nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2017‒04‒02
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The effect of news on the radicalization of public opinion towards immigration By Massimiliano Agovino; Maria Rosaria Carillo; Nicola Spagnolo
  2. Online Exploration, Content Choice & Echo Chambers: An Experiment By Bar-Gill, Sagit; Gandal, Neil
  3. Traits of Negative and Positive Discrimination in the Relationships between Coptic Community and Muslim Authorities of Medieval Egypt By Anastasia M. Ivanova
  4. Humans’ (incorrect) distrust of reflective decisions By Antonio Cabrales; Antonio M. Espín; Praveen Kujal; Stephen Rassenti
  5. Peer Effects in Employment Status: Evidence from Housing Lotteries for Forced Evacuees in Fukushima By Kondo, Ayako; Shoji, Masahiro
  6. The Effect of Shame in Dictator Games with Information Asymmetry By Tomas Miklanek
  7. The wisdom of the crowd in funding: : Information heterogeneity and social networks of crowdfunder By F.H.J. Polzin; H.S. Toxopeus; F.C. Stam
  8. Seasonal Social Preferences. By Ekström, Mathias
  9. consumption and investment in resource pooling family networks By Angelucci, Manuela; De Giorgi, Giacomo; Rasul, Imran

  1. By: Massimiliano Agovino; Maria Rosaria Carillo; Nicola Spagnolo (-)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of newspaper coverage and the tone of news on immigration on the attitude of natives towards immigration in 19 countries (World Values Survey Database) for the period 2005-2009. The results can be summarised as follows: coverage and the negative tone of news have a significant effect in reducing the attitudes towards immigration for people with high trust in the media; for those with low trust in the media, news on immigration has no significant effects. In the latter case coverage and the negative tone of news radicalizes individuals’ prior preferences and prejudices on immigration, where the latter are proxied by individual political orientations.
    Keywords: Fuzzy analysis, Immigration, News
    JEL: H89 J15 Z19
    Date: 2016–09–01
  2. By: Bar-Gill, Sagit; Gandal, Neil
    Abstract: In this experiment, we create an online search environment where users explore the TED Talks collection, and choose a talk to watch. As users search in this environment, they can separately control two search dimensions - topic and popularity. Furthermore, in topic-based searches, we randomly block/show popularity information. We ask: what types of users are most likely to get caught in a content echo chamber and what is the role of popularity information provision in facilitating echo chambers? Susceptibility to echo chambers is proxied by: (I) conducting little to no exploration in the search process, and (II) relying on popularity in content choice. We find that high levels of sociability and previous experience with similar content are associated with susceptibility to echo chambers. Opinion leadership, on the other hand, is associated with more exploration and lower reliance on popularity. Interestingly, popularity information provision increases opinion leaders' popularity sorting, and thus raises the potential for content echo chambers.
    Keywords: content exploration; echo chamber; filter bubble; online search; opinion leadership
    Date: 2017–03
  3. By: Anastasia M. Ivanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In the course of the Middle ages, the Copts experienced a variety of drastic changes in the attitude of Muslim rulers towards them, from confidence to disgrace. The latter included not only the increasingly rigorous tax policies, but also social and domestic constraints, which can be surely defined as religious discrimination. Though the Copts managed to regain the trust of the authorities by their profound skills in administrative and courtly functions and, of course, compromise in terms of religion, which allowed them to enjoy high ranks and other benefits of their proximity to the Egyptian court. This, in its turn, made them an outstanding social group and can be considered “positive discrimination” in contrast with the definitely negative discrimination based on confessional conditions. The question of the balance between positive and negative discrimination as an instrument of regulating intrastate social cooperation can be crucial for understanding the specific of these relationships during the described period. So, the main goal of this work is to trace historical precedents which can be considered either negative or positive discrimination, and their suppositional influence on the Copts’ turning into a minority
    Keywords: Egypt, Islam, Middle ages, Copts, religion, Arabic culture, history, islamization
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Antonio Cabrales (Department of Economics, University College London); Antonio M. Espín (Department of Economics, Middlesex University Business School); Praveen Kujal (Department of Economics, Middlesex University and Economic Science Institute, Chapman University); Stephen Rassenti (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)
    Abstract: Recent experiments suggest that social behavior may be shaped by the time available for decision making. It is known that fast decision making relies more on intuition whereas slow decision making is affected by reflective processes. Little is known, however, about whether people correctly anticipate the effect of intuition vs. reflection on others’ decision making. This is important in everyday situations where anticipating others’ behavior is often essential. A good example of this is the extensively studied Trust Game where the trustor, by sending an amount of money to the trustee, runs the risk of being exploited by the trustee’s subsequent action. We use this game to study how trustors’ choices are affected by whether trustees are externally forced to respond quickly or slowly. We also examine whether trustors’ own tendency to stop and reflect on their intuitions (as measured by the Cognitive Reflection Test) moderates how they anticipate the effect of reflection on the behavior of trustees. We find that the least reflective trustors send less money when trustees are forced to respond “reflectively” rather than “intuitively”, but we also argue that this is a wrong choice. In general, no group, including the ones with the largest number of reflective individuals, is good at anticipating the (positive) effect of forced delay on others’ trustworthiness
    Keywords: trust, trustworthiness, beliefs, reflection, dual-process, intuition
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Kondo, Ayako; Shoji, Masahiro
    Abstract: Does a high peer employment rate increase individual employment probability? We exploit the random assignment of temporary housing to evacuees from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident to identify the effect of neighbors’ employment rates on an individual’s probability of finding a job post-evacuation. Using unique survey data, we find that a one standard deviation increase in the initial employment rate of an individual’s peers makes the hazard of restarting work 1.41 times larger during the six months after move-in. We also show suggestive evidence for social norm to work as an underlying mechanism for the observed peer effect.
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Tomas Miklanek
    Abstract: This study introduces a theoretical model of inequality aversion which can also be used in an environment with information asymmetries. The model is based on the non-paternalistic approach where, the own utility function incorporates the utility of other people as perceived by a decision maker. Moreover it allows extensions for other motives which may result in pro-social behavior. I extend the model by adding shame aversion as an additional driver for apparently altruistic behavior. Threat of shame is induced by different levels of exposure of either own actions or identity to the third party observers. I also experimentally test predictions of the model using a very simple environment of a dictator’s game. The experimental design aims to remove additional confounding behavioral effects present in the previous literature. The results suggest that even a very small exposure results in significantly higher amounts sent to recipients. The analysis also shows that the agents, who believe that they can conceal their own actions in front of the less informed counterpart, exploit this information asymmetry for their monetary benefit.
    Keywords: shame; dictator game; anonymity; experiment;
    JEL: C91 D03
    Date: 2017–03
  7. By: F.H.J. Polzin; H.S. Toxopeus; F.C. Stam
    Abstract: Crowdfunding has enabled large crowds to fund innovative projects. This type of funding might tap into the wisdom of crowds who were previously disconnected from the funding process. We distinguish between in-crowd and out-crowd funders (with and without ties to project creators) in order to test for heterogeneity in their information use. Based on the analysis of a large-scale survey amongst project funders, this paper shows that in-crowd investors rely more on information about the project creator than out-crowd investors. Out-crowd investors do not seem to attach more importance to information about the project itself than in-crowd investors, except in the case of donation-based crowdfunding. For financial-return crowdfunding, financial information becomes less important once a strong relationship with the project creator is established. Our study allows project creators to target information to specific audiences based on their relationship strength across different types of crowdfunding projects
    Keywords: Crowdfunding, social networks, new ventures, entrepreneurial finance, information asymmetries
    Date: 2016–12
  8. By: Ekström, Mathias (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: Christmas is when people are expected to act selflessly for the well-being of others, but are people actually more altruistic at this time of the year? Responding to this question poses a challenge because of the confounding factors of charitable tax breaks, reciprocity motives, direct social pressure and persuasive campaigns for giving that are more prevalent in December. In this paper, I use a unique solicitation situation where these factors are eliminated. Using nine years of data and more than 50 million individual giving decisions, I provide three main results. First, the month of December is associated with an 18 percent increase in the proportion of donors, thereby providing strong support to the notion of seasonal social preferences. Second, exploiting a reform that changed the price of giving, I find that this December effect is equivalent to a 42 percent discount on charitable giving. Finally, half of the December increase in generosity persists into January before returning to the baseline in February.
    Keywords: Altruism; Charitable giving; Christmas; Social preferences
    JEL: C33 D03 D64 H41 Z10
    Date: 2017–03–20
  9. By: Angelucci, Manuela; De Giorgi, Giacomo; Rasul, Imran
    Abstract: This paper examines a novel motive for resource pooling in family networks in rural economies: to relax credit constraints and facilitate investment in non-collateralizeable assets for which credit market imperfections are most binding. We thus complement established literature examining risk-sharing motives for resource transfers within family networks, as well as motives based on kinship tax obligations. We do so exploiting the Progresa program data, in which family networks can be identified, households are subject to large exogenous resource inflows, and detailed responses on consumption and an array of investments can be tracked in a household panel over five years. We find that for every dollar that accrues to the family network through Progresa transfers, food consumption expenditures increase by around 65c for both households eligible for Progresa and ineligible members of the same family network. Hence the marginal propensity of families to invest/save out of every dollar is around .35, and we document how this is channeled towards easing credit constraints poorer network members face in financing non-collateralizable investments into their children's human capital. We show these consumption and investment benefits of being embedded within a family network are sustained five years after households first experience resource transfers from Progresa. Hence the interplay between resource inflows and resource pooling by family networks can place network members on sustained paths out of poverty.
    Date: 2017–03

This nep-soc issue is ©2017 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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