nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2017‒11‒26
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Altruistic capital By Ashraf, Nava; Bandiera, Oriana
  2. The Effect of Social Connectedness on Crime: Evidence from the Great Migration By Evan Taylor; Bryan Stuart
  3. Excess reciprocity distorts reputation in online social networks By Livan, Giacomo; Caccioli, Fabio; Aste, Tomaso
  4. Social capital, trust, and firm performance: the value of corporate social responsibility during the financial crisis By Lins, Karl V.; Servaes, Henri; Tamayo, Ane
  5. Cultural Determinants of Household Saving Behavior By Paolo Masella; Hannah Paule-Paludkiewicz; Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln
  6. The Social Dynamics of Collective Action: Evidence from the Captain Swing Riots, 1830-31 By Aidt, T.; Leon, G.; Satchell, M.
  7. Fairness, social norms and the cultural demand for redistribution By Gilles Le Garrec
  8. Measuring CSR: The Index of Fairness By Storchevoy, Maxim
  9. Conditional generosity and uncertain income: Evidence from five experiments By Christian Kellner; David Reinstein; Gerhard Riener

  1. By: Ashraf, Nava; Bandiera, Oriana
    Abstract: To understand altruistic behavior, we must understand the process through which altruism develops and is shaped by the agents' own choices and exogenous factors. We introduce the concept of altruistic capital, which grows with effort devoted to altruistic acts and facilitates future altruism. We illustrate its potential use in the context of banking and conclude by showing that returns to altruistic effort shape the agent's choices and are shaped by external events such as the financial crisis.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2017–05–01
  2. By: Evan Taylor (University of Chicago); Bryan Stuart (George Washington University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of social connectedness on crime across U.S. cities from 1960- 2009. Migration networks among African Americans from the South generated variation across destinations in the concentration of migrants from the same birth town. Using this novel source of variation, we find that social connectedness considerably reduces murders, robberies, assaults, burglaries, larcenies, and motor vehicle thefts, with a one standard deviation increase in social connectedness reducing murders by 13 percent and motor vehicle thefts by 9 percent. Our results appear to be driven by stronger relationships among older generations reducing crime committed by youth.
    Keywords: crime, social connectedness, Great Migration
    JEL: K42 N32 R23 Z13
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Livan, Giacomo; Caccioli, Fabio; Aste, Tomaso
    Abstract: The peer-to-peer (P2P) economy relies on establishing trust in distributed networked systems, where the reliability of a user is assessed through digital peer-review processes that aggregate ratings into reputation scores. Here we present evidence of a network effect which biases digital reputation, revealing that P2P networks display exceedingly high levels of reciprocity. In fact, these are much higher than those compatible with a null assumption that preserves the empirically observed level of agreement between all pairs of nodes, and rather close to the highest levels structurally compatible with the networks’ reputation landscape. This indicates that the crowdsourcing process underpinning digital reputation can be significantly distorted by the attempt of users to mutually boost reputation, or to retaliate, through the exchange of ratings. We uncover that the least active users are predominantly responsible for such reciprocity-induced bias, and that this fact can be exploited to obtain more reliable reputation estimates. Our findings are robust across different P2P platforms, including both cases where ratings are used to vote on the content produced by users and to vote on user profiles.
    JEL: G32 F3 G3
    Date: 2017–06–14
  4. By: Lins, Karl V.; Servaes, Henri; Tamayo, Ane
    Abstract: During the 2008-2009 financial crisis, firms with high social capital, measured as corporate social responsibility (CSR) intensity, had stock returns that were four to seven percentage points higher than firms with low social capital. High-CSR firms also experienced higher profitability, growth, and sales per employee relative to low-CSR firms, and they raised more debt. This evidence suggests that the trust between the firm and both its stakeholders and investors, built through investments in social capital, pays off when the overall level of trust in corporations and markets suffers a negative shock.
    Keywords: trust; social capital; corporate social responsibility; financial crisis; stock returns
    JEL: D64 G30 M14
    Date: 2017–08–14
  5. By: Paolo Masella (University of Bologna); Hannah Paule-Paludkiewicz (Goethe University Frankfurt); Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln (Goethe University Frankfurt)
    Abstract: Relying on the epidemiological approach, we show that culture is a significant driver of household saving behavior. Second-generation immigrants from countries that put strong emphasis on thrift or wealth accumulation tend to save more in Germany. We confirm these results in data from the UK. By linking parents to their children, we show that these two cultural components affect the saving behavior of both first-generation immigrants and their children, and also provide suggestive evidence that long-term orientation is related to saving behavior through the intergenerational transmission of language.
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Aidt, T.; Leon, G.; Satchell, M.
    Abstract: Social unrest often erupts suddenly and diffuses quickly. What drives people to overcome their collective action problem and join a riot or protest, turning what is initially a small event into a widespread movement? We address this question by examining the Swing riots of 1830-31. The communication constraints of the time induced spatio-temporal variation in exposure to news about the uprising, allowing us to estimate the role of contagion in the spread of the riots. We find that local (rather than national) sources of information were central in driving contagion, and that this contagion magnified the impact that social and economic fundamentals had on riots by a factor of 2.65. Our historical data allow us to overcome a number of econometric challenges, but the Swing riots are of independent interest as well: they contributed to the passage of the Great Reform Act, a key step in Britain's institutional development.
    Keywords: Riots, diffusion, conflict, contagion, Captain Swing.
    JEL: D72 D74 O16
    Date: 2017–11–14
  7. By: Gilles Le Garrec (OFCE Sciences Po)
    Keywords: Redistribution, fairness, majority rule, social norms, endogenous preferences
    JEL: H53 D63 D72 D03
    Date: 2017–09
  8. By: Storchevoy, Maxim
    Abstract: We offer an approach for practical measuring of corporate social responsibility based on the stakeholder theory. This approach assumes that it is methodologically incorrect and technically infeasible to measure CSR on the basis of objective variables and through selfreporting procedures. A more correct and realistic method of measuring CSR should be based on a systematic survey of stakeholdersÙ opinion. The research offers a concept of Fairness Index and provides results of its first empirical testing for several Russian and European companies.
    Keywords: business ethics, corporate social responsibility, corporate social performance, stakeholder theory, objective variables, stakeholdersÙ opinion, Russia, Europe,
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Christian Kellner (University of Southampton); David Reinstein (Department of Economics, University of Exeter); Gerhard Riener (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)
    Abstract: We study how other-regarding behavior extends to environments with income uncertainty and conditional commitments. Should fundraisers ask a banker to donate “if he earns a bonus” or wait and ask after the bonus is known? Standard EU theory predicts these are equivalent; loss-aversion and signaling models predict a larger commitment before the bonus is known; theories of affect predict the reverse. In five experiments incorporating lab and field elements (N=1363), we solicited charitable donations from lottery winnings worth between $10 and $30, varying the conditionality of donations between participants. While the results suggest some heterogeneity across experimental contexts and demographic groups, in each experiment conditional donations (“if you win”) were higher than ex-post donations. Pooling across experiments, this is strongly statistically significant; we find a 23% greater likelihood of donating and a 25% larger average donation commitment in the Before treatment. Our findings add to our understanding of pro-social behavior and have implications for charitable fundraising, for effective altruism giving pledges, and for experimental methodology.
    Keywords: Social preferences, contingent decision-making, signaling, field experiments, charitable giving.
    JEL: D64 C91 C93 L30 D01 D03 D84
    Date: 2017

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