nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2017‒08‒06
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Trust and Social Control. Sources of cooperation, performance, and stability in informal value transfer systems By Claudius Graebner; Wolfram Elsner; Alexander Lascaux
  2. Gender: An Historical Perspective By Giuliano, Paola
  3. Adults Behaving Badly: The Effects of Own and Peer Parents’ Incarceration on Adolescent Criminal Activities By Jason Fletcher
  4. To Trust is Good, but to Control Is Better: How Investors Discipline Financial Advisors'Activity By Calcagno, Riccardo; Giofré, Maela; Urzì-Brancati, Maria Cesira
  5. The Geography of Civic Crowdfunding: Implications for Social Inequality and Donor-Project Dynamics By Daniel A. Brent; Katie Lorah
  6. More Giving or More Givers? The Effects of Tax Incentives on Charitable Donations in the UK By Almunia, Miguel; Lockwood, Ben; Scharf, Kimberley
  7. Do friends follow each other? FDI network effects in Central Europe By Gabor Bekes; Marta Bisztray
  8. Social Interactions, Mechanisms, and Equilibrium: Evidence from a Model of Study Time and Academic Achievement By Tim Conley; Nirav Mehta; Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd Stinebrickner
  9. Behavioral Patterns in Conditional Generosity Experiments By Daniela Di Cagno; Arianna Galliera; Werner Güth; Luca Panaccione

  1. By: Claudius Graebner (Institute for Institutional and Innovation Economics (iino), University of Bremen, Germany); Wolfram Elsner (Institute for Institutional and Innovation Economics, University of Bremen, Germany); Alexander Lascaux (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia)
    Abstract: We study the functioning of informal value transfer systems (IVTS) with the example of Hawala. More precisely, we use computational experiments to study the roles of generalized trust and social control for the stability and efficiency of IVTS. Previous literature was ambiguous with regard to: (i) how trust and control should be operationalized formally, (ii) which, if any of the two, carries a larger relevance for the functioning of IVTS, (iii) whether (and when) they relate to each other as substitutes or complements, and (iv) how they interact with a number of other environmental conditions. Our experiments suggest answers to all these questions. We show that both trust and control are necessary, but not sufficient to guarantee the functioning of Hawala, and that other relevant conditions, such as population size, interaction density, and forgiveness of the agents, provide important contexts. Aside from clarifying these questions, we provide a theoretically grounded operationalization of generalized trust and social control that is applicable to informal exchange systems in general.
    Keywords: Hawala, Computational experiment, Informal Value Transfer Systems, Institution, Social Control, Trust
    Date: 2017–06
  2. By: Giuliano, Paola
    Abstract: Social attitudes toward women vary significantly across societies. This chapter reviews recent empirical research on various historical determinants of contemporary differences in gender roles and gender gaps across societies, and how these differences are transmitted from parents to children and therefore persist until today. We review work on the historical origin of differences in female labor-force participation, fertility, education, marriage arrangements, competitive attitudes, domestic violence, and other forms of difference in gender norms. Most of the research illustrates that differences in cultural norms regarding gender roles emerge in response to specific historical situations, but tend to persist even after the historical conditions have changed. We also discuss the conditions under which gender norms either tend to be stable or change more quickly.
    Keywords: Cultural persistence; Cultural Transmission; Gender
    JEL: J16 N0 Z1
    Date: 2017–07
  3. By: Jason Fletcher (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
    Abstract: A maturing literature across the social sciences suggests important impacts of the intergenerational transmission of crime as well as peer effects that determine youth criminal activities. This paper explores these channels by examining gender-specific effects of maternal and paternal incarceration from both own-parents and classmate-parents. This paper also adds to the literature by exploiting across-cohort, within school exposure to peer parent incarceration to enhance causal inference. While the intergenerational correlations of criminal activities are similar by gender (father-son/mother-son), the results suggest that peer parent incarceration transmits effects largely along gender lines, which is suggestive of specific learning mechanisms. Peer maternal incarceration increases adolescent female criminal activities and reduces male crime and the reverse is true for peer paternal incarceration. These effects are strongest for youth reports of selling drugs and engaging in physical violence. In contrast, the effects of peer parental incarceration on other outcomes, such as GPA, do not vary by gender.
    Keywords: crime, social spillovers, intergenerational transmission, gender
    JEL: J24 Z13
    Date: 2017–07
  4. By: Calcagno, Riccardo; Giofré, Maela; Urzì-Brancati, Maria Cesira (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Using a survey of clients from one of the largest Italian banks, we ?nd that investors with low level of trust in professional advisors seek ?nancial counselling, but make their decisions autonomously. We investigate whether these investors exert some form of control over the recommendations they receive, and, if so, which one. Investors can push advisors to provide better recommendations either by asking for a second expert?s opinion, such as in the case of credence services, or by monitoring closely the advisor?s activity themselves. We ?nd that three quarters of investors do not exert any control on advisors. Di¤erent types of ?nancial competence ? self-assessed or test-based ? serve di¤erent purposes. The investors featuring higher self-assessed ?nancial competence are more likely to control the advisor?s activity. The mechanism through which investors exert control over the advisors? activity depends instead on the investors? degree of test-based ?nancial literacy. Investors with high ?nancial literacy directly monitor the advisors?activity. Investors with low ?nancial literacy are more likely to seek a second professional opinion in support of the recommendations previously received. Our ?ndings suggest that improving investor ?nancial knowledge may foster direct control of the advisor?s activity. Moreover, facilitating the comparison between ?nancial products by standardized and centralized information may be very e¤ective to protect poorly literate investors.
    Date: 2017–05
  5. By: Daniel A. Brent; Katie Lorah
    Abstract: Civic crowdfunding combines the power of private crowdfunding with grassroots organization to directly fund local public projects. This article analyzes fine scale geographic data on 18,000 donations to roughly 800 campaigns from a leading civic crowdfunding platform to examine the implications of civic crowdfunding for inequality and the link between donors and projects. The neighborhood characteristics of projects, including median household income, do not impact the ability to raise capital, which addresses a common concern that civic crowdfunding will exacerbate inequality in neighborhood amenities. The average distance of a donor to a project is over 300 miles and the median distance is 8 miles, indicating that while projects elicit donations from outside their community local donations are very important. Donors' income does not influence whether donors contribute to projects in low income or high income neighborhoods. The findings serve as a guide to future research on civic crowdfunding and inform how the expansion of this new funding mechanism can integrate into local government policy.
    Date: 2017–09
  6. By: Almunia, Miguel; Lockwood, Ben; Scharf, Kimberley
    Abstract: This paper estimates the tax-price elasticity of giving using UK administrative tax return data, exploiting variation from a large tax reform. We estimate both the in- tensive and extensive-margin elasticity, using a novel instrumental variables strategy. Then, we derive new conditions to evaluate the welfare consequences of changes in the generosity of the subsidy to donations. We find a small intensive-margin elasticity of -0.2 and a substantial extensive-margin elasticity of -0.8, yielding a total elasticity of about -1. These estimates mask considerable heterogeneity: high-income individ- uals respond more on the intensive margin, while the extensive-margin response is stronger among low-income taxpayers.
    Keywords: Donations; Tax policy; Tax Subsidies for Giving
    JEL: D64 H24 H31
    Date: 2017–07
  7. By: Gabor Bekes (Institute of Economics Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Central European University and CEPR); Marta Bisztray (Institute of Economics Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: A great deal of multinationals receive a bundle of hidden or cash subsidizes upon investing in a foreign country. Policymakers often argue that a subsidy today will help locate friends of the investor later on. Using extensive data on FDI investments, we analyze such patterns. In particular, we investigate if co-location is more frequent among connected firms such as members of business groups as well as firms sharing similar background. Focusing on investments into Central and Eastern European countries we find evidence of co-location pattern of connected firms.
    Keywords: Foreign direct investment, agglomeration, location choice, network effects, business groups
    JEL: F23 R3
    Date: 2017–06
  8. By: Tim Conley (University of Western Ontario); Nirav Mehta (University of Western Ontario); Ralph Stinebrickner (Berea College); Todd Stinebrickner (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: We develop and estimate a model of study time choices of students on a social network. The model is designed to exploit unique data collected in the Berea Panel Study. Study time data allow us to quantify an intuitive mechanism for academic social interactions: own study time may depend on friend study time. Social network data allow study time choices and resulting academic achievement to be embedded in an estimable equilibrium framework. New data on study propensities allow us to directly address potential sorting into friendships based on typically unobserved determinants of study time. We develop a speci?cation test that exploits the equilibrium nature of social interactions and use it to show that our study propensity measures substantially address endogeneity concerns. We ?nd friend study time strongly a?ects own study time, and, therefore, student achievement. We examine how network structure interacts with student characteristics to affect academic achievement. Sorting on friend characteristics appears important in explaining variation across students in study time and achievement, and determines the aggregate achievement level.
    Keywords: Social Networks; Peer Effects; Homophily; Time-use
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Daniela Di Cagno; Arianna Galliera; Werner Güth; Luca Panaccione
    Abstract: Conditional generosity is explored experimentally by confronting two participants with the same allocation task and allowing only one of them to adjust the own generosity level via conditioning on whether the other intends to be more, respectively less generous. Only one of two allocator candidates can actually give conditioning on the other’s intended generosity to the respective responder. We employ the strategy vector method but restrict conditioning to qualitative information only. The focus is on how generosity inclinations, largely responsible for fair(er) allocation results and charitable giving, are affected by information that one anonymous other just intended to be more, respectively less generous. Participants play three successive games in the order ultimatum, yes-no and impunity game or (between subjects) in the reversed order. Although only impunity appeals to intrinsic generosity intentions, we test whether conditioning persists when sanctioning is possible. Based on our data, we distinguish two major types of participants, one yielding to weakest social influence and another immune to it. The latter type offers much less: it is greed which, as expected, weakens social influence.
    Keywords: (Conditional) Generosity, Ultimatum Game, Yes-No Game, Impunity Game, Experiments.
    JEL: C91 C78 D64

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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