nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2018‒10‒08
fourteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Comfort and Conformity: A Culture-based Theory of Migration By Ruxanda Berlinschi; Jan Fidrmuc
  2. Family Ties and Corruption By Litina, Anastasia; Varvarigos, Dimitrios
  3. Social Networks and Entrepreneurship. Evidence from a Historical Episode of Industrialization By Javier Mejia
  4. Social Interactions and Modern Economic Growth By Javier Mejia
  5. Company directors’ social networks: Economic change and continuity during the 17th century By Aske Brock
  6. Director Networks, Turnover, and Appointments By Renneboog, Luc; Zhao, Yang
  7. Blood Type and Blood Donation Behaviors: An Empirical Test of Pure Altruism Theory By Shusaku Sasaki; Yoshifumi Funasaki; Hirofumi Kurokawa; Fumio Ohtake
  8. A Modelling of the Role of Social Networks in Market Mechanism - Social Ties as Screening Tools in Price Discrimination By Karoly Miklos Kiss; Kinga Edocs
  9. Personal And Social Proximity: Shaping Leadership In A Free Software Project By Clement Bert-Erboul; Nicholas S. Vonortas
  10. A Game of Tax Evasion: evidences from an agent-based model By L. S. Di Mauro; A. Pluchino; A. E. Biondo
  11. Justice Delayed is Assimilation Denied: Rightwing Terror, Fear and Social Assimilation of Turkish Immigrants in Germany By Sumit S. Deole
  12. Backlash in Attitudes After the Election of Extreme Political Parties By Magnus Carlsson; Gordon B. Dahl; Dan-Olof Rooth
  13. What determines consumers’ trust in the EU’s organic label? A cross country comparison of the role of institutional trust and consumer knowledge By Gorton, Matthew; Tocco, Barbara; Yeh, Ching-Hua; Hartmann, Monika
  14. Fighting alone or fighting for a team: Evidence from experimental pairwise contests By Lingbo Huang; Zarah Murad

  1. By: Ruxanda Berlinschi; Jan Fidrmuc
    Abstract: This paper proposes a theory of migration decisions in which cultural traits play a role. Individuals are assumed to value comfort (high wages) and conformity (interactions with individuals who share similar world views). Regions are assumed to differ economically (average wages) and culturally (average world views and their diversity). The model shows that self-selection of inter-regional migrants on world views is non-monotonic if one region is more diverse than the other, and it weakens with economic gaps between regions. This nonmonoticity can lead to a dichotomy of outcomes: culturally diverse regions become even more diverse because of migration, while culturally homogeneous regions become even more homogeneous. Consequently, Tieboutian sorting (people moving to the region in which world views are closer to theirs) only holds when regions have similar wages and diversity of world views.
    Keywords: Migration; self-selection; culture; diversity
    JEL: A13 F22 J61 Z1
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Litina, Anastasia; Varvarigos, Dimitrios
    Abstract: We construct a model to examine the relation between family ties and corruption. The overall effect of strong family ties on the incentive to be corrupt can be ambiguous due to the presence of conflicting mechanisms. The model also shows that the measure of family ties can be crucial in determining its observed effect on corruption, thus offering a theoretical foundation on why the empirical outcomes entailing cross-country comparisons can differ from the outcomes of micro-level empirical investigations. This aspect of the theoretical framework is verified by our empirical analysis: Using micro-level data, we show that, in contrast to conventional wisdom and cross-country comparisons, stronger family ties reduce the approval for a broad set of activities that measure corruption.
    Keywords: Corruption, Family values
    JEL: D73 Z10
    Date: 2018–09–13
  3. By: Javier Mejia (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between social networks and entrepreneurship by constructing a dynamic social network from archival records. The network corresponds to the elite of a society in transition to modernity, characterized by difficult geographical conditions, market failures, and weak state capacity, as in late 19th- and early 20th-century Antioquia (Colombia). With these data, I estimate how the decision to found industrial firms related to the position of individuals in the social network. I find that individuals more important bridging the network (i.e. with higher betweenness centrality) were more involved in industrial entrepreneurship. However, I do not find individuals with a denser network to be more involved in this type of activity. The rationale of these results is that industrial entrepreneurship was a highly-complex activity that required a wide variety of complementary resources. Networks operated as substitutes for markets in the acquisition of these resources. Thus, individuals with network positions that favored the combination of a broad set of resources had a comparative advantage in industrial entrepreneurship. I run several tests to prove this rationale.
    Date: 2018–09
  4. By: Javier Mejia (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: This paper offers a theoretical framework to understand the coevolution of social interactions and long-term economic growth. It begins by considering that most traditional societies did not have educational markets. Thus, access to the required knowledge for transiting to a modern economy had to be transmitted through social interactions, in particular, through the interaction between heterogeneous groups of people–i.e. distant interactions. Once immersed in a modern economy, the productive system should have increased the demand for knowledge, promoting more distant interactions. Simultaneously, the emergence of distant interactions should have affected the connectivity of society, reducing its heterogeneity, making cheaper posterior interactions but reducing their profitability. Moreover, social interactions competed and benefited from other non-market activities, child rearing specifically. The model arrives at four basic predictions. First, modern economic growth brings a more cohesive society. Second, modern economic growth brings long-term reductions in fertility with potential short-term increases. Third, initial barriers to social interactions could explain the timing of modern economic growth arrival. Fourth, the timing of modern economic growth arrival could explain current output levels. I exploit different data sources to offer evidence in support of these predictions.
    Date: 2018–09
  5. By: Aske Brock (University of Kent)
    JEL: N00
    Date: 2018–04
  6. By: Renneboog, Luc (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Zhao, Yang
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the labor market (turnover and appointments) of executive and non-executive directors by means of social network methodology. We find that directors with strong networks are able to obtain labor market information that enables them to leave their firm more easily for better opportunities. Networks also mitigate information asymmetry problems of external director appointments. Furthermore, the strong impact of indirect connections is in line with the ‘strength of the weak ties’ theory. The fact that direct connections are less important signifies that the connections to people that are close and local are likely to convey redundant information, whereas connections to distant individuals are more efficient in terms of information acquisition and labor market performance improvement.
    Keywords: corporate governance; director networks; director turnover; director appointments
    JEL: G23 J4 J14
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Shusaku Sasaki; Yoshifumi Funasaki; Hirofumi Kurokawa; Fumio Ohtake
    Abstract: We examined whether the knowledge that your private donation has a large number of potential recipients causes you to give more or less. We found that the people with blood type O are more likely to have donated blood than those with the other blood types, by using a Japan’s nationally representative survey. This association was found to be stronger in a subsample of individuals who knew and believed that blood type O can be medically transfused into individuals of all blood groups. However, we found that blood type O does not have any significant relationship with the other altruistic behaviors (registration for bone-marrow donation, intention to donate organs, and the making of monetary donations) and altruistic characteristics (altruism, trust, reciprocity, and cooperativeness). After further analyses, we confirmed that the wider number of potential recipients of blood type O donations promote the blood-donation behaviors of the people with this blood type.
    Date: 2018–05
  8. By: Karoly Miklos Kiss (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and University of Pannonia, Veszprem); Kinga Edocs (University of Pannonia, Veszprem)
    Abstract: One of the most relevant and exciting issues in the latest decades in economics had been the asymmetric information and uncertainty, and their effects on market processes and efficiency. Some studies show that markets where information problems or/and uncertainty arise tend to be “networked”, and some studies propose that use of social networks can mitigate adverse selection and moral hazard problems, but this area is still under-developed. Price discrimination is a representative situation where asymmetric information vigorously appears. The firms rarely have precise information about the types of individual customers (their important features, preferences or willingness-to-pay), but can use incentive tools and screening mechanisms. Use of signaling and screening can reduce the cost of incentive under asymmetric information. We develop a model to show that social embeddedness of buyers and some relevant features of their social network can be used for screening to mitigate the information problem in pricing decisions.
    Keywords: asymmetric information, nonlinear pricing, incentive contracts, social network, social embeddedness
    JEL: D8 L11 Z13
    Date: 2018–09
  9. By: Clement Bert-Erboul (University of Campinas); Nicholas S. Vonortas (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Open software projects are usually portrayed by focusing on charismatic leaders, friendly communities, and meritocratic language. We dig under the surface of this stereotypical picture and analyse the social relationships of the people involved; specifically, whether they are related through personal proximity or they are distant social partners. We contribute to the literature on free/open source innovation in three ways. First, we highlight the continuum of roles played by individual leaders in the open source project, as brokers and/or initiators. Second, we delve deeper in the social networks of the Videolan software community to layout where and how leaders are organised in groups and play the role of brokers and initiators. We study leadership emergence over time by taking into account the context of activities. Finally, we produce a typology of three Videolan communities with specific social networks that evolved over time in terms of leaders and social structure
    Keywords: Open source, community, leadership, social network, proximity, computer software
    JEL: D90 L86
    Date: 2018
  10. By: L. S. Di Mauro; A. Pluchino; A. E. Biondo
    Abstract: This paper presents a simple agent-based model of an economic system, populated by agents playing different games according to their different view about social cohesion and tax payment. After a first set of simulations, correctly replicating results of existing literature, a wider analysis is presented in order to study the effects of a dynamic-adaptation rule, in which citizens may possibly decide to modify their individual tax compliance according to individual criteria, such as, the strength of their ethical commitment, the satisfaction gained by consumption of the public good and the perceived opinion of neighbors. Results show the presence of thresholds levels in the composition of society - between taxpayers and evaders - which explain the extent of damages deriving from tax evasion.
    Date: 2018–09
  11. By: Sumit S. Deole
    Abstract: In 2011, German police accidentally stumbled upon a previously unknown right-wing extremist group called the National Socialist Underground (NSU). Further investigations implicated the group in previously unexplained murders of mostly ethnically Turkish individuals and in other crimes targeting Islamic immigrants in Germany. Using German Socioeconomic Panel (SOEP) data, this paper offers the first evidence that the 2011 revelations of the NSU crimes resulted in an increase in perceived fears of xenophobic hostility among NSU’s targeted groups. This serves as an indication of the minority’s perceived maltreatment by German institutions while investigating the NSU crimes. The results further show that the revelations significantly reinforced a feeling of estrangement among Turks, who were now less likely to self-identify as Germans and more likely to see themselves as foreigners; they, therefore, tended to bond more strongly with the ethos of their country of origin. The results also demonstrate that Turks reported a substantial decrease in their health satisfaction and subjective wellbeing. In conclusion, the paper underlines the pertinence of judicial efficacy over rightwing crimes for assimilation and welfare of immigrants.
    Keywords: rightwing crimes, immigration, delayed justice, social assimilation
    JEL: D63 F22 J15 Z10
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Magnus Carlsson; Gordon B. Dahl; Dan-Olof Rooth
    Abstract: Far-right and far-left parties by definition occupy the fringes of politics, with policy proposals outside the mainstream. This paper asks how public attitudes about such policies respond once an extreme party increases their political representation at the local level. We study attitudes towards the signature policies of two radical populist parties in Sweden, one from the right and one from the left, using panel data from 290 municipal election districts. To identify causal effects, we take advantage of large nonlinearities in the function which assigns council seats, comparing otherwise similar elections where a party either barely wins or loses an additional seat. We estimate that a one seat increase for the far-right, anti-immigration party decreases negative attitudes towards immigration by 4.1 percentage points, in opposition to the party’s policy position. Likewise, when a far-left, anti-capitalist party politician gets elected, support for a six hour workday falls by 2.7 percentage points. Mirroring these attitudinal changes, the far-right and far-left parties have no incumbency advantage in the next election. Exploring possible mechanisms, we find evidence that when the anti-immigrant party wins a marginal seat, they experience higher levels of politician turnover before the next election and receive negative coverage in local newspapers. These findings demonstrate that political representation can cause an attitudinal backlash as fringe parties and their ideas are placed under closer scrutiny.
    Keywords: political backlash, far-right and far-left parties, public attitudes
    JEL: D72 H70
    Date: 2018
  13. By: Gorton, Matthew; Tocco, Barbara; Yeh, Ching-Hua; Hartmann, Monika
    Keywords: Food and Agricultural Policy Analysis, Food and Agricultural Marketing, Behavioral & Institutional Economics
    Date: 2018–06–20
  14. By: Lingbo Huang (Monash University); Zarah Murad (University of Portsmouth)
    Abstract: People who compete alone may entertain different psychological motivations from those who compete for a team. Using a real-effort experiment, we examine the behavioural consequences of these psychological motivations, absent strategic interdependence and uncertainty among team members. We exploit a dynamic pairwise team contest in which strategic uncertainties among team members play a minimised role in individual rational behaviour; and we create strategically-equivalent individual contests to isolate the pure psychological effects of team situation on individual competitive behaviour. We find that behaviour in individual contests and in sterile team contests follows a psychological momentum effect in which leaders work harder than trailers. In contrast, in team contests enriched with intra-team communication, behaviour follows a neutral effect. We discuss the implications of our results for theoretical modelling of contests and practical implications for the optimal design of team incentive schemes and personnel management.
    Keywords: individual versus team behaviour, real-effort experiment, pairwise team contest, best-of-three team contest, communication, psychological momentum effect
    JEL: C33 C72 D79 C91 C92
    Date: 2018–09–19

This nep-soc issue is ©2018 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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