nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2017‒06‒11
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Protests and Trust in the State: Evidence from African Countries By Marc Sangnier; Yanos Zylberberg
  2. Spillover Effects of Institutions on Cooperative Behavior, Preferences and Beliefs By Engl, Florian; Riedl, Arno; Weber, Roberto A.
  3. The Effect of Social Networks on the Economic Outcomes of a Disadvantaged Group: Evidence from Tribal Affiliations By Sin, Isabelle; Stillman, Steven
  4. Trusting banks in China By Fungáčová, Zuzana; Weill, Laurent
  5. Collapse of an Online Social Network: The Blame on Social Capital By Laszlo Lorincz; Julia Koltai; Anna Fruzsina Gyor; Karoly Takacs
  6. Adults Behaving Badly: The Effects of Own and Peer Parents' Incarceration on Adolescent Criminal Activities By Fletcher, Jason M.
  7. Closing or Reproducing the Gender Gap? Parental Transmission, Social Norms and Education Choice By Humlum, Maria Knoth; Nandrup, Anne Brink; Smith, Nina
  8. Intra-couple income distribution and subjective well-being: the moderating effect of gender norms By Gabor Hajdu; Tamas Hajdu
  9. Group size and conformity in charitable giving: Evidence from a donation-based crowdfunding platform in Japan By Shusaku Sasaki
  10. Who trusts? Ethnicity, integration, and attitudes toward elected officials in urban Nigeria By Adrienne LeBas

  1. By: Marc Sangnier; Yanos Zylberberg
    Abstract: This paper provides empirical evidence that, after protests, citizens substantially revise their views on the current leader, but also their trust in the country's institutions. The empirical strategy exploits variation in the timing of an individual level survey and the proximity to social protests in 13 African countries. First, we find that trust in political leaders strongly and abruptly decreases after protests. Second, trust in the country monitoring institutions plunges as well. Both effects are much stronger when protests are repressed by the government. As no signs of distrust are recorded even a couple of days before the social conflicts, protests can be interpreted as sudden signals sent on a leaders' actions from which citizens extract information on their country fundamentals.
    Keywords: Protests, trust, institutions, leaders.
    JEL: D74 D83 H41 O17
    Date: 2017–05–29
  2. By: Engl, Florian (University of Cologne); Riedl, Arno (Maastricht University); Weber, Roberto A. (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Institutions are an important means for fostering prosocial behaviors, but in many contexts their scope is limited and they govern only a subset of all socially desirable acts. We use a laboratory experiment to study how the presence and nature of an institution that enforces prosocial behavior in one domain affects behavior in another domain and whether it also alters prosocial preferences and beliefs about others' behavior. Groups play two identical public good games. We vary whether, for only one game, there is an institution enforcing cooperation and vary also whether the institution is imposed exogenously or arises endogenously through voting. Our results show that the presence of an institution in one game generally enhances cooperation in the other game thus documenting a positive spillover effect. These spillover effects are economically substantial amounting up to 30 to 40 percent of the direct effect of institutions. When the institution is determined endogenously spillover effects get stronger over time, whereas they do not show a trend when it is imposed exogenously. Additional treatments indicate that the main driver of this result is not the endogeneity but the temporal trend of the implemented institution. We also find that institutions of either type enhance prosocial preferences and beliefs about others' prosocial behavior, even toward strangers, suggesting that both factors are drivers of the observed spillover effects.
    Keywords: public goods, institutions, spillover effect, social preferences, beliefs
    JEL: C92 D02 D72 H41
    Date: 2017–05
  3. By: Sin, Isabelle (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust); Stillman, Steven (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)
    Abstract: Minority groups in many countries, particularly indigenous populations, live in very segregated envi-ronments. Many social scientists believe that social networks create poverty traps in these types of segregated environments, with a lack of positive role models reinforcing a lack of good job opportuni-ties. In this paper, we use data from the New Zealand Census to examine the relationship between the strength of an individual's local social network and their labor market outcomes. We focus on out-comes for Māori, which allows us to use tribes as exogenously formed networks, and traditional tribal ties to specific geographical regions as an exogenous shock to the locations of social networks. We thus avoid the typical problem of endogenously formed networks and network locations. We find that Māori who locate in areas with strong networks have modestly worse labour market outcomes than Māori from other tribes in the same areas. However, when we account for the endogenous selection of Māori into high networks areas, we find that they are negatively selected on both observables and unobservables and that social networks have a positive causal impact on employment and total income for women and wage rates for men. These results are consistent with those found in the literature on immigrant enclaves and allude to role that social networks play in improving job match quality.
    Keywords: social networks, mobility, labour market outcomes, New Zealand, Māori
    JEL: J61 J15 R23
    Date: 2017–05
  4. By: Fungáčová, Zuzana; Weill, Laurent
    Abstract: Trust in banks is essential to financial system effectiveness. This study examines the determinants of trust in banks in China. Using the most recent wave of the World Values Survey, which included information on trust in banks from the survey in China in 2012, we perform ordered logit estimations to investigate the potential influence of a large set of individual and provincial indicators on trust in banks. We observe the influence of certain sociodemographic indicators. Membership in the Communist Party and living in a rural area are negatively associated with trust in banks. Age and satisfaction with financial situation contribute to higher trust in banks, while being married and having a higher level of education tend to lower trust in banks. Access to information regardless of the type of media disseminating the information newspapers, television, internet) seem to have no impact on trust in banks. Economic values influence trust in banks. In particular, individuals who favor inequality as an incentive for individual effort or support an expanded government ownership role in the economy tend to trust banks more.
    JEL: G21 O16 P34
    Date: 2017–06–05
  5. By: Laszlo Lorincz (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Corvinus University of Budapest); Julia Koltai (Centre for Social Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest); Anna Fruzsina Gyor (Corvinus University of Budapest); Karoly Takacs (MTA TK "Lendulet" Research Center for Educational and Network Studies (RECENS))
    Abstract: The rise and popularity of online social networks is a recent phenomenon. In this study, we analyze the reasons and mechanisms behind the collapse of an online social network (OSN), iWiW. Significant cascading mechanisms have been identified in the pattern of abandoning the site at its peak of popularity and after. It is of key importance to study who were the key actors that started these cascades and abandoned the site early compared to others in their network. We contrasted explanations based on preserving accumulated social capital vs. building new social capital with motives influenced by innovativeness. On the one hand, those who are well embedded in their existing network have more to lose. On the other hand, people might want to escape from redundancy and indebtedness indicated by a high local clustering coefficient. We find with heterogeneous choice models that lower degree and a high local clustering are associated with early abandonment. The significant effects of age and innovativeness that depend on the life stage of the OSN indicate that mechanisms related to social capital are not the only reasons for the collapse.
    Keywords: online social networks, social capital, innovation, embeddedness
    JEL: D70 D85
    Date: 2017–03
  6. By: Fletcher, Jason M. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Abstract: A maturing literature across the social sciences suggests important impacts of the intergenerational transmission of crime as well as peer effects that determine youth criminal activities. This paper ex-plores these channels by examining gender-specific effects of maternal and paternal incarceration from both own-parents and classmate-parents. This paper also adds to the literature by exploiting across-cohort, within school exposure to peer parent incarceration to enhance causal inference. While the intergenerational correlations of criminal activities are similar by gender (father-son/mother-son), the results suggest that peer parent incarceration transmits effects largely along gender lines, which is suggestive of specific learning mechanisms. Peer maternal incarceration increases adolescent female criminal activities and reduces male crime and the reverse is true for peer paternal incarceration. These effects are strongest for youth reports of selling drugs and engaging in physical violence. In contrast, the effects of peer parental incarceration on other outcomes, such as GPA, do not vary by gender.
    Keywords: crime, peer effects, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: J00 J24 J62
    Date: 2017–05
  7. By: Humlum, Maria Knoth (Aarhus University); Nandrup, Anne Brink (Aarhus University); Smith, Nina (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: Over the last decade, the economic literature has increasingly focused on the importance of gender identity and sticky gender norms in an attempt to explain the persistence of the gender gaps. Using detailed register data on the latest cohorts of Danish labour market entrants, this paper examines the intergenerational correlation in gender-stereotypical choice of education. Although to some extent picking up inherited and acquired skills, our results suggest that if parents exhibit gender stereotypical labour market behaviour, children of the same sex are more likely to choose a gender stereotypical education. The associations are strongest for sons. Exploiting the detailed nature of our data, we use birth order and sibling sex composition to shed light on the potential channels through which gender differences in educational preferences are transmitted across generations. We propose that such transmissions may attenuate the final closing of the gender gap.
    Keywords: intergenerational transmission, gender differences, gender identity, social norms
    JEL: I23 J16 J24
    Date: 2017–05
  8. By: Gabor Hajdu (Institute for Sociology, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and MTA-ELTE Peripato Comparative Social Dynamics Research Group, Hungary); Tamas Hajdu (Institute of Economics, Research Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between intra-couple income distribution and subjective well-being, using nationally representative data from Hungary. We show that the association between the woman’s relative income (the woman’s share of the couple’s total earnings) and life satisfaction is negative not only for men, but for women as well. Because we control for financial disadvantages on the individual and household level, as well as for socio-economic and job characteristics of the respondent and their partner, the result can be interpreted as the impact of traditional gender roles and the persistence of the traditional male breadwinner mentality. In addition, we show that gender norms moderate this negative association. Among those with low levels of traditional norms, the woman’s relative income has no effect on life satisfaction, whereas among those who prefer traditional gender roles, the negative association is stronger. Our results suggest that conflicts between the gender norms and the social and economic reality reduce life satisfaction.
    Keywords: intra-couple income distribution; life satisfaction; gender norms; relative income
    JEL: I31 D10 J16
    Date: 2017–04
  9. By: Shusaku Sasaki
    Abstract: This study examines relationships between the size of the majority and donor conformity by empirically investigating the impacts of multiple earlier donations on the amount that a subsequent donor contributes to JapanGiving, a donation-based crowdfunding platform. The platform’s webpage displays the amounts of the preceding five donations in chronological order. Using data for 9,989 donations and exploring the model propounded by Smith et al. (2015), we construct variables to explain information a donor sees on the webpage. The main variables are the modal amount among the preceding five donations and their appearance along the sequence. Dynamic panel analyses suggest that when the two most recent donations are identical, a subsequent donor is likely to match the immediately preceding donation. The likelihood further increases when the number of the most recent continuous modal donations increases. We discuss that our findings connect economic studies of charity and social psychology studies of conformity and could aid effective fundraising by charities.
    Date: 2017–05
  10. By: Adrienne LeBas
    Abstract: In the developing world, clientelism is common. In Africa, public office is often used to redistribute resources to ethnically defined constituencies, and this form of clientelistic exchange is a key determinant of vote choice. Does clientelistic exchange shape trust in elected officials as well? And does it continue to do so as cross-ethnic contact and integration increase? This paper uses public opinion data from urban Nigeria to investigate how an individual’s social position and experiences with the state affect trust in elected officials, especially at the local level. The paper finds that the trust deficit associated with local ethnic minority status does not significantly diminish as these individuals integrate. For members of locally dominant groups, greater crossethnic contact and lessened reliance on ethnicity actually dampen expressed trust in local elected officials. These findings suggest the need for greater attention to cross-ethnic contact when evaluating the political implications of ethnic inequality.
    Date: 2017

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