nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2017‒05‒07
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Cultural Transmission of Trust Norms: Evidence from a Lab in the Field on a Natural Experiment By Jared Rubin; Elira Karaja
  2. Sun, Regulation and Local Social Networks By Antoine Bonleu
  3. An Economic Approach to Alleviate the Crises of Confidence in Science: With an Application to the Public Goods Game By Luigi Butera; John A. List
  4. Diaspora Networks as a Bridge between Civilizations By Jackline Wahba; Ishac Diwan; Michele Tuccio
  5. Nudging the electorate: what works and why? By Felix Koelle; Tom Lane; Daniele Nosenzo; Chris Starmer
  6. Using your ties to get a worse job? The differential effects of social networks on quality of employment: Evidence from Colombia By Deguilhem, Thibaud; Berrou, Jean-Philippe; Combarnous, François
  7. Who Voted for Brexit? A Comprehensive District-Level Analysis By Sascha O. Becker; Thiemo Fetzer; Dennis Novy
  8. Quality certifications for nonprofits, charitable giving, and donor's trust: Experimental evidence By Adena, Maja; Alizade, Jeyhun; Bohner, Frauke; Harke, Julian; Mesters, Fabio
  9. Loyalty, trust, and glass ceiling: The gender effect on microcredit renewal By Mathilde Bauwin; Walid Jbili
  10. Do Friendship Networks Improve Female Education? By Hahn, Youjin; Islam, Asadul; Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves

  1. By: Jared Rubin (Chapman University); Elira Karaja (World Bank and Harriman Institute at Columbia University)
    Abstract: We conduct trust games in three villages in a northeastern Romanian commune. From 1775-1919, these villages were arbitrarily assigned to opposite sides of the Habsburg and Ottoman/Russian border despite being located seven kilometers apart. Russian and Ottoman Öscal institutions were more rapacious than Habsburg institutions, which may have eroded trust of outsiders (relative to co-villagers). Our design permits us to rigorously test this conjecture, and more generally, whether historically institutionalized cultural norms are transmitted intergenerationally. We Önd that participants on the Ottoman/Russian side are indeed less likely to trust outsiders but more likely to trust co-villagers.
    Keywords: trust, trust game, culture, cultural transmission, natural experiment, Öeld experiment, laboratory experiment, norms, Romania, Austria, Ottoman Empire, Habsburg Empire
    JEL: C91 C93 N33 O17 Z1
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Antoine Bonleu (Aix-Marseille Univ. (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, EHESS and Centrale Marseille)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explain over-regulation and local social capital as barriers to immigration. The interest of social networks is that conflict resolution is independent of the law. Hence, if local individuals develop local social capital and regulation, foreigners without social networks are disadvantaged and can less easily migrate. We develop a two-country search-theoretic model where we endogenize the choice of procedural formalism (PF) and the network size. This model features two different equilibria: a Mediterranean equilibrium with PF and dense local social network and a Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon equilibrium without PF and local social networks.
    Keywords: housing market regulation, local social capital, mobility, climate amenities, social networks
    JEL: R38
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: Luigi Butera; John A. List
    Abstract: Novel empirical insights by their very nature tend to be unanticipated, and in some cases at odds with the current state of knowledge on the topic. The mechanics of statistical inference suggest that such initial findings, even when robust and statistically significant within the study, should not appreciably move priors about the phenomenon under investigation. Yet, a few well-conceived independent replications dramatically improve the reliability of novel findings. Nevertheless, the incentives to replicate are seldom in place in the sciences, especially within the social sciences. We propose a simple incentive-compatible mechanism to promote replications, and use experimental economics to highlight our approach. We begin by reporting results from an experiment in which we investigate how cooperation in allocation games is affected by the presence of Knightian uncertainty, a pervasive and yet unexplored characteristic of most public goods. Unexpectedly, we find that adding uncertainty enhances cooperation. This surprising result serves as a test case for our mechanism: instead of sending this paper to a peer-reviewed journal, we make it available online as a working paper, but we commit never to submit it to a journal for publication. We instead offered co-authorship for a second, yet to be written, paper to other scholars willing to replicate our study. That second paper will reference this working paper, will include all replications, and will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. Our mechanism allows mutually-beneficial gains from trade between the original investigators and other scholars, alleviates the publication bias problem that often surrounds novel experimental results, and accelerates the advancement of economic science by leveraging the mechanics of statistical inference.
    JEL: A11 C92 H4 D64
    Date: 2017–04
  4. By: Jackline Wahba (University of Southampton); Ishac Diwan; Michele Tuccio
    Abstract: This paper explores the effect of international migration on the so-called clash of civilizations. Exploiting Gallup data on North Africa and the Middle East, we study the impact of having family members abroad on opinions about the relation between the Western and Muslim worlds. We find that households with migrants in Europe and North America have more positive attitudes towards the West than those with no migrants, or those with migrants in a Gulf country. We also show that in Tunisia having a migrant abroad has helped families go through the difficult post revolution period while keeping a positive and optimistic attitude towards the future, independently of their income level. Overall, our findings point at the important role of international migration as a bridge between civilizations, and as a catalyst for long-term peace and stability in troubled origin countries.
    Date: 2017–11–05
  5. By: Felix Koelle (Department of Economics, University of Cologne); Tom Lane (Department of Economics, University of Nottingham); Daniele Nosenzo (School of Economics, University of Nottingham); Chris Starmer (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: We report two studies investigating whether, and if so how, different interventions affect voter registration rates. In a natural field experiment conducted before the 2015 UK General Election, we varied messages on a postcard sent by Oxford City Council to 7,679 unregistered student voters encouraging them to register to vote. Relative to a baseline, emphasising negative monetary incentives (the possibility of being fined) significantly increased registration rates, while positive monetary incentives (chances of winning a lottery) and purely non-monetary nudges had no overall effects. In the second study, we show that these differences can be partly explained by social norms.
    Keywords: Voter Registration; Voting; Field Experiment; Nudging; Social Norms; Fines; Rewards
    Date: 2017–05
  6. By: Deguilhem, Thibaud; Berrou, Jean-Philippe; Combarnous, François
    Abstract: This article examines the effect of social networks through the use of family, friends or relatives ties on quality of employment (QoE). Drawing from the socioeconomic literature on social networks and labor market, we propose an original and multidimensional measure of QoE, and a fruitful estimation approach of the effect of social networks on QoE that allows to deal with complex inter-groups heterogeneity. Using the Great Integrated Houshold Survey (GIHS) and a sample on Bogota's workers in 2013, we find evidence proving that the use of ties has high negative effects on QoE index for those who are in the lower quality of employment range. Likewise, the use of social networks has very low negative effects on QoE index for individuals who are in the better quality of employment range. Complemented by focus groups interviews, these empirical results raise questions about the difference prevailing in relational practices between necessity networks for precarious workers and opportunity networks for protected workers.
    Keywords: Social networks, Quality of employment, Finite Mixture Regression Model, Colombia
    JEL: J42 L14 O54 Z13
    Date: 2017–04
  7. By: Sascha O. Becker; Thiemo Fetzer; Dennis Novy
    Abstract: On 23 June 2016, the British electorate voted to leave the European Union. We analyse vote and turnout shares across 380 local authority areas in the United Kingdom. We find that exposure to the EU in terms of immigration and trade provides relatively little explanatory power for the referendum vote. Instead, we find that fundamental characteristics of the voting population were key drivers of the Vote Leave share, in particular their education profiles, their historical dependence on manufacturing employment as well as low income and high unemployment. At the much finer level of wards within cities, we find that areas with deprivation in terms of education, income and employment were more likely to vote Leave. Our results indicate that a higher turnout of younger voters, who were more likely to vote Remain, would not have overturned the referendum result.
    Keywords: political economy, voting, referendum, migration, austerity
    JEL: D72 N44 R23 Z13
    Date: 2017–04
  8. By: Adena, Maja; Alizade, Jeyhun; Bohner, Frauke; Harke, Julian; Mesters, Fabio
    Abstract: In an experiment, we test the impact of quality certificates on donations to a charity. When presented with a quality certificate, participants chose higher donations by approximately 10%. This effect is significant for donations out of prize money and actual own money donations, and not significant but positive for own money intended donations. Moreover, this effect persists over time. We also find a nega-tive but not significant effect of information about certificate fees. We find that the certificate increases trust in the nonprofit organization. There is some evi-dence pointing to the causal role of trust for donation probability.
    Keywords: non-profit certification,charitable giving,experiment,trust
    JEL: D64 C99 D81
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Mathilde Bauwin; Walid Jbili
    Abstract: Whereas most research into microfinance tends to focus on the impact of access to such services, very little pays attention to what happens over time once a person becomes a client. The paper aims at analysing the conditions of loan renewals as most microfinance institutions foster client retention and apply a progressive lending policy. Moreover, as previous studies have shown that women are not always favoured regarding loan amounts granted, the progressive lending policy is analysed from a gender perspective. The work is based on a case study about the main Tunisian microfinance institution using longitudinal client data. The analysis focuses on the growth rate of amounts granted over credit cycles. As some clients leave the microfinance institution after one or several loans, we follow a procedure enabling us to correct the selection bias with panel data. The results show that, all things being equal, the growth rates tend to increase over cycles, probably reflecting an increasingly trusting relationship between the microfinance institution and its clients. However, this increase is slower for women, revealing a less favourable progressive lending policy towards women. Consequently, as women already start from a lower position, initial inequalities cannot be counterbalanced.
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Hahn, Youjin (Monash University); Islam, Asadul (Monash University); Patacchini, Eleonora (Cornell University); Zenou, Yves (Monash University)
    Abstract: We randomly assign more than 6,000 students from 150 primary schools in Bangladesh to work on math assignments in one of three settings: individually, in groups with random schoolmates, or in groups with friends. The groups consist of four people and are balanced by average cognitive ability and ability distribution. While the achievement of male students is not affected by the group assignment, low-ability females assigned to groups outperform low-ability females working individually. The treatment is particularly effective when low-ability females study with friends. To rule out sorting effects, we show that random groups with identical compositions to those of friendship groups do not produce similar effects. Our study thus documents that placing students into study groups with their friends may improve learning, especially for low-ability females.
    Keywords: social interactions, education, gender, learning, friendship
    JEL: I25 J16 O12
    Date: 2017–03

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