nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2019‒05‒20
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Who is willing to stay sick for the collective? – Individual characteristics, experience, and trust By Carlsson, Fredrik; Jacobsson, Gunnar; Jagers, Sverker C.; Lampi, Elina; Robertsson, Felicia; Rönnerstrand, Björn
  2. Altruism and Risk Sharing in Networks By Renaud Bourlès; Yann Bramoullé; Eduardo Perez
  3. Distributional Preferences Explain Individual Behavior Across Games and Time By Morten Hedegaard; Rudolf Kerschbamer; Mueller Daniel; Jean-Robert Tyran
  4. Does the presence of a physically disabled person in the group increase cooperation? An experimental test of the empathyaltruism hypothesis By Arnaud Tognetti; David Doat; Dimitri Dubois; Rustam Romaniuc
  5. How does joint evolution of social trust and land administration shape economic outcomes?: Evidence from Viet Nam By Dang Duc; Dang Kim; Vu Thi
  6. EDITED DEMOCRACY: Media Manipulation and the News Coverage of Presidential Debates By Alexsandros Cavgias; Raphael Corbi, Luis Meloni, Lucas M. Novaes
  7. Market and Network Corruption By Maria Kravtsova; Aleksey Oshchepkov
  8. Can religious institutions promote sustainable behavior? Field experimental evidence on donations towards a carbon-offsetting fund By Feldhaus, Christoph; Gleue, Marvin; Löschel, Andreas
  9. Exploring Image Motivation in Promise Keeping – An Experimental Investigation By Kevin Grubiak
  10. Towards estimating happiness using social sensing : Perspectives on organizational social network analysis By Atzmueller, Martin; Kolkman, Daan; Liebregts, Werner; Haring, Arjan

  1. By: Carlsson, Fredrik (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Jacobsson, Gunnar (Center for Antibiotic Resistance Research (CARe), University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden); Jagers, Sverker C. (Centre for Collective Action Research (CeCAR), University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden); Lampi, Elina (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Robertsson, Felicia (Center for Antibiotic Resistance Research (CARe), University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden); Rönnerstrand, Björn (Center for Antibiotic Resistance Research (CARe), University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the collective action dilemma of antibiotic resistance. Despite the collective threat posed by antibiotic resistance, there are limited incentives for individuals to consider the contribution of their decisions to use antibiotics to the spread of resistance. Drawing on a novel survey of Swedish citizens (n=1,906), we study factors linked to i) willingness to accept a physician’s decision not to prescribe antibiotics and ii) willingness to limit personal use of antibiotics voluntary. In our study, 53 percent of the respondents stated that they would be willing to accept the physician’s decision despite disagreeing with it, and trust in the healthcare sector is significantly associated with acceptance. When it comes to people’s willingness to voluntarily abstain from using antibiotics, a majority stated that they are willing or very willing not to take antibiotics. The variation in willingness is best explained by concerns about antibiotic resistance and experience of antibiotic therapy, especially if a respondent has been denied antibiotics. Generalized trust seems to be unrelated to willingness to abstain, but the perception that other people limit their personal use of antibiotics is linked to respondents’ own willingness to do so. Few of the individual characteristics can explain the variation in that decision.
    Keywords: collective action; antibiotics use; antibiotic resistance; willingness to abstain
    JEL: D90 I12
    Date: 2019–05
  2. By: Renaud Bourlès (Aix-Marseille School of Economics (CNRS / AMU / EHESS) (AMSE)); Yann Bramoullé (Aix-Marseille School of Economics (CNRS / AMU / EHESS)); Eduardo Perez (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: We provide the first analysis of the risk-sharing implications of altruism networks. Agents are embedded in a fixed network and care about each other. We study whether altruistic transfers help smooth consumption and how this depends on the shape of the network. We identify two benchmarks where altruism networks generate efficient insurance: for any shock when the network of perfect altruism is strongly connected and for any small shock when the network of transfers is weakly connected. We show that the extent of informal insurance depends on the average path length of the altruism network and that small shocks are partially insured by endogenous risk-sharing communities. We uncover complex structural effects. Under iid incomes, central agents tend to be better insured, the consumption correlation between two agents is positive and tends to decrease with network distance, and a new link can decrease or increase the consumption variance of indirect neighbors. Overall, we show that altruism in networks has a first-order impact on risk and generates specific patterns of consumption smoothing.
    Date: 2018–11
  3. By: Morten Hedegaard; Rudolf Kerschbamer; Mueller Daniel; Jean-Robert Tyran
    Abstract: We use a large and heterogeneous sample of the Danish population to investigate the importance of distributional preferences for behavior in a public good game and a trust game. We find robust evidence for the significant explanatory power of distributional preferences. In fact, compared to twenty-one covariates, distributional preferences turn out to be the single most important predictor of behavior. Specifically, subjects who reveal benevolence in the domain of advantageous inequality contribute more to the public good and are more likely to pick the trustworthy action in the trust game than other subjects. Since the experiments were spread out more than one year, our results suggest that there is a component of distributional preferences that is stable across games and over time.
    Keywords: Distributional preferences, social preferences, Equality-Equivalence Test, representa- tive online experiment, trust game, public goods game, dictator game.
    JEL: C72 C91 D64
    Date: 2019–09
  4. By: Arnaud Tognetti (Karolinska Institutet [Stockholm], Institute for Advanced Study Toulouse); David Doat (ANTHROPO-LAB - Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Expérimentale - ICL - Institut Catholique de Lille - UCL - Université catholique de Lille); Dimitri Dubois (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier); Rustam Romaniuc (ANTHROPO-LAB - Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Expérimentale - ICL - Institut Catholique de Lille - UCL - Université catholique de Lille, LEM - Lille économie management - LEM - UMR 9221 - Université de Lille - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The empathy-altruism hypothesis postulates that the awareness of others' need, pain, or distress increases empathetic feelings, which in turn triggers cooperative behaviour. Although some evidence supports this hypothesis, previous studies were prone to the ‘experimenter demand effects' raising concerns about the interpretation of the results. To avoid this issue, we designed a laboratory experiment where we examined whether the presence of individuals with a genuine physical disability would increase group cooperation in a public goods game. By manipulating the group composition during a social dilemma, we created a more ecologically valid environment closer to real-life interactions. Our results showed that the presence of physically disabled individuals did not affect group cooperation. Specifically, their presence did not affect the contributions of their physically abled partners. The lack of a surge in cooperative behaviour questions the interpretation of previous studies and suggests that they may be explained by an experimenter demand effect. Alternatively, our results may also suggest that in the context of a social dilemma with real stakes, people with physical disabilities are not perceived as being in need or do not induce enough empathy to overweight the cost of cooperation and trigger cooperative behaviours.
    Keywords: cooperation,empathy-altruism hypothesis,public goods game,physically disabled individuals
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Dang Duc; Dang Kim; Vu Thi
    Abstract: This paper examines how the interaction of social trust and institutions, such as land administration, affects household economic decisions in Viet Nam.Using a panel dataset of rural households from 2008 to 2014, we show that negative consequences of the duration of land administration on credit access, agricultural investment, and land use rights have been mitigated in communes with higher level of trust.These results support the view that trust complements formal institutions.Â
    Keywords: Trust,Agricultural industries,Land rights
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Alexsandros Cavgias; Raphael Corbi, Luis Meloni, Lucas M. Novaes
    Abstract: Political debates provide voters with a unique opportunity to learn about which candidates best represent their interests. They are complex campaign events that are followed by intensive media analysis and commentary. Despite growing evidence about their impact on voter behavior, little is known about their interrelated role with subsequent news coverage. This paper investigates the impact of an episode of manipulated TV coverage of a major presidential debate on the 1989 Brazilian presidential election. First, we present evidence from an online experiment that the coverage affects the audience’s evaluation of candidates differently then the actual debate. We then take advantage of a unique natural experiment regarding the geographical distribution of broadcaster-specific TV signal and the timing of election events in order to disentangle the effect of the coverage from the debate itself. By exploring both survey and actual election data, we find that the left-wing candidate lost 1.9−8.6 p.p. in vote share due to unfavorable coverage by the dominant TV network in Brazil. We also provide direct evidence that the mechanism works through a change in voters’ perception of who won the debate. Together, our set of results show how dominant media groups can distort the information generated by presidential debates through its subsequent news coverage, thus hindering the role of debates in informing voters.
    Keywords: political debates; media bias; elections
    JEL: D72 L82 O12
    Date: 2019–05–15
  7. By: Maria Kravtsova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Aleksey Oshchepkov
    Abstract: Economists tend to reduce all corruption to impersonal market-like transactions, ignoring the role of social ties in shaping corruption. In this paper, we show that this simplification substantially limits the understanding of corruption. We distinguish between market corruption (impersonal bribery), and network (or parochial) corruption which is conditional on the social connections between bureaucrats and private agents. We argue, both theoretically and empirically, that these types of corruption have different qualities. Using data from the Life in Transition Survey (LiTS) which covers all post-socialist countries we show, first, that the correlation between market and network corruption is weak, which implies that ignoring network corruption leads not only to an underestimation of the overall scale of corruption but also biases national corruption rankings. Secondly, in line with theoretical expectations, we find that network corruption is more persistent over time, less related to contemporary national socio-economic and institutional characteristics and has stronger historical roots than market corruption. Yet, network corruption, unlike bribery, is not able to ‘grease the wheels’ and is not associated with political instability. Lastly, we show that the decline in bribery which was observed in almost all post-socialist countries in the period from 2010 to 2016 was accompanied by rising network corruption in many of them, which has important policy implications.
    Keywords: market corruption, parochial corruption, network corruption, blat, bribery, postsocialist countries
    JEL: D73 Z13 L26
    Date: 2019–02
  8. By: Feldhaus, Christoph; Gleue, Marvin; Löschel, Andreas
    Abstract: We conduct a field experiment with the visitors of the German Catholic Convention in Münster, Germany. We aim at investigating the effect of the announced attitude of a Catholic institution concerning climate protection efforts, of people's experimentally induced religiosity (using a priming intervention) and of the corresponding interaction on people's willingness to donate to a carbon-offsetting fund. Our results suggest that the supporting signal by the Catholic institution substantially increases donations by about 56 %. We observe neither a direct effect of the induced religiosity nor an interaction with the institution's signal. Our results thus indicate that religious authorities can promote sustainable behavior. As we observe no evidence that the signalmainly influences particularly religious people, we further conclude that religious institutions may serve as more general authorities when it comes to sustainable behavior rather than solely as leaders of those aiming to follow religious prescripts.
    Keywords: Sustainable behavior,Field experiment,Religiosity,Priming,Carbon offsets
    JEL: C93 D64 D91 Q56 Z12
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Kevin Grubiak (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: This paper reports an experiment designed to investigate the role of image concerns in promise keeping. The task employed allows to shed light on the relevance of both social -image and self -image concerns. Whereas in the former case, behavior is expected to depend on how others perceive a given action, in the latter case what matters is how actions reflect on a decision-maker’s self -perception. We observe strong evidence of social-image concerns in treatments which feature ex-ante opportunities for promise exchange. Ruling out alternative explanations, our results are consistent with subjects exhibiting an aversion to being perceived as a promise breaker by others. Surprisingly, subjects seem not to anticipate social-image concerns to be present in others. Our test of self-image concerns yields a null result: there is no evidence suggesting that subjects in our experiment engaged in self-deception to evade their promise-induced commitments. This resilience can be interpreted as corroborating evidence of the strength of promises. Our results shed light on the conditions under which promises can be expected to facilitate successful relationships based on trust.
    Keywords: Trust; Communication; Promises; Image Concerns; Beliefs
    JEL: C91 D03 D82 D83
    Date: 2019–05
  10. By: Atzmueller, Martin (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Kolkman, Daan; Liebregts, Werner (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Haring, Arjan (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: Social sensing provides many opportunities for observing human behavior utilizing objective (sensor) measurements. This paper describes an approach for analyzing organizational social networks capturing face-to-face contacts between individuals. Furthermore, we outline perspectives and scenarios for an extended analysis in order to estimate happiness in the context of organizational social networks.
    Date: 2018

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