عوامل فردی از رفتار اجتماعی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|28668||2010||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 39, Issue 4, August 2010, Pages 466–473
By using unique data from the section on social behavior of the Bank of Italy's 2004 Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW), the paper studies the individual determinants of several aspects of social behavior: attitudes to cooperating with anonymous others; interest in politics; participation in groups and associations; and propensity to rely on favoritism both in finding a job and in dealing with government red tape. Our findings suggest that these different aspects of social behavior are only weakly correlated to each other and are explained by different individual determinants. We find that older and more educated individuals display a greater willingness to cooperate, a stronger interest in politics, and more intense association activity. By contrast, the likelihood of relying on favoritism does not depend on age and education. We also find that home-ownership is associated with good social conduct, while urban residence has mostly a negative impact on public behavior. Finally, having left-wing political opinions increases the interest in politics, while it does not affect the other aspects of social behavior.
A growing body of research documents that measures of good social behavior are associated with effective public policies and more successful economic outcomes. Putnam (1993) jump-started this research by showing that Italian local governments are more efficient where there is greater civic engagement. Knack and Kiefer (1997) find that a one-standard-deviation increase in a survey-based measure of country-level trust increases economic growth by more than one-half of a standard deviation. Hall and Jones (1999) argue that social infrastructure is the fundamental determinant of productivity. In short, trust, reciprocity and habits of cooperation minimize transaction costs and spur economic success. While the effects of social behavior on economic outcomes have been thoroughly explored, much less is known about the individual characteristics of those who behave in a socially desirable way.1 Who are the people endowed with a higher degree of public spirit? What are the characteristics of those who behave more honestly or those more closely involved in the local community? Previous attempts to pinpoint the individual determinants of social behavior have been made by Alesina and La Ferrara (2002) and Glaeser et al. (2002). Both papers are based on the case of the U.S., which is at most only indicative of European experience of civic virtues. Alesina and La Ferrara (2002) focus on the GSS question of how much a respondent trusts other people; however, Glaeser et al. (2000) have raised important questions about the reliability of this measure, showing that subjects who describe themselves as trusting do not act more trustingly in a standard trust game.2 To overcome the difficulties of such measure, Glaeser et al. (2002) use organization membership as a proxy of good social behavior. Yet, as the authors themselves recognize, this measure is incomplete as it does not touch on aspects of social behavior that are not captured by group membership. As many have pointed out (see, among others, Dasgupta and Serageldin, 2000), social behavior is multidimensional. It includes many aspects of social life that cannot easily be combined. For instance, those who are mostly inclined to trust people or to cooperate with anonymous others are not necessarily the same as those who play fair in a job-finding game – when their key interest is at stake – and avoid relying on favoritism to achieve the intended result. Again, those who are interested in politics do not necessarily match those who are better endowed with civic virtues or involved in community activities such as religious or volunteer groups. As will be shown below, our results suggest that there is considerable individual heterogeneity in the determinants of the various aspects of social life. This paper tries to add to the previous literature by using the special section on social behavior of the Bank of Italy's 2004 Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW). The survey distinguishes several aspects of social behavior: attitudes to cooperating with anonymous others; interest in politics; participation in groups and associations; and propensity to rely on favoritism, defined as the help of family, friends and acquaintances both in finding a job and in dealing with government red tape. Our findings strongly support the idea that social behavior is multidimensional: its different aspects are only weakly correlated to each other and are explained by different individual determinants. The results can be summarized as follows. We find that older and more educated individuals display a greater willingness to cooperate, a higher interest in politics, and more intense association activity. Being female mostly impacts negatively on these aspects of social behavior. By contrast, the likelihood of relying on blood ties and personal acquaintance in the job market or vis-à-vis bureaucracy does not depend on age and education. Women refrain more from relying on favoritism. For all the aspects of social behavior considered, we find that individuals in the South always display a lower degree of public spirit. We also find that home-ownership is associated with good social conduct, while urban residence has mostly a negative impact on public behavior. Finally, having left-wing political opinions increases the interest in politics, while it does not affect the other aspects of social behavior. The paper is structured as follows. The next section describes the data and the variables. Section 3 presents the empirical evidence. Section 4 concludes.