nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2021‒10‒04
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Formal insurance and altruism networks By Tizié Bene; Yann Bramoullé; Frédéric Deroïan
  2. Measuring corruption in the field using behavioral games By Alex Armand; Alexander Coutts; Pedro C. Vicente; Ines Vilela
  3. The Key Class in Networks By Nizar Allouch; Jayeeta Bhattacharya
  4. Ingroup Bias with Multiple Identities : The Case of Religion and Attitudes towards Government Size By Sgroi, Daniel; Yeo, Jonathan; Zhuo, Shi
  5. The Effect of Self-Awareness and Competition on Dishonesty By Cibik, Ceren Bengu; Sgroi, Daniel
  6. Unstable diffusion in social networks By Teruyoshi Kobayashi; Yoshitaka Ogisu; Tomokatsu Onaga
  7. Reciprocity in Dictator Games: An Experimental Study By Luciano Andreozzi; Marco Faillo; Ali Seyhun Saral

  1. By: Tizié Bene (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France); Yann Bramoullé (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France); Frédéric Deroïan (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France)
    Abstract: We study how altruism networks affect the adoption of formal insurance. Agents have private CARA utilities and are embedded in a network of altruistic relationships. Incomes are subject to both a common shock and a large idiosyncratic shock. Agents can adopt formal insurance to cover the common shock. We show that ex-post altruistic transfers induce interdependence in ex-ante adoption decisions. We characterize the Nash equilibria of the insurance adoption game. We show that adoption decisions are substitutes and that the number of adopters is unique in equilibrium. The demand for formal insurance is lower with altruism than without at low prices, but higher at high prices. Remarkably, individual incentives are aligned with social welfare. We extend our analysis to CRRA utilities and to a fixed utility cost of adoption.
    Keywords: formal insurance, informal transfers, altruism networks
    JEL: C72 D85
    Date: 2021–09
  2. By: Alex Armand; Alexander Coutts; Pedro C. Vicente; Ines Vilela
    Abstract: Corruption is often harmful for economic development, yet it is difficult to measure due to its illicit nature. We propose a novel corruption game to characterize the interaction between actual political leaders and citizens, and implement it in Northern Mozambique. Contrary to the game-theoretic prediction, both leaders and citizens engage in corruption. Importantly, corruption in the game is correlated with real-world corruption by leaders: citizens send bribes to leaders whom we observe appropriating community money, and these leaders are likely to reciprocate the bribes. In corrupt behavior, we identify an important trust dimension captured by a standard trust game.
    Keywords: Corruption, game, trust, lab-in-the-field, citizen, political leader, incentives, behavior, elite capture
    JEL: D10 D70 D72 D73 C90
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Nizar Allouch; Jayeeta Bhattacharya
    Abstract: This paper proposes new centrality measures to characterise the `key class', when agents in a network are sorted into role-equivalent classes, such that its removal results in an optimal change in the network activity. The notion of role-equivalence is defined through the graph-theoretical concept of equitable partition of networks, which finds wide empirical and theoretical applicability. Players in the network engage in a non-cooperative game with local payoff complementarities. We establish a link between the generic network and its partitioned or quotient graph, and use it to relate the Nash equilibrium activity of classes with their position within the partitioned network. The result informs two class-based centrality measures that geometrically characterise the key class for an optimal reduction (or increase) in the aggregate and the per-capita network activity, respectively.
    Keywords: Social and economic networks; network games; equitable partition; centrality measures
    JEL: C72 D85
    Date: 2021–08
  4. By: Sgroi, Daniel (University of Warwick); Yeo, Jonathan (Nanyang Technological University); Zhuo, Shi (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Group identity is known to exert a powerful socio-psychological influence on behaviour but to date has been largely explored as a uni-dimensional phenomenon. We consider the role of multiple dimensions of identity, asking what might happen to ingroup and outgroup perceptions and the resulting implications for cooperation. Carefully selecting two politically charged identity dimensions documented to have similar strength and to be largely orthogonal (religious belief and views about government size), we find that priming individuals to consider both dimensions rather than one has a noticeable effect on behaviour. Moving from one to two dimensions can produce a significant increase in ingroup allocations at the expense of fairness to outgroup individuals, although the effect varies as we switch from primarily considering religion to government size. Evidence suggests that the heterogeneity of such effects is related to the degree of “harmony” between groups in the dimensions concerned.
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Cibik, Ceren Bengu (University of Warwick); Sgroi, Daniel (University of Warwick & IZA)
    Abstract: We provide the rst investigation of the relationship between self-awareness and dishonesty in a multi-wave pre-registered experiment with 1,260 subjects. In the first wave we vary the level of awareness of subjects' past dishonesty and explore the impact on behaviour in tasks that include the scope to lie. In the second wave we vary the degree of competitiveness in one of our core tasks to further explore the interactions between self-awareness, (dis)honesty and competition. We also test for the experimental demand effect in order to rule it out. Our results suggest that in non-interactive tasks, self-awareness helps to lower dishonesty in the future. However, in tasks that are competitive in nature becoming more aware of past dishonesty raises the likelihood of dishonesty in the future. In other words, we show when making people aware of their own past dishonesty can help to reduce dishonesty and when it might backfire. We are also careful to test for any possible demand e ect, and perform text analysis to provide independent veri cation of the success of our treatments.
    Keywords: lying ; honesty ; truth-telling ; cognitive dissonance ; social norms ; competition ; experiment JEL Classification: D03 ; D82 ; C91 ; C92
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Teruyoshi Kobayashi; Yoshitaka Ogisu; Tomokatsu Onaga
    Abstract: How and to what extent will new activities spread through social ties? Here, we develop a more sophisticated framework than the standard mean-field approach to describe the diffusion dynamics of multiple activities on complex networks. We show that the diffusion of multiple activities follows a saddle path and can be highly unstable. In particular, when the two activities are sufficiently substitutable, either of them would dominate the other by chance even if they are equally attractive ex ante. When such symmetry-breaking occurs, any average-based approach cannot correctly calculate the Nash equilibrium - the steady state of an actual diffusion process.
    Date: 2021–09
  7. By: Luciano Andreozzi; Marco Faillo; Ali Seyhun Saral
    Abstract: When decisions are made before roles are assigned, the Dictator Game is strategically equivalent to a linear Public Goods Game. This suggests that, when played between individuals with the same income, the prosocial behavior observed may be attributed at least in part to reciprocal altruism. Dictators transfer money only because they believe Recipients would transfer money as well, if roles were reversed. By contrast, when the game is played between individuals with different background income, the generosity of the rich towards the poor is more easily attributed to pure, non-reciprocal altruism. We test this hypothesis by eliciting conditional preferences for giving in a Dictator Game in two treatments. In the first students are matched with other students, while in the second students are matched with subjects living in a refugee camp in Uganda. We find that our predictions are only partially borne out by the data. Whether giving is directed to a person with similar or lower socioeconomic status, most subjects reveal conditionally altruistic preferences. Unconditional altruism is virtually absent in both treatments. These counter-intuitive results have important implications for the experimental elicitation of social preferences.
    Keywords: altruism, dictator game, reciprocity, social preferences, socioeconomic status
    Date: 2021

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