nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2015‒09‒05
eight papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Friendship at Work: Can Peer Effects Catalyze Female Entrepreneurship? By Field, Erica; Jayachandran, Seema; Pande, Rohini; Rigol, Natalia
  2. The Political Legacy of American Slavery By Acharya, Avidit; Blackwell, Matthew; Sen, Maya
  3. Network Effects, Ethnic Capital and Immigrants' Earnings Assimilation: Evidence from a Spatial, Hausman-Taylor Estimation By Maani, Sholeh A.; Wang, Xingang; Rogers, Alan
  4. Social Networks and Risk Management in Ghana’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme By Sudhanshu Handa; Benjamin Davis; Silvio Daidone; Mike Park; Robert D. Osei; Isaac Osei-Akoto
  5. Does the Concern About Local Crime Affect Trust in the Police? By Joelson Oliveira Sampaio; Rodrigo De-Losso, Luciana Gross Cunha, Renan Gomes de Pieri
  6. Culture, Politics, and Development By Woolcock, Michael
  7. Where Do Social Preferences Come From? By Chaning Jang; John Lynham
  8. Conflicted Emotions Following Trust-based Interaction By Schniter, Eric; Sheremeta, Roman; Shields, Timothy

  1. By: Field, Erica (Duke University); Jayachandran, Seema (Northwestern University); Pande, Rohini (Harvard University); Rigol, Natalia (MIT)
    Abstract: Does the lack of peers contribute to the observed gender gap in entrepreneurial success, and is the constraint stronger for women facing more restrictive social norms? We offered two days of business counseling to a random sample of customers of India's largest women's bank. A random sub-sample was invited to attend with a friend. The intervention had a significant immediate impact on participants' business activity, but only if they were trained in the presence of a friend. Four months later, those trained with a friend were more likely to have taken out business loans, were less likely to be housewives, and reported increased business activity and higher household income. The positive impacts of training with a friend were stronger among women from religious or caste groups with social norms that restrict female mobility.
    Date: 2015–04
  2. By: Acharya, Avidit (Stanford University); Blackwell, Matthew (Harvard University); Sen, Maya (Harvard University)
    Abstract: We show that contemporary differences in political attitudes across counties in the American South trace their origins to slavery's prevalence more than 150 years ago. Whites who currently live in Southern counties that had high shares of slaves in 1860 are more likely to identify as a Republican, oppose affirmative action policies, and express racial resentment and colder feelings toward blacks. These results cannot be explained by existing theories, including the theory of racial threat. To explain these results, we offer evidence for a new theory involving the historical persistence of racial attitudes. We argue that, following the Civil War, Southern whites faced political and economic incentives to reinforce racist norms and institutions. This produced racially conservative political attitudes, which in turn have been passed down locally across generations. Our results challenge the interpretation of a vast literature on racial attitudes in the American South.
    JEL: N32 N91 O17
    Date: 2014–12
  3. By: Maani, Sholeh A. (University of Auckland); Wang, Xingang (University of Auckland); Rogers, Alan (University of Auckland)
    Abstract: Do ethnic enclaves assist or hinder immigrants in their economic integration? In this paper we examine the effect of 'ethnic capital' (e.g. ethnic network and ethnic concentration) on immigrants' earnings assimilation. We adopt a "spatial autoregressive network approach" to construct a dynamic network variable from micro-panel-data to capture the effects of spatial-ethnic-specific resource networks for immigrants. The spatial lag structure is combined with a Hausman-Taylor (1981) panel data model, which allows for some endogeneity. We examine the effects of ethnic capital and human capital using an eight-year Australian panel data set (HILDA). Results show that immigrants' labor market integration is significantly affected by the local concentration and resources of their ethnic group.
    Keywords: assimilation, ethnic capital, ethnic network, ethnic concentration, spatial autoregressive lag model, panel data
    JEL: J30 J31 Z13 Z18
    Date: 2015–08
  4. By: Sudhanshu Handa; Benjamin Davis; Silvio Daidone; Mike Park; Robert D. Osei; Isaac Osei-Akoto
    Abstract: Understanding how household consumption, investment and saving decisions respond to transfer income is critical to public policy. In developing countries, saving or otherwise investing in the future is difficult for poor households which often struggle to meet basic expenses, while high debt burdens are also obstacles to saving. Poor households in rural areas of developing countries typically manage risk via informal exchanges or transfers among extended family, friends and neighbours. Motivated by the community dynamics observed in the qualitative assessment of LEAP and the unpredictable and lumpy payments made by the programme during the evaluation period, the main interest of this paper is to assess within a quantitative framework the impact of LEAP on household risk reduction strategies via reintegration in, and strengthening of, social networks and reduction of debt exposure.
    Keywords: cash transfers; debt management; income household; social development policies; social protection;
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Joelson Oliveira Sampaio; Rodrigo De-Losso, Luciana Gross Cunha, Renan Gomes de Pieri
    Abstract: This paper investigates local crime’s concern effect on confidence in the police using Two Least Square Regressions having as instrumental variable the individual distance to police stations. We explore data from the Confidence in Justice Survey conducted for the period at 2013 to 2014 at state of Sao Paulo. We find that an increase at the total crimes registered reduces confidence on police. Such results are more effusively in some crimes like drug dealing and rape. Exploring heterogeneities in the results we find that black are more sensitive to crime rate changes even living in similar neighborhoods in what respect to security. Results also show that who has already had prior experience with the police is less sensitive independently of the quality of police job at the time.
    Keywords: Trust in the Police; Institutions; Criminality.
    JEL: G12
    Date: 2015–08–12
  6. By: Woolcock, Michael (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Whether in the domains of scholarship or practice, important advances have been made in recent years in our understanding of how culture, politics, and development interact. Today's leading theorists of culture and development represent a fourth distinctive perspective vis-a-vis their predecessors, one that seeks to provide an empirically grounded, mechanisms-based account of how symbols, frames, identities, and narratives are deployed as part of a broader repertoire of cultural "tools" connecting structure and agency. A central virtue of this approach is less the broad policy prescriptions to which it gives rise--indeed, to offer such prescriptions would be something of a contradiction in terms--than the emphasis it places on making intensive and extensive commitments to engaging with the idiosyncrasies of local contexts. Deep knowledge of contextual realities can contribute constructively to development policy by enabling careful intra-country comparisons to be made of the conditions under which variable responses to otherwise similar problems emerge. Such knowledge is also important for discerning the generalizability (or "external validity") of claims regarding the efficacy of development interventions, especially those overtly engaging with social, legal, and political issues.
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2014–09
  7. By: Chaning Jang (Princeton University, Department of Psychology); John Lynham (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Where do preferences for fairness come from? We use a unique field setting to test for a spillover of sharing norms from the workplace to a laboratory experiment. Fishermen working in teams receive random income shocks (catching fish) that they must regularly divide among themselves. We demonstrate a clear correlation between sharing norms in the field and sharing norms in the lab. Furthermore, the spillover effect is stronger for fishermen who have been exposed to a sharing norm for longer, suggesting that our findings are not driven by selection effects. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that work environments shape social preferences.
    JEL: Q2 C9 C7 B4 D1
    Date: 2015–08
  8. By: Schniter, Eric; Sheremeta, Roman; Shields, Timothy
    Abstract: We observed reports of conflicted (concurrent positive and negative) emotions activated after interactions in the Trust game. Our analyses reveal that activation of 20 emotional states following trust-based interaction is better explained by predictions derived from a multi-dimensional Recalibrational perspective than by predictions derived from two-dimensional Valence and Arousal perspectives. The Recalibrational perspective proposes that emotions are activated according to their functional features – for example, emotions help people achieve short or long-sighted goals by up or down-regulating behavioral propensities, whereas Valence and Arousal perspectives consider simpler hedonic dimensions lacking functional specificity. The Recalibrational perspective is also distinguished from the Valence and Arousal perspectives in that it predicts the possibility of conflicted emotions. We discuss the theoretical implications of having conflicted goals and the economic implications of having conflicted emotions.
    Keywords: emotion, affect valence, Recalibrational theory, intrapsychic conflict, Trust game
    JEL: C73 C91 D87
    Date: 2015–08–17

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