nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2019‒06‒24
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Economic Preferences of Cooperative Managers By Guillermo Alves; Pablo Blanchard; Gabriel Burdín; Mariana Chávez; Andrés Dean
  2. Transparency and Trust in Government: Evidence from a Survey Experiment By Alessandro, Martín; Cardinale Lagomarsino, Bruno; Scartascini, Carlos; Torrealday, Jerónimo
  3. Trust, investment and competition: theory and evidence from German car manufacturers By Giacomo Calzolari; Leonardo Felli; Johannes Koenen; Giancarlo Spagnolo; Konrad O. Stahl
  4. Mission of the company, prosocial attitudes and job preferences: a discrete choice experiment By Arjan Non; Ingrid Rohde; Andries de Grip; Thomas Dohmen
  5. The Effect of Social Interactions on Exporting Activities: Evidence from Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises in rural Vietnam By SHIMAMOTO Daichi; Yu Ri KIM; TODO Yasuyuki
  6. Are the extreme poor more trusting? Social capital within a homeless community in eastern Connecticut By Fiala, Nathan; Krumel, Thomas P. Jr.; Riva, Leticia
  7. Using Social Connections and Financial Incentives to Solve Coordination Failure: A Quasi-Field Experiment in India’s Manufacturing Sector By Afridi, Farzana; Dhillon, Amrita; Li, Sherry Xin; Sharma, Swati
  8. On Trust Dynamics of Economic Growth By Shah, Syed Sibghatullah
  9. Interactive social distance and trust: Different measuring approaches among semi-nomadic pastoralists in Northern Kenya By Parlasca, Martin C.; Hermann, Daniel; Mubhoff, Oliver
  10. The gender gap in informal child care: theory and some evidence from Italy By Barigozzi, Francesca; Cremer, Helmuth; Monfardini, Chiara
  11. Roots of Tolerance among Second-generation Immigrants By Berggren, Niclas; Ljunge, Martin; Nilsson, Therese

  1. By: Guillermo Alves (CAF, Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina); Pablo Blanchard (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Gabriel Burdín (The University of Leeds); Mariana Chávez (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Andrés Dean (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: A growing body of research has been investigating the role of management practices and managerial behaviour in conventional private firms and public sector organizations. However, little is known about managers’ behavioural profile in noninvestor-owned firms. This paper aims to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive behavioural characterization of managers employed in cooperatives. We gathered incentive-compatible measures of risk preferences, time preferences, reciprocity, altruism, and trust from 196 Uruguayan managers (half of them employed in worker cooperatives) and 92 first-year undergraduate students. To do this, we conducted a high-stakes lab-in-the-field experiment in which participants played a series of online experimental games and made incentivised decisions. The average payoff in the experiment was approximately 2.5 times higher than the average local managerial wage in the private sector. Our key findings are that (1) the fraction of risk loving subjects is lower among co-op managers compared to conventional managers, and (2) co-op managers appear to be more altruistic than their conventional counterparts. Interestingly, we do not observe significant differences between the two groups across other preference domains, such as impatience, trust, and reciprocity.
    Keywords: risk-aversion, time preferences, altruism, reciprocity, trust, lab-in-the-field experiment, managers, cooperatives
    JEL: C90 D81 J54
    Date: 2019–05
  2. By: Alessandro, Martín; Cardinale Lagomarsino, Bruno; Scartascini, Carlos; Torrealday, Jerónimo
    Abstract: Does providing information improve citizens’ perception about government transparency? Does all information matter the same for shaping perceptions about the government? This paper addresses these questions in the context of an online randomized survey experiment conducted in Argentina. Results show that providing information to citizens matters for shaping perceptions about transparency, and the content of the information matters for affecting the evaluation people make about the government. Those who received a “positive” treatment (showing that the government was over-performing on its promises) increased their trust in the government more than those who received a “negative” treatment (showing that the government was underperforming). The evidence highlights that the channel between transparency and trust may be mediated by the performance of the government.
    JEL: C83 H11 D83 H40 C38
    Date: 2019–06
  3. By: Giacomo Calzolari; Leonardo Felli; Johannes Koenen; Giancarlo Spagnolo; Konrad O. Stahl
    Abstract: Based on data from a comprehensive benchmarking study on buyer-supplier relationships in the German automotive industry, we show that more trust in a relationship is associated with higher idiosyncratic investment by suppliers and better part quality - but also with more competition among suppliers. Both associations hold only for parts involving comparatively unsophisticated technology, and disappear for parts involving sophisticated technology. We rationalize all these observations by means of a relational contracting model of repeated procurement with non-contractible, buyer-specific investments. In relationships involving higher trust, buyers are able to induce higher investment and more intense competition among suppliers - but only when the buyer has the bargaining power. This ability disappears when the bargaining power resides with the supplier(s).
    Keywords: relational contracts, hold-up, buyer-supplier contracts, bargaining power
    JEL: D86 L14 L62 O34
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Arjan Non; Ingrid Rohde; Andries de Grip; Thomas Dohmen
    Abstract: We conduct a discrete choice experiment to investigate how the mission of high-tech companies affects job attractiveness and induces self-selection of science and engineering graduates with respect to their prosocial attitudes. We characterize mission by whether or not the company combines its profit motive with a mission on innovation or corporate social responsibility (CSR). Furthermore, we vary job design (e.g. autonomy) and contractible job attributes (e.g. job security). We find that companies with a mission on innovation or CSR are considered more attractive. Women and individuals who are more altruistic and less competitive feel particularly attracted to such companies.
    Keywords: Mission of the company, sorting, discrete choice experiment, job characteristics, social preferences disclosure
    JEL: J81 J82 M52
    Date: 2019–06
  5. By: SHIMAMOTO Daichi; Yu Ri KIM; TODO Yasuyuki
    Abstract: This study examines the effect of social interactions on exporting activities of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in traditional apparel and textile clusters in Vietnam. To deal with econometric issues due to the reflection problem of Manski and endogeneity of network formation, we apply the estimation method developed by Bramoullé et al. (2009). Specifically, we eliminate the sub-network fixed effects using within transformation and instrument the average share of exports among peers of the focal firm by attributes of its peers' peers. This method enables us to identify the effects of exporting activities of the focal firm's peers on its own exporting activities (the endogenous effect according to Manski) and the effect of its peers' attributes (the exogenous effect). We find that peers' export share has a negative and significant effect on own export share, suggesting that the negative competition effect surpasses the positive learning effect. We also find that firms are encouraged to export by their large peers, possibly because firms can obtain technology spillovers from large peers and thus can be productive enough to start exporting.
    Date: 2019–03
  6. By: Fiala, Nathan; Krumel, Thomas P. Jr.; Riva, Leticia
    Abstract: The extreme poor in America face significant problems in their daily lives. We explore the role of social capital in a homeless community in eastern Connecticut. While researchers have studied social capital in homeless populations using qualitative methods, there is very little quantitative evidence of if or how well the homeless trust other homeless people or are trusted by the nonhomeless in their communities. We explore the questions of altruism and trust within and between homeless people using behavioral games commonly used in economic research. We find that individuals currently experiencing homelessness are more trusting in general, compared to individuals not currently experiencing homelessness. We also find that those who are not currently homeless, but have been in the past, are more trusting of the homeless population than the non-homeless. We argue that these results have important policy implications and that economists and other social scientists should work more with the extreme poor to understand their constraints and needs.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Afridi, Farzana (Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi); Dhillon, Amrita (King’s College London); Li, Sherry Xin (University of Arkansas); Sharma, Swati (Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi)
    Abstract: Production processes are often organized in teams, yet there is limited evidence on whether and how social connections and financial incentives affect productivity in tasks that require coordination among workers. We simulate assembly line production in a lab-in-the-field experiment in which workers exert real effort in a minimum-effort game in teams whose members are either socially connected or unconnected and are paid according to the group output. We find that group output increases by 18% and coordination improves by 30-39% when workers are socially connected with their co-workers. Connected groups also coordinate better when we introduce a lump sum bonus, suggesting that financial and social incentives can be complementary in this setting. These findings can plausibly be explained by trust between co-workers in socially connected teams.
    Keywords: caste-based networks, social incentives, financial incentives, minimum effort game, coordination, trust JEL Classification: C93, D20, D22, D24, J33
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Shah, Syed Sibghatullah
    Abstract: Trust among individuals in society may have various economic and social implications. Though, worldwide data on economic growth rarely consider trust as an ingredient in manipulating economic outcomes. Thus, we include trust instigating from individual, affecting community and state thus, forming trust-based economy. In order to explore the relationship of trust with growth and its benefits implications, this study suggests a model which is validated by Markov process. Consequently, results indicate significant impact of trust on economic growth by achieving convergence in very few iterations in the case of trust-based economy. On the other hand, economy with lowest trust level shows delayed convergence and takes around 4 times more iterations to attain equilibrium. Additionally, socio-economic benefits are more visible in a trust-based economy.
    Keywords: Trust, Markov process, Equilibrium, Convergence, Economic Growth
    JEL: C15 C53 D71 E21 H20 O47 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2019–05–23
  9. By: Parlasca, Martin C.; Hermann, Daniel; Mubhoff, Oliver
    Abstract: Trust is an essential part of economic interactions. Nearly all activities involving the exchange of goods or services require at least some degree of mutual confidence. Until today some of the lowest levels of social trust are found in sub-Saharan Africa, especially among pastoral communities. However, there is still high uncertainty about extend and drivers of trust in pastoral populations. In this study we analyze trust of 402 semi-nomadic pastoralists living in Turkana County, Northern Kenya using both incentivized experiments and survey trust questions. In particular, we measure the degree in which trust diminishes as interactive social distance increases by playing a trust game and randomly pairing respondents with a fellow villager, a pastoralist from a neighboring village, or a city dweller from the county’s capital. We find that trust towards fellow villagers is statistically significantly larger than trust towards city dwellers from the county capital. Survey responses also indicate that pastoralists place more trust in their fellow villagers than in pastoralists from neighboring villages, while behavior in the experiment does not show any statistically significant differences between these two groups. To overcome the trust barriers identified in this study, we suggest policy makers and practitioners that offer extension services for pastoralists to involve locally respected and trusted agents.
    Keywords: Public Economics
    Date: 2019–04–15
  10. By: Barigozzi, Francesca; Cremer, Helmuth; Monfardini, Chiara
    Abstract: Our model studies couples' time allocation and career choices, which are affected by a social norm on gender roles in the family. Parents can provide two types of informal child care: basic care (feeding, changing children, baby-sitting) and quality care (activities that stimulate children's social and cognitive skills). We obtain the following main results. Traditional mothers provide some informal basic care, whereas career mothers purchase full time formal basic care in the market. Informal basic care is too large and the group of career mothers is too small because of the social norm. Informal quality care is increasing in the couple's income and is provided in larger amount by mothers. We test the model's predictions for Italy using the most recent ISTAT 'Use of Time' survey. In line with the model, mothers devote more time than fathers to both basic and quality informal care; more educated parents devote more time to quality informal care than less educated parents; more educated mothers spend more time in the labor market than less educated mothers.
    Keywords: Social norms; basic and quality child care; women's career choices; gender gaps
    JEL: D13 H23 J16 J22
    Date: 2019–06
  11. By: Berggren, Niclas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Ljunge, Martin (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Nilsson, Therese (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Tolerance – respecting individual choice and differences among people – is a prominent feature of modern European culture. That immigrants embrace this kind of liberal value is arguably important for integration, a central policy goal. We provide a rigorous study of what factors in the ancestral countries of second-generation immigrants – including formal and informal institutions – that predict their level of tolerance towards gay people. Using the epidemiological method allows us to rule out reverse causality. Out of the 46 factors examined, one emerges as very robust: a Muslim background. Tolerance is lower the larger the share of Muslims in the country from which the parents emigrated. An instrumental-variable analysis shows that the main mechanism is not through the individual being a Muslim but through the individual being highly religious. Two additional attitudes among people in the ancestral country (valuing children being tolerant and respectful, and valuing children taking responsibility), as well as impartial institutions in the ancestral country, predict higher individual tolerance. Our findings thus point to an important role for both formal- and informal-institutional background factors in shaping tolerance.
    Keywords: Tolerance; Integration; Liberal; Culture; Institutions; Religion
    JEL: F02 F22 Z13 Z18
    Date: 2019–05–28

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