nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2016‒09‒25
fourteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Long-Term Costs of Government Surveillance: Insights from Stasi Spying in East Germany By Andreas Lichter; Max Löffler; Sebastian Siegloch
  2. Responding to (Un)Reasonable Requests By Pelligra, Vittorio; Reggiani, Tommaso; Zizzo, Daniel John
  3. Networks and Migrants' Intended Destination By Bertoli, Simone; Ruyssen, Ilse
  4. Networks and Markets By Goyal, S.
  5. Discrimination against Female Migrants Wearing Headscarves By Weichselbaumer, Doris
  6. Trump, Brexit, and the Rise of Populism: Economic Have-Nots and Cultural Backlash By Inglehart, Ronald F.; Norris, Pippa
  7. Do migrants think differently? Evidence from East European and post-Soviet states By Ruxanda Berlinschi; Ani Harutyunyan
  8. Crony Capitalism in Mozambique: Evidence from Networks of Politicians and Businessmen By Andes Chivangue
  9. Ideological Perfectionism By Chen, Daniel L.; Michaeli, Moti; Spiro, Daniel
  10. Culture, Diffusion, and Economic Development By Ani Harutyunyan; Omer Ozak
  11. Ability Tracking and Social Capital in China’s Rural Secondary School System By Fan Li; Prashant Loyalka; Hongmei Yi; Yaojiang Shi; Natalie Johnson; Scott Rozelle
  12. Residential Choices of Young Americans By Patacchini, Eleonora; Arduini, Tiziano
  13. The specific shapes of gender imbalance in scientific authorships: a network approach By Tanya Araújo; Elsa Fontainha
  14. Preferences for Truth-Telling By Abeler, Johannes; Nosenzo, Daniele; Raymond, Collin

  1. By: Andreas Lichter; Max Löffler; Sebastian Siegloch
    Abstract: Despite the prevalence of government surveillance systems around the world, causal evidence on their social and economic consequences is lacking. Using county-level variation in the number of Stasi informers within Socialist East Germany during the 1980s and accounting for potential endogeneity, we show that more intense regional surveillance led to lower levels of trust and reduced social activity in post-reunification Germany. We also find substantial and long-lasting economic effects of Stasi spying, resulting in lower self-employment, higher unemployment and larger out-migration throughout the 1990s and 2000s. We further show that these effects are due to surveillance and not alternative mechanisms. We argue that our findings have important implications for contemporary surveillance systems.
    Keywords: government surveillance, trust, social ties, East Germany
    JEL: H11 N34 N44 P20
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Pelligra, Vittorio (University of Cagliari); Reggiani, Tommaso (Libera Università Maria Ss. Assunta Palermo); Zizzo, Daniel John (Newcastle University)
    Abstract: We consider the notions of static and dynamic reasonableness of requests in a trust game experiment. We vary systematically the experimental norm of what is expected from trustees to return to trustors, both in terms of level of each request and in terms of sequence of the requests. Static reasonableness matters in a self-biased way, in the sense that low requests justify returning less but high requests tend to be ignored. Dynamic reasonableness also matters, in the sense that, if requests keep increasing, trustees return less than if requests of different size are presented in random or decreasing order. Requests never systematically increase trustworthiness, but may decrease it.
    Keywords: trust, trustworthiness, norms, reasonableness, moral wiggle room, moral licensing
    JEL: C91 D01 D03 D63
    Date: 2016–09
  3. By: Bertoli, Simone (CERDI, University of Auvergne); Ruyssen, Ilse (Ghent University)
    Abstract: Social networks are known to influence migration decisions, but connections between individuals can hardly be observed. We rely on individual-level surveys conducted by Gallup in 147 countries that provide information on migration intentions and on the existence of distance-one connections for all respondents in each of the potential countries of intended destination. The origin-specific distribution of distance-one connections from Gallup closely mirrors the actual distribution of migrant stocks across countries, and bilateral migration intentions appear to be significantly correlated with actual flows. This unique data source allows estimating origin-specific conditional logit models that shed light on the value of having a friend in a given country on the attractiveness of that destination. The validity of the distributional assumptions that underpin the estimation is tested, and concerns about the threats to identification posed by unobservables are substantially mitigated.
    Keywords: international migration, networks, intentions
    JEL: F22
    Date: 2016–09
  4. By: Goyal, S.
    Abstract: Networks influence human behavior and well being, and realizing this, individuals make conscious efforts to shape their own networks. Over the past decade, economists have combined these ideas with concepts from game theory, oligopoly, general equilibrium, and information economics to develop a general framework of analysis. The ensuing research has deepened our understanding of classical questions in economics and opened up entirely new lines of enquiry.
    Date: 2016–09–12
  5. By: Weichselbaumer, Doris (University of Linz)
    Abstract: Germany is currently experiencing a high influx of Muslim migrants. From a policy perspective, integration of migrants into the labor market is crucial. Hence, a field experiment was conducted that examined the employment chances of females with backgrounds of migration from Muslim countries, and especially of those wearing headscarves. It focused on Turkish migrants, who have constituted a large demographic group in Germany since the 1970s. In the field experiment presented here, job applications for three fictitious female characters with identical qualifications were sent out in response to job advertisements: one applicant had a German name, one a Turkish name, and one had a Turkish name and was wearing a headscarf in the photograph included in the application material. Germany was the ideal location for the experiment as job seekers typically attach their picture to their résumé. High levels of discrimination were found particularly against the migrant wearing a headscarf.
    Keywords: discrimination, Muslim religion, headscarf, hiring, experiment
    JEL: C93 J15 J71
    Date: 2016–09
  6. By: Inglehart, Ronald F. (University of michigan); Norris, Pippa (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Rising support for populist parties has disrupted the politics of many Western societies. What explains this phenomenon? Two theories are examined here. Perhaps the most widely-held view of mass support for populism--the economic insecurity perspective--emphasizes the consequences of profound changes transforming the workforce and society in post-industrial economies. Alternatively, the cultural backlash thesis suggests that support can be explained as a reaction against cultural changes that threaten the worldview of once-predominant sectors of the population. To consider these arguments, Part I develops the conceptual and theoretical framework. Part II of the study uses the 2014 Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHES) to identify the ideological location of 268 political parties in 31 European countries. Part III compares the pattern of European party competition at national-level. Part IV uses the pooled European Social Survey 1-6 (2002-2014) to examine the cross-national evidence at individual level for the impact of the economic insecurity and cultural values as predictors of voting for populist parties. Part V summarizes the key findings and considers their implications. Overall, we find consistent evidence supporting the cultural backlash thesis.
    Date: 2016–08
  7. By: Ruxanda Berlinschi; Ani Harutyunyan
    Abstract: This research analyzes differences in values and beliefs between individuals in European and postSoviet states who intend to emigrate and those who do not. In particular, we investigate which political, economic and social values and beliefs are significant determinants of the intention to emigrate, after controlling for relevant socio-economic and demographic confounding factors. The results indicate that self-selection patterns exist in some dimensions, such as evaluation of home country governance and institutions, political participation and trust in other people, while they are absent in other dimensions, such as economic liberalism, views on democracy and free markets. Results also indicate that migrant self-selection patterns are heterogeneous across regions. This analysis aims to improve our understanding of the determinants of emigration, as well as of its possible consequences on the dynamics of governance and institutions.
    Keywords: Migration determinants, Culture, Transition economies
    JEL: P30 F22 F63 F68 Z10
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Andes Chivangue
    Abstract: This paper discusses crony capitalism in Mozambique, by analysing the social networks that exist among political and economic players, using the SNA Social Networks Analysis method. The variables are selected to identify cliques and the covariates that explain this network relationship are taken into account, namely military, ethnicity, family, politics, business, entrepreneurship, political party and gender. Policy implications are derived.
    Keywords: Mozambique, social networks, crony capitalism, multivariate analysis, policy implications
    Date: 2015–07
  9. By: Chen, Daniel L.; Michaeli, Moti; Spiro, Daniel
    Abstract: Studying a high-stakes field setting, we examine which individuals, on an ideological scale, conform more to the opinion of others. In the U.S. Courts of Appeals, legal precedents are set by ideologically diverse and randomly composed panels of judges. Using exogenous predictors of ideology and rich voting data we show that ideological disagreements drive dissents against the panel’s decision, but ideologically extreme judges are caving in: they are the least likely to dissent and their voting records are the least correlated with their predicted ideology. Meanwhile, moderately ideological judges are dissenting the most despite evidence that they are more often determining the opinion. Our theoretical analysis shows that these findings are most consistent with a model of decision making in the presence of peer pressure with a concave cost of deviating from one’s ideological convictions – perfectionism. This result presents a critique of a standard assumption in economics – that the cost of deviating from one’s bliss point is convex – with fundamental implications for decision making in social and political settings and for the empirical predictions of theoretical models in these domains.
    Keywords: Judicial decision making, group decision making, ideology, peer pressure.
    JEL: D7 K00 Z1
    Date: 2016–09
  10. By: Ani Harutyunyan; Omer Ozak
    Abstract: This research explores the effects of culture on technological diffusion and economic development. It shows that culture’s direct effects on development and barrier effects to technological diffusion are, in general, observationally equivalent. In particular, using a large set of measures of cultural values, it establishes empirically that pairwise differences in contemporary development are associated with pairwise cultural differences relative to the technological frontier, only in cases where observational equivalence holds. Additionally, it establishes that differences in cultural traits that are correlated with genetic and linguistic distances are statistically and economically significantly correlated with differences in economic development. These results highlight the difficulty of disentangling the direct and barrier effects of culture, while lending credence to the idea that common ancestry generates persistence and plays a central role in economic development.
    Keywords: Comparative economic development, economic growth, culture, barriers to technological diffusion, genetic distances, linguistic distances
    JEL: O10 O11 O20 O33 O40 O47 O57 Z10
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Fan Li; Prashant Loyalka; Hongmei Yi; Yaojiang Shi; Natalie Johnson; Scott Rozelle
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is describe and analyze the relationship between ability tracking and student social capital, in the context of poor students in developing countries. Drawing on the results from a longitudinal study among 1,436 poor students across 132 schools in rural China, we find a significant lack of interpersonal trust and confidence in public institutions among poor rural young adults. We also find that there is a strong correlation between ability tracking during junior high school and levels of social capital. The disparities might serve to further widen the gap between the relatively privileged students who are staying in school and the less privileged students who are dropping out of school. This result suggests that making high school accessible to more students would improve social capital in the general population.
    Keywords: Ability Tracking, Social Capital, Interpersonal Trust, Confidence in Public Institutions, Rural Secondary Schooling
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Patacchini, Eleonora (Cornell University); Arduini, Tiziano (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: Using detailed data on a cohort of young Americans who were in their late twenties and early thirties in 2008, we investigate the importance of forces different from economic incentives in nest-leaving decisions. We apply recent methods from social network econometrics to identify the importance of peers net of confounding factors. For the entire sample, our findings reveal no evidence of peer effects. Indicators of parenting and the social structure of families appear to be the major factors in the decisions to coreside with parents. However, for those who moved back home after a few years of living alone, we find strong peer effects. These findings are consistent with theories of social influences in peer groups in which peers play a critical role for individuals with time-inconsistent preferences.
    Keywords: living arrangements, social networks, endogenous network formation, spatial autoregressive model, control function approach, Bayesian estimation, social multiplier
    JEL: A14 C21 D85 R21 Z13
    Date: 2016–09
  13. By: Tanya Araújo; Elsa Fontainha
    Abstract: Gender differences in collaborative research have received little attention when compared with the growing importance that women hold in academia and research. Unsurprisingly, most of bibliometric databases have a strong lack of directly available information by gender. Although empirical-based network approaches are often used in the study of research collaboration, the studies about the influence of gender dissimilarities on the resulting topological outcomes are still scarce. Here, networks of scientific subjects are used to characterize patterns that might be associated to five categories of authorships which were built based on gender. We find enough evidence that gender imbalance in scientific authorships brings a peculiar trait to the networks induced from papers published in Web of Science (WoS) indexed journals of Economics over the period 2010-2015 and having at least one author affiliated to a Portuguese institution. Our results show the emergence of a specific pattern when the network of co-occurring subjects is induced from a set of papers exclusively authored by men. Such a male-exclusive authorship condition is found to be the solely responsible for the emergence that particular shape in the network structure. This peculiar trait might facilitate future network analyses of research collaboration and interdisciplinarity. Key Words : co-occurrence networks, gender, research collaboration, interdisciplinarity, bibliometrics, minimum spanning tree
    Date: 2016–09
  14. By: Abeler, Johannes (University of Oxford); Nosenzo, Daniele (University of Nottingham); Raymond, Collin (Amherst College)
    Abstract: Private information is at the heart of many economic activities. For decades, economists have assumed that individuals are willing to misreport private information if this maximizes their material payoff. We combine data from 72 experimental studies in economics, psychology and sociology, and show that, in fact, people lie surprisingly little. We then formalize a wide range of potential explanations for the observed behavior, identify testable predictions that can distinguish between the models and conduct new experiments to do so. None of the most popular explanations suggested in the literature can explain the data. We show that only combining a preference for being honest with a preference for being seen as honest can organize the empirical evidence.
    Keywords: private information, honesty, truth-telling, lying, meta study
    JEL: D03 D82 H26 I13 J31
    Date: 2016–09

This nep-soc issue is ©2016 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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