Conference Agenda

RN09_10: New Empirical Studies in Economic Sociology
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Alberto Veira-Ramos, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Location: BS.3.16
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


Early Users of New Transport Technologies in Russia

Alena Nefedova

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation

Due to the general course on environmental management and the development of energy-saving technologies, one of the main policies pursued in European countries is the promotion of ‘green economy’. Global warming has caused a significant change in the consumer ideology of developed countries: the population is actively switching to the ‘green technologies’, choosing car-sharing and electric cars in particular. Until now, there are little research has been done on factors that influence an individual’s intention to adopt new transport technologies. The aim of this study is to identify personal characteristics as well as values influenced on the intention to try electric cars and car-sharing technology in Russia. We used data collected in 2015 as part of the next wave of Monitoring Survey of Innovative Behavior of the Population held by National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Exploring Philanthrocapitalism from a Social Theory Perspective: Gifts versus Exchange

Philipp Degens

University of Hamburg, Germany

This contribution takes a social theory perspective to contribute to our understanding of philanthrocapitalism, specifically by exploring reciprocal relations between donors (foundations) and beneficiaries (e.g. NPOs). The logic of the gift is contrasted with the logic of self-interested exchange, and it is shown how, in philanthrocapitalism, one logic is transformed into the other.

In a broad sense, philanthrocapitalism refers to „the increasing adoption of business thinking and market mechanisms by charities and foundations“ (Edwards 2010). Conceptually, in this new era of philanthrocapitalism, social or ecological impact goes hand in hand with actual financial return on investment; doing good and doing well come together. Boundaries between civil society, market, and the state, between collective good and self-interest seem to blur.

Following McGoey (2012, 2015) in applying a gift-theoretical perspective to philantro-capitalism, this contribution explores the underlying social relations between those actors who give and those who receive (i.e. donor/foundation; beneficiary/NPO). This better helps to understand the very transformations the philanthropic sector has undergone. The following argument will be developed in more detail and illustrated by empirical cases: In philanthrocapitalism, the previous vertical relation between giver (e.g. foundation) and receiver (e.g. NPO) is transformed into a formally horizontal relation between two transaction partners that both give and receive simultaneously. This simultaneous exchange should not be understood as a gift relation anymore. Instead, it takes the form of unequal exchange, since negotiating power is distributed unequally.

Cooperatives In Local Communities - Weaknesses And Resilience

Jasminka Laznjak, Davorka Matic, Kresimir Zazar

University of Zagreb, Croatia

Cooperatives as alternative economic model can be found everywhere around the world. Recently, with the growing demand for investments in cooperatives due to increasing global competition, some of them have gone through transformation toward big agro - industrial corporations.

Despite long and rich tradition of cooperatives, Croatia shares with other neighboring transition countries many negative experiences associated with cooperatives from socialism and early transition period. Cooperatives as alternative economic model are nowadays oriented toward local community and social needs of unprivileged population in risk of poverty. Their development in the direction of social entrepreneurship is particularly interesting in offering efficient models of new systems of social welfare. In Croatia, the cooperatives mostly operate as fragmented units, have no export orientation, nor are they approaching to more efficient co-operative models.

In the paper are presented the findings from two projects: "Role of Local and Regional Self-Government Units in Cooperative Development" and "Factors of Success and Models of Cooperative Cooperation" that are specifically focused on developing a networking model at the local level, which provides a better environment for small, poorly developed Croatian co-operatives. Data from 43 interviews and on –line survey based on the sample of 600 cooperatives are analysed with the focus on detecting the weaknesses and resilience in economic performance as main factors of cooperatives’ sustainability.

Looking Up Or Down? An Analysis Of Reference Point Formation For Income Comparisons

Alex Lehr

Radboud University, Netherlands, The

I analyze the impact of income comparisons on people’s satisfaction with their income and life. Income comparisons occur when people evaluate their own earnings relative to those of others. Such comparisons violate an important assumption of standard economic theory, namely that preferences are independent. Moreover, income comparisons are argued to significantly influence peoples’ satisfaction and evaluation of fairness, leading to disutility from economic inequalities and even social conflicts. Empirical studies suggest that income comparisons indeed affect people significantly, often linking them theoretically to social comparison mechanisms. However, as the pool of others with whom to compare is virtually infinite, the study of the impact of income comparisons crucially depends on knowing how reference points for comparisons are formed. By combining insights from sociology and economics, I develop a framework that details a) the salience of different social categories of others as reference points, and b) the role of the positions of one’s own income relative to potential reference incomes. I fielded innovative questionnaire items in a large, representative cross-section of employed persons in the Netherlands, and statistically tested the impact of comparisons to various reference points. My findings suggest that a) reference point formation is driven by incomplete information about one’s value on the labor market rather then envy, and that b) disadvantageous comparisons have a stronger impact than advantageous comparisons.