nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2017‒05‒14
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. On the Joint Evolution of Culture and Institutions By Alberto Bisin; Thierry Verdier
  2. Fathers, Parental Leave and Gender Norms By Unterhofer, Ulrike; Wrohlich, Katharina
  3. Information, Belief Elicitation and Threshold Effects in the 5X1000 Tax Scheme: A Framed Field Experiment By Becchetti, Leonardo; Pelligra, Vittorio; Reggiani, Tommaso
  4. Decennial Census Return Rates: The Role of Social Capital By Julie L. Hotchkiss
  5. Dynamic competition over social networks By Antoine Mandel; Xavier Venel
  6. The Pay-What-You-Want Game: What can be learned from the experimental evidence on Dictator and Trust Games? By Matthias Greiff; Henrik Egbert
  7. Unemployment and intimate-partner violence: A gender-identity approach By Ana Tur-Prats
  8. The Economic Value of Social Capital By Postelnicu, Lumimnita; Hermes, Niels
  9. Individual heterogeneity in the association between social participation and self-rated health. A panel study on BHPS By Damiano, Fiorillo; Lubrano Lavadera, Giuseppe; Nappo, Nunzia

  1. By: Alberto Bisin (New York University); Thierry Verdier (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Explanations of economic growth and prosperity commonly identify a unique causal effect, e.g., institutions, culture, human capital, geography. In this paper we provide instead a theoretical modeling of the interaction between culture and institutions and their effects on economic activity. We characterize conditions on the socio-economic environment such that culture and institutions complement (resp. substitute) each other, giving rise to a multiplier effect which amplifies (resp. dampens) their combined ability to spur economic activity. We show how the joint dynamics of culture and institutions may display interesting non-ergodic behavior, hysteresis, oscillations, and comparative dynamics. Finally, in specific example societies, we study how culture and institutions interact to determine the sustainability of extractive societies as well as the formation of civic capital and of legal systems protecting property rights.
    Keywords: cultural transmission, evolution of institutions
    JEL: O10 P16 P48
    Date: 2017–05
  2. By: Unterhofer, Ulrike (DIW Berlin); Wrohlich, Katharina (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: Social norms and attitudes towards gender roles have been shown to have a large effect on economic outcomes of men and women. Many countries have introduced policies that aim at changing gender stereotypes, for example fathers' quota in parental leave schemes. In this paper, we analyze whether the introduction of the fathers' quota in Germany in 2007, that caused a sharp increase in the take-up of parental leave by fathers, has changed the attitudes towards gender roles in the grandparents' generation. To this end, we exploit the quasi-experimental setting of the 2007 reform and compare grandparents whose son had a child born before the 2007 reform to grandparents whose son had a child born after it. Our results suggest that such policy programs not only induce direct behavioral responses by the target group but also have indirect effects on non-treated individuals through social interaction and can thus change attitudes towards gender roles in a society as a whole.
    Keywords: parental leave, gender equality, social norms, social interaction, policy evaluation
    JEL: J16 H31 J18 D13 J22
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: Becchetti, Leonardo (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Pelligra, Vittorio (University of Cagliari); Reggiani, Tommaso (Libera Università Maria Ss. Assunta Palermo)
    Abstract: In this paper we study by means of a framed field experiment on a representative sample of the population the effect on people's charitable giving of three, substantial and procedural, elements: information provision, belief elicitation and threshold on distribution. We frame this investigation within the 5X1000 tax scheme, a mechanism through which Italian taxpayers may choose to give a small proportion (0.5%) of their income tax to a voluntary organization to fund its activities. We find two main results: a social information effect, since information on total donations received by the organizations in the previous year significantly increases the share of donors, and a distributional effect, leading, the information provision, to a significant increase in the share of donors to the organization reporting the lowest aggregate donations.
    Keywords: charitable-giving, framed field experiment, social information effect, 5X1000
    JEL: C91 D64 H00
    Date: 2017–04
  4. By: Julie L. Hotchkiss
    Abstract: This paper explores how useful information about social and civic engagement (social capital) might be to the U.S. Census Bureau in their efforts to improve predictions of mail return rates for the Decennial Census (DC) at the census tract level. Through construction of Hard-to-count (HRC) scores and multivariate analysis, we find that if information about social capital were available, predictions of response rates would be marginally improved.
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Antoine Mandel (Paris School of Economics - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Xavier Venel (Paris School of Economics - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: We provide an analytical approach to the problem of influence maximization in a social network when two players compete by means of dynamic targeting strategies. We formulate the problem as a two-player zero-sum stochastic game. We prove the existence of the uniform value: if the players are sufficiently patient, both players can guarantee the same mean-average opinion without knowing the exact discount factor. Further, we put forward some elements for the characterization of equilibrium strategies. In general, players must implement a trade-off between a forward-looking perspective, according to which they shall aim at maximizing the future spread of their opinion in the network, and a backward-looking perspective, according to which they shall aim at counteracting their opponent's previous actions. When the influence potential of players is small, an equilibrium strategy is to systematically target the agent with the largest eigenvector centrality
    Keywords: Social Network; Dynamic games; Targeting; Stochastic games
    JEL: C71 D85
    Date: 2017–02
  6. By: Matthias Greiff (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen); Henrik Egbert (Anhalt University of Applied Sciences)
    Abstract: This paper introduces the Pay-What-You-Want game which represents the interaction between a buyer and a seller in a Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) situation. The PWYW game embeds the dictator game and the trust game as subgames. This allows us to use previous experimental studies with the dictator and the trust game to identify three factors that can influence the success of PWYW pricing in business practice: (i) social context, (ii) social information, and (iii) deservingness. Only few cases of PWYW pricing for a longer period of time have been documented. By addressing repeated games, we isolate two additional factors which are likely to contribute to successful implementations of PWYW as a long term pricing strategy. These are (iv) communication and (v) the reduction of goal conflicts. The central contribution of this study is an attempt to bridge the gap between laboratory experiments and the research on PWYW pricing, which relies largely on evidence from the field. By reviewing the relevant experiments, this study identifies factors crucial for the success of PWYW pricing and provides guidance to developing long-term applications of PWYW pricing.
    Keywords: Pay-What-You-Want, PWYW Game, pricing, dictator game, trust game
    JEL: C90 D12 D49 M21 M30
    Date: 2017–05
  7. By: Ana Tur-Prats
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the causal relationship between unemployment and intimate-partner violence (IPV) introducing a gender-identity approach. I argue that local social predominance of different family structures (stem vs nuclear) in the past shaped distinct present cultural norms regarding the appropriate role of men and women, and that as a result IPV responds differently to changes in relative unemployment rates of men vs women. Coresidence of younger couples with in-laws in stem families in the past reduced the burden of household work, allowing a higher contribution of the younger wife to nondomestic work. In nuclear families, conversely, wives’activities were more confined to the domestic sphere. I construct an exogenous measure of unemployment and find heterogeneous impacts: for individuals living in territories with a nuclear-family tradition, a decrease in female unemployment relative to male unemployment increases IPV, potentially because men feel their traditional breadwinner role threatened. These effects are offset, and sometimes even reversed, for individuals living in provinces where the stem family was socially predominant in the past. I propose a new rationale for IPV in which violence is a way to reinstate the loss of utility generated by what some men perceive as an insult, and provide evidence in favor of this novel explanation.
    Keywords: historical family structure, cultural norms, persistence
    JEL: D03 J12 J16 J64 Z13
    Date: 2017–04
  8. By: Postelnicu, Lumimnita; Hermes, Niels (Groningen University)
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Damiano, Fiorillo; Lubrano Lavadera, Giuseppe; Nappo, Nunzia
    Abstract: In the last ten years interest in social capital as mechanism for understanding actual and perceived health has been increasing among economists. Although pathways by which social participation, as dimension of social capital, may have positive effect on health are well understood, empirical evidence on the relationship between social participation and self-rated health is mixed and it has never addressed the empirical problem of individual heterogeneity. This longitudinal study investigates the relationship between social participation (being member, active, and both member and active) in associations and self-rated health taking into account individual heterogeneity bias. The paper uses five waves of the British Household Panel Survey from 1991 to 1995 (unbalanced panel N=45,745). Three types of estimations are implemented. The first is an OLS with fixed effects on the original ordinal variable self-rated health (SOH). The second uses a dichotomization of the ordered variable self-rated (SOH2) and applies a logistic fixed effect estimation. The last estimator is the ordered logit with fixed effects implemented by Baetschmann et al. (2015). All the empirical estimations show a positive and weak significant relationship between active membership and self-rated health.
    Keywords: Self-rated health, social participation, individual heterogeneity, social capital, ordered logit fixed effects model, British Household Panel Survey
    JEL: C10 C33 C35 I1 Z0
    Date: 2017–04

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