nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2019‒09‒16
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Laws and Norms: Experimental Evidence with Liability Rules By Bruno Deffains; Romain Espinosa; Claude Fluet
  2. "Civic Engagement as a Second-Order Public Good" By Kenju Kamei; Louis Putterman; Jean-Robert Tyran
  3. The Rise of the 'No Party' in England By Toke Aidt; Christopher Rauh
  4. Is culture a contributing factor of strong science? By Mahmood Khosrowjerdi; Lutz Bornmann
  5. Beyond Solidarity and Accumulation Networks in Urban Informal African Economies By Jean-Philippe Berrou; François Combarnous
  6. Cooperation in the climate commons By Carattini, Stefano; Levin, Simon; Tavoni, Alessandro
  7. Brokering Votes With Information Spread Via Social Networks By Raúl Duarte; Frederico Finan; Horacio Larreguy; Laura Schechter
  8. Donors Change Both Their Level and Pattern of Giving in Response to Contests among Charities By Cary Deck; James J. Murphy
  9. Dynamic Social Interactions and Health Risk Behavior By Tiziano Arduini; Alberto Bisin; Onur Özgür; Eleonora Patacchini
  10. The Intergenerational Correlation of Employment: Is There a Role for Work Culture? By Gabriela Galassi; David Koll; Lukas Mayr
  11. The Effects of Gender and Parental Occupation in the Apprenticeship Market: An Experimental Evaluation By Fernandes, Ana; Huber, Martin; Plaza, Camila

  1. By: Bruno Deffains (Centre de Recherches en Droit et Economie (CRED) - Université Panthéon Assas (Paris 2)); Romain Espinosa (CREM - Centre de recherche en économie et management - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - UNIV-RENNES - Université de Rennes - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Claude Fluet (Laval University [Québec])
    Abstract: We conduct an experiment where participants choose between actions that provide private benefits but may also impose losses on others. Three legal environments are compared: no law, strict liability for harm caused to third parties, and an efficiently designed negligence rule where damages are paid only when the harmful action generates a net social loss. Legal obligations are either perfectly enforced (Severe Law) or only weakly so (Mild Law), i.e., expected sanctions are then nondeterrent. We find that behavior can be rationalized in terms of individuals trading-off private benefits, net of legal liability, against the net uncompensated losses caused to others. The weight associated with non incentivized efficiency concerns is increased by the introduction of a liability rule, whether deterrent or not, and there is evidence that the effect is stronger under strict liability than under the negligence rule.
    Keywords: Behavioral law and economics,liability rules,social norms,social preferences,legal norms
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Kenju Kamei; Louis Putterman; Jean-Robert Tyran
    Abstract: Effective states provide public goods by taxing their citizens and imposing penalties for non-compliance. However, accountable government requires that enough citizens are civically engaged. We study the voluntary cooperative underpinnings of the accountable state by conducting a two-level public goods experiment in which civic engagement can build a sanction scheme to solve the first-order public goods dilemma. We find that civic engagement can be sustained at high levels when costs are low relative to the benefits of public good provision. This cost-to-benefit differential yields what we call a “leverage effect” because it transforms modest willingness to cooperate into the larger social dividend from the power of taxation. In addition, we find that local social interaction among subgroups of participants also boosts cooperation.
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Toke Aidt; Christopher Rauh
    Abstract: We document a remarkable increase over the past two and a half decades in the fraction of people in England feeling close to no party – the rise of the “no party” – which, today, is close to constituting an absolute majority. We develop a new method to distinguish between age, period, and cohort effects based on individual longitudinal survey data and we show that the rise of the “no party” is driven much more by a secular trend (period effects) than by generation replacement (cohort effects). We show that the increase in “no party” supporters and in their turnout behavior can explain 80% of the observed decline in election turnout in England over the period. A detailed investigation of the dynamics of party identification shows that party political disengagement has become more persistent over time.
    Keywords: age-period-cohort effects, party identification, democracy, England, Secular Disengagement Hypothesis
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Mahmood Khosrowjerdi; Lutz Bornmann
    Abstract: Many factors such as economy size, capital resources, and size of national publication market seem to be related to the scientific performance of nations. In this paper we link the national culture values with scientific performance of 53 nations. We focus on the year 2010. Our study uses three datasets: 1) Hofstede's data on national culture, 2) data on migration share of societies, and 3) citation impact data. We found that four dimensions of culture (i.e. individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and indulgence) correlate practically and statistically significantly with scientific impact of nations. The findings are discussed in mirror of cultural theories.
    Date: 2019–09
  5. By: Jean-Philippe Berrou (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, LAM - Les Afriques dans le monde - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IEP Bordeaux - Sciences Po Bordeaux - Institut d'études politiques de Bordeaux); François Combarnous (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role and nature of entrepreneurs' social networks in the urban informal economy of Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso). Using an original dataset, the configuration of social networks is described based on three salient dimensions: tie content, member attributes and network structure. Multidimensional analysis allows for the simultaneous consideration of all three dimensions. Our findings suggest that network configurations at play extend well beyond the standard distinction between solidarity and accumulation networks. The complex networks highlighted by this study are consistent with rapid social changes in contemporary urban Africa. They can also significantly enhance the outcomes of small businesses.
    Keywords: Burkina Faso,Informal economy,Social networks analysis,Micro and Small Enterprises,Sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Carattini, Stefano; Levin, Simon; Tavoni, Alessandro
    Abstract: Climate change is a global externality that has proven difficult to address through formal institutions alone, due to the public good properties of climate change mitigation and the lack of a supranational institution for enforcing global treaties. Given these circumstances, which are arguably the most challenging for international cooperation, commitment problems and free-riding incentives for countries to delay costly mitigation efforts are major obstacles to effective environmental agreements. Starting from this premise, we examine domestic mitigation efforts, with the goal of assessing the extent to which the willingness of individuals to contribute voluntarily to the public good of climate mitigation could be scaled up to the global level. Although individual environmental actions are clearly insufficient for achieving ambitious global mitigation targets, we argue that they are nevertheless initial and essential steps in the right direction. In fact, individual and community efforts may be particularly important if local interventions encourage shifts in norms and behaviors that favor large-scale transformations. With this in mind, we discuss the importance of the visibility of norms and the role of beliefs when such visibility is lacking, and their implications for leveraging cooperative behavior to increase climate mitigation efforts locally and globally.
    Keywords: social norms; collective action; pro-environmental behaviour; climate policy; conditional cooperation; ES/R009708/1
    JEL: D70 F59 H23 M30 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2019–07–10
  7. By: Raúl Duarte; Frederico Finan; Horacio Larreguy; Laura Schechter
    Abstract: Throughout much of the developing world, politicians rely on political brokers to buy votes prior to elections. We investigate how social networks help facilitate vote-buying exchanges by combining village network data of brokers and voters with broker reports of vote buying. We show that networks diffuse politically-relevant information about voters to brokers who leverage it to target voters. In particular, we find that brokers target reciprocal voters who are not registered to their party and about whom they can hear more information through their social network. These results highlight the importance of information diffusion through social networks for vote buying and ultimately for political outcomes.
    JEL: D72 O1
    Date: 2019–09
  8. By: Cary Deck (University of Alabama; Chapman University); James J. Murphy (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage)
    Abstract: This paper examines two previously unexplored techniques for increasing charitable giving, both motivated by the contest literature. One is a fixed bonus that is paid to the organization receiving the most donations, akin to an all-pay auction. The other is a raffle-based bonus, akin to a Tullock contest. These two techniques are compared to a one-to-one matching program and a baseline condition in a within-subject laboratory experiment. The results reveal that all three bonus techniques lead to similar increases in donations to organizations eligible for the promotion. However, when only some organizations are eligible, the increases in giving to eligible organizations are primarily driven by a reallocation of donations away from ineligible organizations.
    Keywords: experimental economics, Charitable Giving, Contests, All-pay Auction, Donation Matching, Laboratory Experiment, philanthropy
    JEL: C9 D6 D7 D9 L3 H4
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Tiziano Arduini; Alberto Bisin; Onur Özgür; Eleonora Patacchini
    Abstract: We study risky behavior of adolescents. Concentrating on smoking and alcohol use, we structurally estimate a dynamic social interaction model in the context of students' school networks included in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The model allows for forward-looking behavior of agents, addiction effects, and social interactions in the form of preferences for conformity in the social network. We find strong evidence for forward looking dynamics and addiction effects. We also find that social interactions in the estimated dynamic model are quantitatively large. A misspecified static model would fit data substantially worse, while producing a much smaller estimate of the social interaction effect. With the estimated dynamic model, a temporary shock to students' preferences in the 10th grade has effects on their behavior in grades 10, 11, 12, with estimated social multipliers 1:53, 1:03, and 0:76, respectively. The multiplier effect of a permanent shock is much larger, up to 3:7 in grade 12. Moreover (semi-) elasticities of a permanent change in the availability of alcohol or cigarettes at home on child risky behavior implied by the dynamic equilibrium are 25%, 63%, and 79%, in grades 10, 11, 12, respectively.
    JEL: C18 C33 C62 C63 C73 I12
    Date: 2019–09
  10. By: Gabriela Galassi; David Koll; Lukas Mayr
    Abstract: We document a substantial positive correlation of employment status between mothers and their children in the United States, linking data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) and the NLSY79 Children and Young Adults. After controlling for ability, education and wealth, a one-year increase in a mother’s employment is associated with six weeks more employment of her child on average. The intergenerational transmission of maternal employment is stronger to daughters than to sons, and it is higher for low-educated and low-income mothers. Potential mechanisms we were able to rule out included networks, occupation-specific human capital and conditions within the local labor market. By contrast, we provide suggestive evidence for a role-model channel through which labor force participation is transmitted.
    Keywords: Econometric and statistical methods; Economic models; Labour markets
    JEL: E24 J21 J22 J62
    Date: 2019–09
  11. By: Fernandes, Ana (University of Applied Sciences); Huber, Martin; Plaza, Camila (University of Basel)
    Abstract: The apprenticeship market is the earliest possible entry into the workforce in developed economies. Since early labor market shocks are likely magnified throughout professional life, avoiding mismatches between talent and occupations e.g. due to gender- or status-based discrimination appears crucial. This experimental study investigates the effects of applicant gender and its interaction with parental occupation on callback rates in the Swiss apprenticeship market, i.e. invitations to an interview, assessment center, or trial apprenticeship. Our correspondence test consists of sending out fictitious job applications with randomized gender and parental occupation to apprenticeship vacancies in four Swiss regions. We by and large find no robust evidence of differential treatment by employers, as gender and parental occupation do not affect callback rates in a statistically significant way in most cases.
    Keywords: Field Experiment; Correspondence Test; Discrimination; Gender; Parental Occupation
    JEL: C93 J16 J71
    Date: 2019–09–09

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