catalonia to provide evidence that teachers indeed grade on a curve, leading to negative peer effects. We find suggestive evidence that these negative effects impact school choice only the year when internal grades have an impact on future prospects.
    Keywords: peer effects, grades, School Choice
    JEL: I21 I28 H75
    Date: 2016–11
  18. By: Merlino, Luca Paolo (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne); Steinhardt, Max F. (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg); Wren-Lewis, Liam (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of individuals' school peers on their adult romantic relationships. In particular, we consider the effect of quasi-random variation in the share of black students within an individual's cohort on the percentage of adults' cohabiting partners that are black. We find that more black peers leads to more relationships with blacks later in life. The results are similar whether relationships begun near or far from school, suggesting that the racial mix of schools has an important and persistent impact on racial attitudes.
    Keywords: assortative matching, romantic relationships, race
    JEL: J12 J15 J16
    Date: 2016–10
  19. By: Braun, Benjamin
    Abstract: Financial upheaval and unconventional monetary policies have made money a salient political issue. This provides a rare opportunity to study the under-appreciated role of monetary trust in the politics of central bank legitimacy which, for the first time in decades, appears fragile. While research on central bank communication with "the markets" abounds, little is known about if and how central bankers speak to "the people." A closer look at the issue immediately reveals a paradox: while a central bank's legitimacy hinges on it being perceived as acting in line with the dominant folk theory of money, this theory accords poorly with how money actually works. How central banks cope with this ambiguity depends on the monetary situation. Using the Bundesbank and the European Central Bank as examples, this paper shows that under inflationary macro-economic conditions, central bankers willingly nourished the folk-theoretical notion of money as a quantity under the direct control of the central bank. By contrast, the Bank of England's recent refutation of the folk theory of money suggests that deflationary pressures and rapid monetary expansion have fundamentally altered the politics of monetary trust and central bank legitimacy.
    Abstract: Die durch die Finanzkrise und die unkonventionellen Maßnahmen der Zentralbanken bewirkte Politisierung des Geldes erlaubt einen seltenen Einblick in den Zusammenhang zwischen Geldvertrauen und Zentralbanklegitimität. Die Kommunikation von Zentralbanken mit der breiten Öffentlichkeit - im Gegensatz zur gut erforschten Kommunikation mit Finanzmärkten bisher weitgehend vernachlässigt - sieht sich mit einem Dilemma konfrontiert. Einerseits hängt die Legitimität der Zentralbank davon ab, ob ihr Handeln den Maximen entspricht, die sich aus der in der Öffentlichkeit vorherrschenden Theorie des Geldes ableiten. Andererseits weicht diese Theorie in wichtigen Punkten von der tatsächlichen Funktionsweise des Geldsystems ab. Wie Zentralbanken mit diesem Dilemma umgehen, hängt von der allgemeinen geldpolitischen Situation ab. Anhand der Beispiele der Deutschen Bundesbank und der Europäischen Zentralbank wird argumentiert, dass Zentralbanker unter inflationären Bedingungen die Öffentlichkeit gerne in dem Glauben lassen, die Geldmenge sei vollständig von der Zentralbank kontrolliert. Die außergewöhnliche Initiative der Bank of England, die Öffentlichkeit von der Irrtümlichkeit dieser Vorstellung zu überzeugen, zeigt hingegen, dass deflationärer Druck und rapide geldpolitische Expansion das diskursive Verhältnis zwischen Geldvertrauen und Zentralbanklegitimität grundlegend verändert haben.
    Date: 2016

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