nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2024‒05‒27
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Commitment to the truth creates trust in market exchange: Experimental evidence By Nicolas Jacquemet; Jason F. Shogren; Adam Zylbersztejn; Stéphane Luchini
  2. Oligarchs, Political Ties and Nomenklatura Capitalism: Introducing a New Dataset By Marandici, Ion
  3. Cooperation in Temporary Partnerships By Gabriele Camera; Alessandro Gioffré
  4. The civic identity of the ethical consumer By Roberts, Jonathan; Chandra, Gauri
  5. The predicting abilities of social trust and good governance on economic crisis duration By Nguyen, Jessica; Dihn, Tue; Selart, Marcus
  6. Historical roots of women's sorting into STEM occupations By Matija Kovacic; Cristina Elisa Orso
  7. Competition and Collaboration in Crowdsourcing Communities: What happens when peers evaluate each other? By Christoph Riedl; Tom Grad; Christopher Lettl

  1. By: Nicolas Jacquemet (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jason F. Shogren (Departement of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming - UW - University of Wyoming); Adam Zylbersztejn (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon - Saint-Etienne - ENS de Lyon - École normale supérieure de Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Étienne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Stéphane Luchini (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Social norms like the mutual belief in reciprocity facilitate economic exchange. But this reciprocity norm requires trust among traders, which can be challenging to create among strangers even with communication. The honesty oath is a time-honored mechanism that societies use to overcome this challenge-taking a solemn oath to tell the truth sends a trustworthy signal of real economic commitment given incomplete contracts. Herein we explore how the truth-telling oath creates trust within the sequential reciprocity trust game with pre-play, fixed-form, and cheap-talk communication. Four key results emerge: (1) communication under oath creates more trust and cooperative behavior; but (2) the oath induces a selection effect-it makes people more wary of using communication as a signal. (3) Although the overall net effect on cooperation is positive, the oath cannot reverse a general decay of cooperation over time. (4) By comparing the oath's performance to mild and deterrent fines for deception, we find that the oath is behaviorally equivalent to mild fines. The deterrent fine induces the highest level of cooperation.
    Keywords: fine, Trust game, cooperation, communication, commitment, deception, oath
    Date: 2023–07–01
  2. By: Marandici, Ion
    Abstract: This article examines the relationship between nomenklatura membership, wealth accumulation and political ties across the post-Soviet region from the 1990s up to the mid-2010s. It introduces the Post-Soviet Oligarchs (PSO) dataset, containing the sociodemographic characteristics of the super-rich across the former Soviet republics. While the article finds partial support in favour of the nomenklatura capitalism hypothesis, statistical analysis also points to distinct regional patterns of wealth and political inequality. Thus, the most extensive overlap of wealth and power is observed in the authoritarian regimes of Central Asia and the South Caucasus, where ties to the Soviet regime facilitated the exertion of political influence after 1991, enabling in turn wealth accumulation. By contrast, in democratising contexts, the connections between politicians and super-rich point to a mutually dependent relationship between the economic and political realms, with wealth featuring as a major power resource.
    Keywords: oligarchs; nomenklatura capitalism; wealthy elites; post-Soviet region; democracy; wealth inequality; authoritarianism; economic transition; billionaires
    JEL: N00 O1 P2 P20 P26 P31 P36 P48 P52 Y10
    Date: 2024
  3. By: Gabriele Camera (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University); Alessandro Gioffré (University of Florence)
    Abstract: The literature on cooperation in infinitely repeated Prisoner’s Dilemmas covers the extreme opposites of the matching spectrum: partners, a player’s opponent never changes, and strangers, a player’s opponent randomly changes in every period. Here, we extend the analysis to settings where the opponent changes, but not in every period. In these temporary partnerships, players can deter some deviations by directly sanctioning their partner. Hence, relaxing the extreme assumption of one-period matchings can support some cooperation also off equilibrium because a class of strategies emerges that are less extreme than the typical “grim†strategy. We establish conditions supporting full cooperation as a subgame perfect equilibrium under a social norm that complements direct sanctions with a cyclical community sanction. Though this strategy less effectively incentivizes cooperation, it more effectively incentivizes punishment after a deviation, hence, can be preferable to the grim strategy under certain conditions.
    Keywords: prisoner’s dilemma, random matching, social norms
    JEL: E4 E5 C7
    Date: 2024
  4. By: Roberts, Jonathan; Chandra, Gauri
    Abstract: Ethical consumerism describes market transactions where consumers’ preferences stretch beyond immediate self-interest to prosocial objectives. How such activities relate to more traditional forms of civic engagement (such as giving or activism) remains unclear; as a market-situated activity, ethical consumerism is often omitted from accounts of civic engagement or predicted to erode commitment to civic action. This paper reports findings from an empirical study of the civic identity of the ethical consumer. Using an online survey instrument, the study explores statistical relationships between individuals’ actual participation in ethical consumerism at three sites (Fairtrade, TOMS Shoes and (RED)) and the extent of individuals’ wider civic engagement—both philanthropic (giving, volunteering) and activist (campaigning). It finds evidence of a consistent civic identity that stretches across traditional civic engagement activities and ethical consumerism: the greater an individual’s civic engagement, the more likely they are to engage in ethical consumerism. The current analytic separation of ethical consumerism and civic engagement, therefore, does not capture the experience of individuals who are expanding their prosocial repertoire from the civic sphere to the market sphere; civic engagement cuts across sectors.
    Keywords: civic engagement; ethical consumerism; philanthropy; volunteering; activism; identity; Springer deal
    JEL: L81
    Date: 2024–04–19
  5. By: Nguyen, Jessica; Dihn, Tue; Selart, Marcus
    Abstract: In this paper, we uncover the relationships among social trust, corruption and the duration of economic crises. Our theoretical foundation is based on a collection of studies from different academic fields, especially political science, sociology and economics. We corroborate our arguments with both descriptive analysis and regression analysis of secondary data. Our dataset includes 11, 364 observations distributed across 211 countries. The quantitative findings show that social trust is correlated with the duration of economic crises. Connecting our theoretical stance with the empirical evidence, we propose several possible explanations for the findings and provide both theoretical and practical implications.
    Date: 2024–04–06
  6. By: Matija Kovacic (Department of Economics, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice); Cristina Elisa Orso (Department of Law, Economics and Cultures, University of Insubria)
    Abstract: Women continue to be underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), which represent an important and well-remunerated set of occupations that are expected to grow in significance in the future. In this paper, we show that this phenomenon is deeply rooted in historical processes that have contributed to the emergence and persistence of gender roles and stereotypes transmitted down to children by their parents or society at large. Using a sub-population of second-generation immigrants from the European Social Survey (ESS), we find that the pre-1500 ancestral factors related to stronger family ties and gender norms significantly reduce the probability of women sorting into STEM occupations. The causal link between norms and occupation is both direct and indirect, passing through contemporary cultural traits. Ancestral factors do not have any effect on men's occupational choices as well as on preferences for STEM professional careers. The results are robust to a rich set of potential confounding factors at the country of origin level and a battery of sensitivity checks.
    Keywords: family ties, gender roles, STEM occupations, women
    JEL: D03 J16 N30
    Date: 2024
  7. By: Christoph Riedl; Tom Grad; Christopher Lettl
    Abstract: Crowdsourcing has evolved as an organizational approach to distributed problem solving and innovation. As contests are embedded in online communities and evaluation rights are assigned to the crowd, community members face a tension: they find themselves exposed to both competitive motives to win the contest prize and collaborative participation motives in the community. The competitive motive suggests they may evaluate rivals strategically according to their self-interest, the collaborative motive suggests they may evaluate their peers truthfully according to mutual interest. Using field data from Threadless on 38 million peer evaluations of more than 150, 000 submissions across 75, 000 individuals over 10 years and two natural experiments to rule out alternative explanations, we answer the question of how community members resolve this tension. We show that as their skill level increases, they become increasingly competitive and shift from using self-promotion to sabotaging their closest competitors. However, we also find signs of collaborative behavior when high-skilled members show leniency toward those community members who do not directly threaten their chance of winning. We explain how the individual-level use of strategic evaluations translates into important organizational-level outcomes by affecting the community structure through individuals' long-term participation. While low-skill targets of sabotage are less likely to participate in future contests, high-skill targets are more likely. This suggests a feedback loop between competitive evaluation behavior and future participation. These findings have important implications for the literature on crowdsourcing design, and the evolution and sustainability of crowdsourcing communities.
    Date: 2024–04

This nep-soc issue is ©2024 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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