nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2019‒07‒08
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Team Incentives, Social Cohesion, and Performance: A Natural Field Experiment By Josse Delfgaauw; Robert Dur; Okemena Onemu; Joeri Sol
  2. News We Like to Share : How News Sharing on Social Networks Influences Voting Outcomes By Pogorelskiy. Kirill; Shum, Matthew
  3. A Political Economy of Social Discrimination By Dewan, Torun; Wolton, Stephane
  4. Identifying Topic-based Communities by Combining Social Network Data and User Generated Content By Mirai Igarashi; Nobuhiko Terui
  5. Slacktivism By Ginzburg, Boris
  6. Can common ownership prevent the tragedy of the commons? An experimental investigation By Puzon, Klarizze; Willinger, Marc
  7. The Altruism Budget: Measuring and Encouraging Charitable Giving By Laura K. Gee; Jonathan Meer
  8. Competition and the role of group identity By Francesca Cornaglia; Michalis Drouvelis; Paolo Masella
  9. Switching queues, cultural conventions, and social welfare By Stark, Oded; Budzinski, Wiktor; Kosiorowski, Grzegorz
  10. Does Culture Matter? A Test of the Harrison Hypothesis By Colin A. Moore; Elizabeth Mubanga Chishimba; Paul N. Wilson

  1. By: Josse Delfgaauw (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Robert Dur (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Okemena Onemu (Leiden University); Joeri Sol (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We conduct a field experiment in a Dutch retail chain with 122 stores to study the interaction between team incentives, team social cohesion, and team performance. Theory predicts that the effect of team incentives on team performance depends on a team's social cohesion. In particular, free-riding should be weaker when co-workers care more about each other. Conversely, team incentives may lead to more co-worker support or to higher peer pressure and thereby can affect the team's social cohesion. We introduce short-term team incentives in a randomly selected subset of stores and measure for all stores, both before and after the intervention, the team's sales performance, the team's social cohesion as well as co-worker support and peer pressure. The average treatment effect of the team incentive on sales is 1.5 percentage points, which does not differ significantly from zero. In line with theory, the estimated treatment effect strongly increases in social cohesion as measured before the intervention. We find that social cohesion itself is not affected by the team incentives. Our study illustrates the potential of complementing a field experiment with ex ante and ex post questionnaire data collection for the study of management practices, workplace behavior, and performance.
    Keywords: field experiment, team incentives, social cohesion
    JEL: C93 M52
    Date: 2019–06–29
  2. By: Pogorelskiy. Kirill (University of Warwick); Shum, Matthew (Caltech)
    Abstract: More voters than ever get political news from their friends on social media platforms. Is this bad for democracy? Using context-neutral laboratory experiments, we find that biased (mis)information shared on social networks affects the quality of collective decisions relatively more than does segregation by political preferences on social media. Two features of subject behavior underlie this finding: 1) they share news signals selectively, revealing signals favorable to their candidates more often than unfavorable signals; 2) they naıvely take signals at face value and account for neither the selection in the shared signals nor the differential informativeness of news signals across different sources.
    Keywords: news sharing ; social networks ; voting ; media bias ; fake news ; polarization ; filter bubble ; lab experiments
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D72 D83 D85
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Dewan, Torun; Wolton, Stephane
    Abstract: From burqa ban to minaret ban, from right to detain suspected illegal immigrants to restricting the help to migrants, the number of social laws specifically targeting a tiny proportion of citizens has raised in recent years across Western democracies. These symbolic policies, we show, are far from being innocuous: they can have far reaching consequences for large parts of the population. By raising the salience of certain social traits (e.g., Muslim identity) these laws can create a labour market loaded in favor of the majority (e.g., the non-Muslims), yielding higher unemployment rates and spells for minority citizens. These deleterious effects arise even absent any form of bias against, or uncertainty about, minority workers. Instead they are fully driven by social expectations about behavior and are best understood as a form of social discrimination. Importantly, we establish conditions under which a plurality of the citizenry demands the implementation of symbolic policies anticipating their labor market consequences. We further highlight that the implementation of symbolic policies is always associated with less redistribution and can be coupled with lower tax rates. We discuss several policy recommendations to limit the possibility of social discrimination arising.
    Keywords: burqa, minority, redistribution, identity politics
    JEL: D70 J60 J64 J70 J71 J78
    Date: 2019–06–08
  4. By: Mirai Igarashi; Nobuhiko Terui
    Abstract: This study proposes a model for identifying communities by combining two types of data: social network data and user-generated-content (UGC). The existing models for detecting the community structure of a network employ only network information. However, not all people connected in a network share the same interests. For instance, even if students belong to the same community of "school," they may have various hobbies such as music, books, or sports. Hence, targeting various networks to identify communities according to their interests uncovered by their communications on social media is more realistic and beneficial for companies. In addition, people may belong to multiple communities such as family, work, and online friends. Our model explores multiple overlapping communities according to their topics identified using two types of data jointly. By way of validating the main features of the proposed model, our simulation study shows that the model correctly identifies the community structure that could not be found without considering both network data and UGC. Furthermore, an empirical analysis using Twitter data clarifies that our model can find realistic and meaningful community structures from large social networks and has a good predictive performance.
    Date: 2019–04
  5. By: Ginzburg, Boris
    Abstract: Many countries have introduced e-government petitioning systems, in which a petition that gathers enough signatures triggers some political outcome. This paper models citizens who choose whether to sign a petition. Citizens are imperfectly informed about the petition's chance of bringing change. The number of citizens approaches infinity, while the cost of signing is positive but low, falling within certain bounds. In the limit, participation is increasing in the required quota of signatures. Social welfare is decreasing in the quota. Information aggregation may fail if individual signals are sufficiently uninformative.
    Keywords: online petitions, collective action, voting, political participation
    JEL: D72 H41
    Date: 2019–05–09
  6. By: Puzon, Klarizze (Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University); Willinger, Marc (University of Montpellier)
    Abstract: We study experimentally a two-stage common pool resource game. In the first stage, selected members of the group determine the level of protection for the resource. The protected fraction of the resource is equally shared among group members. In the second stage, the unprotected fraction of the resource is competed for. We consider three institutions varying in the extent by which subjects participate in the first stage: vote (all group members participate), dictator (only one member decides), and outsider (no one participates). We also vary the initial level of the resource: scarce or abundant. We establish the following results. First, we find that voting provides more frequent protection and leads to higher protection levels than other institutions. Second, collective rent-seeking is larger when the level of the resource is high, but this tendency is sharply reduced in the presence of democratic institutions. Third, collective rent-seeking is negatively affected by the level of protection, but significantly so only when the highest protection level is implemented. These experimental results are stronger in the case of a resource boom than in the case of a resource bust.
    Keywords: voting; commons; natural resources; property rights; experiments
    JEL: C90 D02 D72 P48
    Date: 2019–06–26
  7. By: Laura K. Gee; Jonathan Meer
    Abstract: Much of the research on charitable giving has concentrated on how to increase monetary donations to a single organization. But do activities that increase donations to one non-profit or through one method come at the expense of others? This chapter examines the state of the literature on the “altruism budget.” We first discuss whether an act needs to be totally unselfish to be counted in the altruism budget. We then examine the various components that go into the altruism budget, including but not limited to monetary donations, volunteered time, and in-kind gifts. The remainder of the chapter discusses the research on whether the altruism budget is fixed across gifts to different non-profits, in different forms, or at different times. Overall, the evidence is decidedly mixed on whether the altruism budget is fixed or flexible. Perhaps surprisingly, gifts at one point in time do not seem to be neutralized through lower giving later. But the impact on contemporaneous gifts to other charities, or through other forms of giving, is more difficult to summarize.
    JEL: D64 H41
    Date: 2019–06
  8. By: Francesca Cornaglia; Michalis Drouvelis; Paolo Masella
    Abstract: The emergence of competition is a defining aspect of human nature and characterizes many important social environments. However, its relationship with how social groups are formed has received little attention. We design an experiment to analyze how individuals’ willingness to compete is affected by group identity. We find that individuals display substantially stronger competitiveness in within group (ingroup) matchings than in between group (outgroup) matchings or in a control setting where no group identity is induced. We also find that the effect of group identity is stronger for subjects who participated more actively in the team-building task.
    Keywords: competition, social distance, group identity, laboratory experiment
    JEL: C92 D03
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Stark, Oded; Budzinski, Wiktor; Kosiorowski, Grzegorz
    Abstract: We use queuing-related behavior as an instrument for assessing the social appeal of alternative cultural norms. Specifically, we study the behavior of rational and sophisticated individuals who stand in a given queue waiting to be served, and who, in order to speed up the process, consider switching to another queue. We look at two regimes that govern the possible order in which the individuals stand should they switch to the other queue: a regime in which cultural convention, social norms, and basic notions of fairness require that the order in the initial queue is preserved, and a regime without such cultural inhibitions, in which case the order in the other queue is random, with each configuration or sequence being equally likely. We seek to find out whether in these two regimes the aggregate of the behaviors of self-interested individuals adds up to the social optimum defined as the shortest possible total waiting time. To do this, we draw on a Nash Equilibrium setting. We find that in the case of the preserved order, the equilibrium outcomes are always socially optimal. However, in the case of the random order, unless the number of individuals is small, the equilibrium outcomes are not socially optimal.
    Keywords: Political Economy, Public Economics, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2019–07–02
  10. By: Colin A. Moore; Elizabeth Mubanga Chishimba; Paul N. Wilson
    Abstract: This study utilizes unique data from the World Values Survey to test the hypothesis that fatalism and the practice of the Golden Rule influence the economic development of nations. We use standard econometric models that account for endogeneity to understand the relative roles of culture, productivity, institutions, and geography in explaining human flourishing. Our analysis supports Harrison’s cultural hypothesis and demonstrates that fatalism and altruism’s explanatory powers, in our full model, are no less powerful than productivity, institutions, and geography in explaining economic performance. However, transforming existing fatalistic and altruistic attitudes in a positive direction using public policy to provide greater support for human flourishing may prove more challenging than overcoming other development constraints.
    Keywords: International Development
    Date: 2019–06–28

This nep-soc issue is ©2019 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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