nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2018‒10‒29
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Social Capital and Innovation - Can Social Trust Explain the Technological Innovation of the High-performing East Asian Economies? By Seo-Young Cho
  2. Connections matter: the influence of network sparseness, network diversity and a tertius iungens orientation on innovation By Llopis, Oscar; D’Este, Pablo; Adrián A. Díaz-Faes
  3. The cognitive foundations of cooperation By Carlos Alós-Ferrer; Michele Garagnani
  4. Intentions behind disclosure to promote trust under short-termism: An experimental study By Satoshi Taguchi; Yoshio Kamijo
  5. Brothers or Invaders? How Crisis-driven Migrants Shape Voting Behavior By Sandra Rozo; Juan F. Vargas
  6. Who gives? - The Roles of Empathy and Impulsiveness By Andreoni, James; Koessler, Ann-Kathrin; Serra-Garcia, Marta
  7. Constitutional rules as determinants of social infrastructure By Theo S. Eicher; Cecilia García-Peñalosa; David J. Kuenzel

  1. By: Seo-Young Cho (University of Marburg)
    Abstract: The economic success and innovative outcomes of the high performing East Asian countries, albeit often characterized as low-trust societies, suggests reexamination of the presumed positive relationship between social trust and innovation. Multi-level analyses conducted in this paper reveal that the role of social capital in innovation is different in East Asia. Shared social norms such as growth primacy and reciprocity and values of accepting competition and performance-based incentives are the most essential driving-force of innovation in the East Asian countries, whereas social trust does not play a positive role there. The importance of the shared social norms and collective goals can be explained by the prominent role of the state in the East Asian development.
    Keywords: social capital; social trust; social norms; social values; competition; innovation; entrepreneurship; high-performing East Asian economies
    JEL: J24 L26 N15 N75 O31 O43
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Llopis, Oscar; D’Este, Pablo; Adrián A. Díaz-Faes
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between personal network characteristics and innovation performance. Specifically, it investigates the effects of two properties of personal networks on actors’ propensities to engage in innovation activities: network sparseness and network diversity. The study contributes also to decoupling social network structure and individual agency (i.e. tertius iungens orientation) as critical factors influencing engagement in innovation. The study highlights the importance of a particular strategic behavioral orientation of individuals to coordinate and mobilize network resources to foster the implementation of innovative ideas. Our findings show an inverted U-shaped relationship between network sparseness, network diversity and innovation, and a positive moderating role of a tertius iungens orientation on the curvilinear relationship between both network properties and innovation. Our hypotheses are tested on a large sample of Spanish biomedical scientists working in diverse institutional settings.
    Keywords: network sparseness, network diversity, brokerage, tertius iungens, innovation
    Date: 2018–03–20
  3. By: Carlos Alós-Ferrer; Michele Garagnani
    Abstract: Why do some individuals cooperate with their fellow human beings while others take advantage of them? The human drive for cooperation and altruism is one of the most powerful forces shaping our society, but there is an enormous behavioral variance in individual behavior. At the same time, whether it is intuitive to behave in a cooperative manner or whether such behaviors are calculated deeds remains an unanswered question. Indeed, recent empirical investigations regarding the spontaneity of human cooperation have found mixed evidence, possibly due to a failure to induce compliance in the behavioral manipulations employed. We conducted a laboratory experiment inducing intuitive and deliberative behavior through gradual economic incentives that ensure compliance. To account for individual heterogeneity, we independently measured social value orientation and aversion to interpersonal (strategic) uncertainty. We find that these measures determine the intrinsic predisposition towards cooperation. Subjects with more altruistic social values or a higher tolerance towards interpersonal uncertainty are more cooperative. Crucially, we find causal evidence that there is no universal default mode of behavior. Rather, intuition enhances intrinsic predispositions, while deliberation moderates them towards socially acceptable behavior. That is, subjects with a higher (resp. lower) predisposition towards cooperation became more (resp. less) cooperative under time pressure compared with time delay.
    Keywords: Cooperation, heterogeneity, time manipulations
    JEL: D01 D81 C9
    Date: 2018–10
  4. By: Satoshi Taguchi (Doshisha University); Yoshio Kamijo (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology)
    Abstract: We experimentally examine the impact of varying intentions behind information disclosures on trust and reciprocity between an investor and a manager during short-term transactions where reputations cannot be established. To do so, we use a trust game with asymmetric information and conduct lab experiments, comparing one unintentional disclosure condition and two intentional disclosure conditions. The results reveal that information disclosure promotes investments and returns under all three conditions, even in short-term transactions. Further, compared with unintentional disclosure, intentional disclosure fosters greater trust and reciprocity between managers and investors. We also suggest that mutual trust can be developed even before reputation and a long-term relationship are formed. Our study sheds light on the merits of intentional disclosures from a short-term perspective and in particular, the practical importance of institutional design for investors to acquire information.
    Keywords: Disclosure, Short-termism, Experimental economics, Trust game, Gift exchange
    Date: 2018–10
  5. By: Sandra Rozo; Juan F. Vargas
    Abstract: Several studies have documented negative political attitudes toward immigration among local voters. By examining how episodes of crisis-driven internal and international migration affect electoral as well as socioeconomic outcomes across municipalities in Colombia, we explore whether these attitudes are explained by self-interest or sociotropic motives. Self-interested voters care primarily about the impact of migration inflows on their personal socioeconomic well-being. Sociotropic voters, in contrast, view migrants as a threat to local cultural or social norms and display in-group bias. We take advantage of the fact that both internal migrants (displaced by the armed conflict in Colombia) and international migrants (driven by economic and political downturns in neighboring Venezuela) disproportionately locate in municipalities with early settlements of individuals from their place of origin and find that, while internal migration inflows do not lead to negative electoral results for the incumbent party, international migration reduces support for incumbents and increases support for right-wing candidates. Further, we find that once we control for migration-affected proxies for individual welfare, the electoral effects of international migration are largely unchanged, but those of the internal displacement shock disappear. Taken together, these findings are consistent with a scenario in which political attitudes are driven by sociotropic motives when reacting to international migration and by self-interest when reacting to internal forced migration. This asymmetry has the potential to inform policy responses aimed at maximizing the net benefits of migration.
    Keywords: Migration, Electoral Outcomes, Political Economy, Colombia
    JEL: D72 F2 O15 R23
    Date: 2018–10–18
  6. By: Andreoni, James; Koessler, Ann-Kathrin; Serra-Garcia, Marta
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of empathy and impulsiveness on charitable giving using a real donation experiment. We confirm that greater empathy predicts greater charitable giving. Contrary to recent literature, however, we find a significant negative relationship between impulsiveness and donation behavior. Specifically, when financial resources are scarce, donations are more often made by decisionmakers who are able to suppress an intuitively egoistic response.
    Keywords: Charitable Giving,Donation,Empathy,Impulsiveness
    JEL: C91 D64 H40
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Theo S. Eicher; Cecilia García-Peñalosa; David J. Kuenzel (Economics Department, Wesleyan University)
    Abstract: A sizable literature has established the positive impact of social infrastructure on economic development, but the determinants of social infrastructure itself have yet to be fully explored. Competing theories suggest a variety of political institutions as driving forces of social infrastructure, but the empirical literature has been hampered by the small set of available proxies, many of which are broadly defined. We leverage a new, comprehensive dataset that codes political institutions directly from countries’ constitutions. By employing a statistical methodology that is designed to juxtapose candidate regressors associated with many competing theories, we test each individual political institution's effect on social infrastructure. Our results show that constitutional rules pertaining to executive constraints as well as to the structure of electoral systems are crucial for the development of high-quality social infrastructure. We also find that the determinants of social infrastructure are much more fundamental than previously thought: not only the general structure of electoral systems matter, but also highly detailed aspects such as limits on campaign contributions and the freedom to form parties. Moreover, the granularity of our data allows us to highlight the profound effect of basic human rights on social infrastructure, a dimension which has not been explored in the literature to date.
    Keywords: Constitutions, Institutions, Social infrastructure, Bayesian Model Averaging
    JEL: O47 D72 E60 H00
    Date: 2018–06

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