nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2017‒01‒08
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Gender, Social Networks and Peformance By Ilse Lindenlaub; Anja Prummer
  2. The formation of partnerships in social networks By Bloch, Francis; Dutta, Bhaskar; Robin, Stéphane; Zhu, Min
  3. Does Information Change Attitudes Towards Immigrants? Representative Evidence from Survey Experiments By Grigorieff, Alexis; Roth, Christopher; Ubfal, Diego
  4. Pro-social behavior after a disaster: parochial or universal? Evidence from a natural experiment in Belgium By Pierre-Guillaume Méon; Philip Verwimp
  5. Connecting Alone: Smartphone Use, Quality of Social Interactions and Well-being By Valentina, Rotondi; Luca, Stanca; Miriam, Tomasuolo;
  6. Trust the Police? Self-Selection of Motivated Agents into the German Police Force By Friebel, Guido; Kosfeld, Michael; Thielmann, Gerd
  7. Business networks, social capital and the productivity of creative industries in Indonesia By Fikri Zul Fahmi
  8. Is There a Preferential Treatment for Locals in the Labor Market? Evidence from Takeovers By Colussi, Tommaso; Romano, Livio
  9. Do Social Networks Encourage Risk-Taking? Evidence from Bank CEOs By Yiwei Fang; Iftekhar Hasan; LiuLing Liu; Haizhi Wang
  10. Community Leaders and the Preservation of Cultural Traits By Anja Prummer; Jan-Peter Siedlarek
  11. Social Media Use and Children's Wellbeing By McDool, Emily; Powell, Philip; Roberts, Jennifer; Taylor, Karl
  12. Reciprocity under moral wiggle room: is it a preference or a constraint? By Tobias Regner
  13. Career Choice and the Strength of Weak Ties By Tumen, Semih

  1. By: Ilse Lindenlaub (Yale University); Anja Prummer (Queen Mary University of London)
    Abstract: This paper documents gender differences in social ties and develops a theory that links them to disparities in men's and women's labor market performance. Men's networks lead to better access to information, women's to higher peer pressure. Both affect effort in a model of teams, each beneficial in different environments. We find that information is particularly valuable under high uncertainty, whereas peer pressure is more valuable in the opposite case. We therefore expect men to outperform women in jobs that are characterized by high earnings uncertainty, such as the financial sector or film industry - in line with the evidence.
    Keywords: Networks, Peer pressure, Gender, Labor market outcomes
    JEL: J15 Z10 D02
    Date: 2016–12
  2. By: Bloch, Francis (Université Paris 1 and Paris School of Economics); Dutta, Bhaskar (University of Warwick and Ashoka University); Robin, Stéphane (Université de Lyon); Zhu, Min (Beijing Normal University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the formation of partnerships in social networks. Agents randomly request favors and turn to their neighbors to form a partnership. If favors are costly, agents have an incentive to delay the formation of the partnership. In that case, for any initial social network, the unique Markov Perfect equilibrium results in the formation of the maximum number of partnerships when players become infinitely patient. If favors provide benefits, agents rush to form partnerships at the cost of disconnecting other agents and the only perfect initial networks for which the maximum number of partnerships are formed are the complete and complete bipartite networks. The theoretical model is tested in the lab. Subjects generally play according to their equilibrium strategy and the efficient outcome is obtained over 78% of the times. Decisions are affected by the complexity of the network. Two behavioral rules are observed during the experiment: subjects accept the formation of the partnership too often and reject partnership offers when one of their neighbors is only connected to them.
    Keywords: social networks ; partnerships ; matchings in networks ; non-stationary networks ; laboratory experiments JEL classification numbers: D85 ; C78 ; C91
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Grigorieff, Alexis (University of Oxford); Roth, Christopher (University of Oxford); Ubfal, Diego (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: We study whether providing information about immigrants affects people's attitude towards them. First, we use a large representative cross-country experiment to show that, when people are told the share of immigrants in their country, they become less likely to state that there are too many of them. Then, we conduct two online experiments in the U.S., where we provide half of the participants with five statistics about immigration, before evaluating their attitude towards immigrants with self-reported and behavioral measures. This more comprehensive intervention improves people's attitude towards existing immigrants, although it does not change people's policy preferences regarding immigration. Republicans become more willing to increase legal immigration after receiving the information treatment. Finally, we also measure the same self-reported policy preferences, attitudes, and beliefs in a four-week follow-up, and we show that the treatment effects persist.
    Keywords: attitudes towards immigrants, biased beliefs, survey experiment, immigration, policy preferences, persistence
    JEL: C9 J15 Z1 Z13
    Date: 2016–12
  4. By: Pierre-Guillaume Méon; Philip Verwimp
    Abstract: In the midst of an ongoing nationwide campaign to collect funds for famine relief in Africa, a storm struck a locally famous outdoor music festival in Belgium. Five participants died, and several hundreds were wounded. We use this event to determine whether pro-social behavior, measured by donations to the campaign, can be affected by a local disaster. Applying a differences-in-differences identification strategy to campaign contributions at the municipality-day level, we show that, after the event, the municipalities affected by the disaster gave more money to the famine relief in Africa campaign than non-affected municipalities. We interpret this finding as evidence that donations to a faraway cause can be positively affected by a local disaster.
    Keywords: Altruism; Charity; NGO; Giving; Disaster
    JEL: D10 D64 L31
    Date: 2016–12–31
  5. By: Valentina, Rotondi; Luca, Stanca; Miriam, Tomasuolo;
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role played by the smartphone for the quality of social interactions and subjective well-being. We argue that the intrusiveness of the smartphone reduces the quality of face-to-face interactions and their positive impact on well-being. We test this hypothesis in a large and representative sample of Italian individuals. We find that time spent with friends is worth less, in terms of subjective well-being, for individuals who use the smartphone. This finding is robust to the use of alternative empirical specifications or instrumental variables to deal with possible endogeneity. In addition, consistent with the hypothesis that the smartphone undermines the quality of face-to-face interactions, the positive association between time spent with friends and satisfaction with friends is less strong for individuals who use the smartphone.
    Keywords: Smartphone, Social interactions, Subjective well-being
    JEL: A12 I31 O33
    Date: 2016–12–31
  6. By: Friebel, Guido (Goethe University Frankfurt); Kosfeld, Michael (Goethe University Frankfurt); Thielmann, Gerd (Deutsche Hochschule der Polizei)
    Abstract: We conduct experimental games with police applicants in Germany to investigate whether intrinsically motivated agents self-select into public service. Our focus is on trustworthiness and the willingness to enforce norms as key dimensions of intrinsic motivation in the police context. We find that police applicants are more trustworthy than non-applicants, i.e., they return higher shares as second-movers in a trust game. Furthermore, they invest more in rewards and punishment when they can enforce cooperation as a third party. Our results provide clear evidence for advantageous self-selection into the German police force, documenting an important mechanism by which the match between jobs and agents in public service can be improved.
    Keywords: self-selection, intrinsic motivation, public service, trustworthiness, norm enforcement
    JEL: C9 D64 D73 J45
    Date: 2016–12
  7. By: Fikri Zul Fahmi
    Abstract: This study examines the role of social and professional networks in the productivity of creative firms in Indonesia. In so doing, mixed methods are employed, including multilevel modelling as well as qualitative analysis, which is also performed to elaborate further on the process in which networking affects productivity. The Indonesian government promotes traditional businesses as creative industries, but they actually have different characteristics and networks. Therefore, in this paper creative and traditional cultural industries are differentiated. The results of multilevel analysis show that social capital is associated differently with the productivity of both types of industries. Creative industries appear to benefit from friendship, which facilitates their networking and creative processes. Meanwhile, friendship is negatively associated with the productivity of traditional cultural industries. This conclusion is affirmed by the qualitative analysis, which demonstrates that the relationship between friendship and productivity is rather complex. On the one hand, friendship helps firms find and develop their networked consumers. On the other hand, such strong ties between firm owners often lead to social events and gathering and thus, eliminate competition. Further to this, enhancing the productivity of these industries is better done not by forming associations which may only strengthen their bonding ties. Rather, providing common spaces that can facilitate cross-fertilization of ideas in a serendipitous and inclusive climate would be more effective.
    Keywords: creative industries; business networks; social capital; Indonesia
    JEL: D22 R11 L25 L26
    Date: 2016–12
  8. By: Colussi, Tommaso (IZA); Romano, Livio (Confindustria)
    Abstract: This work analyzes the extent to which local social networks affect workers' labor market outcomes and firms' economic performance. By exploiting variations in firms' ownership generated by takeovers, we find that belonging to the same community of origin as the new employer significantly increases an employee's job retention probability. Finally, we show that the share of local employees retained after the takeover is negatively associated with the probability of closure of the acquiring firm.
    Keywords: takeovers, local social networks, social capital, firm behavior
    JEL: D22 J24 J63 J7
    Date: 2016–12
  9. By: Yiwei Fang; Iftekhar Hasan; LiuLing Liu; Haizhi Wang
    Abstract: This paper studies how CEO social networks affect bank risk-taking. Using a sample of 481 publicly traded U.S. banks, we find that bank risk increases with CEOs’ social networks. Our results are robust with a bank fixed-effects model and a difference-in-difference approach, as well as with various alternative bank risk measures. Alternative explanations such as corporate governance, managerial ownership, compensation, or CEO ability do not drive the findings. We evaluate potential channels through which social networks affect bank risk and find that CEO social networks increase bank risk more when banks face opaque information environments, when CEO job market conditions worsen, and when there are higher odds of group-think mentality in the networks. We further find that social networks present banks with an inefficient trade-off between risk and return, showing a “dark side” of social networks.
    Keywords: Risk-taking, social networks, bank CEOs
    JEL: L14 G21 G31
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Anja Prummer (Queen Mary University of London); Jan-Peter Siedlarek (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)
    Abstract: We explain persistent differences in cultural traits of immigrant groups with the presence of community leaders. Leaders influence the cultural traits of their community, which have an impact on the group's earnings. They determine whether a community will be more assimilated and wealthier or less assimilated and poorer. With a leader cultural integration remains incomplete. The leader chooses more distinctive cultural traits in high productivity environments and if the community is more connected. Lump sum transfers to immigrants can hinder cultural integration. These findings are in line with integration patterns of various ethnic and religious groups.
    Keywords: Cultural transmission, Leadership, Immigrants, Labor market outcomes, Social influence, Networks
    JEL: J15 Z10 D02
    Date: 2016–12
  11. By: McDool, Emily (University of Sheffield); Powell, Philip (University of Sheffield); Roberts, Jennifer (University of Sheffield); Taylor, Karl (University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: Childhood circumstances and behaviours have been shown to have important persistent effects in later life. One aspect of childhood that has changed dramatically in the past decade, and is causing concern among policy makers and other bodies responsible for safeguarding children, is the advent of social media, or online social networking. This research explores the effect of children's digital social networking on their subjective wellbeing. We use a large representative sample of 10-15 year olds over the period 2010 to 2014 from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, and estimate the effect of time spent chatting on social websites on a number of outcomes which reflect how these children feel about different aspects of their life, specifically: school work; appearance; family; friends; school attended; and life as a whole. We deal with the potential endogeneity of social networking via an instrumental variables approach using information on broadband speeds and mobile phone signal strength published by Ofcom. Our results suggest that spending more time on social networks reduces the satisfaction that children feel with all aspects of their lives, except for their friendships; and that girls suffer more adverse effects than boys. As well as addressing policy makers' concerns about the effects of digital technology on children, this work also contributes to wider debates about the socioeconomic consequences of the internet and digital technologies more generally, a debate which to date has largely been based on evidence from outside of the UK.
    Keywords: digital society, social media, wellbeing, children
    JEL: D60 I31 J13
    Date: 2016–12
  12. By: Tobias Regner (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)
    Abstract: We analyze reciprocal behavior when moral wiggle room exists. Dana et al. (2007) show that giving in a dictator game is only partly due to distributional preferences as the giving rate drops when situational excuses for selfish behavior are provided. Our binary trust game closely follows their design. Only a preceding stage (safe outside option vs. enter the game) is added in order to introduce reciprocity. We find significantly higher rates of selfish choices in our treatments that feature moral wiggle room manipulations (between 37.5% and 45%) in comparison to the baseline (6.25%). It seems that reciprocal behavior is not only due to people liking to reciprocate but also because they feel obliged to do so.
    Keywords: social preferences, pro-social behavior, experiments, reciprocity, moral wiggle room, self-image concerns, trust game
    JEL: C72 C91 D03 D80
    Date: 2017–01–02
  13. By: Tumen, Semih (Central Bank of Turkey)
    Abstract: This paper argues that the structure (i.e., size and composition) of the informal search network is a crucial determinant of the career decisions of young workers. Building on the search-theoretic career choice and job mobility model proposed by Neal (1999), I compare the consequences of career advice by one's weak ties versus that by strong ties. The main result is that receiving help from weak ties is associated with early career and job settlements, while the strong ties are more likely to lead to amplified mobility and generate mismatch. Given a network size, I find a strongly positive correlation between the fraction of weak ties among one's informal connections and the likelihood of settling on a stable career path early in the life course. I also find that the sign of this correlation persists, while the magnitude gets smaller as the network size increases. I conclude that the strength-of-weak-ties hypothesis can shed light on the complexity of job mobility patterns among young workers. The model can explain why it takes much longer for blacks – whose informal networks are documented to consist of strong ties – to locate a stable career path than their white counterparts. It also predicts that young workers from closed and segregated neighborhoods tend to spend more time before they find suitable careers.
    Keywords: job mobility, career choice, search, strength of weak ties, social networks
    JEL: J21 J24 J62
    Date: 2016–12

This nep-soc issue is ©2017 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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