nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2017‒12‒03
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Tax morale and the role of social norms and reciprocity - Evidence from a randomized survey experiment By Philipp Doerrenberg; Andreas Peichl
  2. Social Capital, Communication Channels and Opinion Formation By Christos Mavridis; Nikolas Tsakas
  3. Rainfall inequality, trust and civil conflict in Nigeria By Muhammad Kabir Salihu; Andrea Guariso
  4. Social Capital of Board of Directors and Financial Performance: Evidence from Russian Companies By Kachura, Egor; Garanina, Tatiana A.
  5. Public goods, role models and "sucker aversion": the audience matters By Attanasi, Giuseppe; Dessí, Roberta; Moisan, Frederic; Robertson, Donald
  6. Ethnic diversity and political participation: the role of individual income By G. Bellettini; C. Berti Ceroni; C. Monfardini
  7. Public Trust and Governance in Public Administration in Thailand By Chanida Jittaruttha
  8. Urbanization patterns, social interactions and female voting in rural Paraguay By Alberto Chong; Gianmarco León; Vivian Roza; Martin Valdivia; Gabriela Vega
  9. Exploring the Social Media beliefs of individual and institutional users in Australia By Rajeev Sharma
  10. If I do not ask for help, it does not mean I do not need it: Experimental analysis of recipients' preferences for redistribution By Serhiy Kandul; Olexandr Nikolaychuk
  11. How Beliefs Influence Behavior: Confucianism and Innovation in China By Feng, Xunan; Jin, Zhi; Johansson, Anders C.
  12. Do emigrants self-select along cultural traits? Evidence from the MENA countries By Frédéric Docquier; Aysit Tansel; Riccardo Turati
  13. Is distance dead? Face-to-face communication and productivity in teams By Battiston, Diego; Blanes i Vidal, Jordi; Kirchmaier, Thomas

  1. By: Philipp Doerrenberg; Andreas Peichl
    Abstract: We present the first randomized survey experiment in the context of tax compliance to assess the role of social norms and reciprocity for intrinsic tax morale. We find that participants in a reciprocity treatment have significantly higher tax morale than those in a social-norm treatment. This suggests that a potential backfire effect of social norms is outweighed if the consequences of violating the social norm are made salient. We further document the anatomy of intrinsic motivations for tax compliance and present first evidence that previously found gender effects in tax morale are not driven by differences in risk preferences.
    Keywords: Tax compliance, tax evasion, instrinsic motivation, tax morale, social norms, reciprocity
    JEL: H20 H32 H50 C93
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Christos Mavridis; Nikolas Tsakas
    Abstract: We study how different forms of social capital lead to different distributions of multidimensional opinions by affecting the channels through which individuals communicate. We develop a model to compare and contrast the evolution of opinions between societies whose members communicate through bonding associations and societies where communication is through bridging associations. Both processes converge towards opinion distributions where there are groups within which there is consensus in all issues. Bridging processes converge to distributions that have, on average, fewer opinion groups and lower fractionalisation. We provide additional results that highlight the distinct characteristics of the two processes.
    Keywords: Social Capital; Opinion Formation; Bounded Confidence; Bonding versus Bridging Associations
    JEL: D71 D83 P16 Z1
    Date: 2017–11
  3. By: Muhammad Kabir Salihu; Andrea Guariso
    Abstract: Do changes in the distribution of rainfall between ethnic groups increase the risk of armed conflicts within Nigeria? In this paper, we exploit variation in rainfall during the growing season, to study how resource inequality between ethnic groups affects the risks of violent conflicts in Nigeria. Our main results show that a one standard deviation change in between-group rainfall inequality during the growing season increases civil conflicts prevalence in Nigeria by about seven percentage points. This relationship is driven, in part, by declining social capital. Specifically, we demonstrated that an unequal distribution of rainfall between ethnic groups reinforces citizens grievances over government performance and creates mistrust between predominantly farming communities and those engaged in nomadic herding. The analysis highlights the need to develop conflict-sensitive mitigation and adaptation strategies to reduce the adverse effects of climatic shock.
    Keywords: Conflict, Inequality, Rainfall, Trust, Nigeria
    JEL: D63 D74 E01
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Kachura, Egor; Garanina, Tatiana A.
    Abstract: The purpose of the empirical research is to determine the existence of relationship between social capital of board of directors expressed through the presence of directors with experience in governmental institutions and companiesÙ financial performance. In order to achieve the goal information about the structure of board of directors and financial performance results of 134 public Russian companies in 2012 and 2013 was collected from open sources. The results of the research revealed the existence of positive relationship between the presence at board of directors who are former public servants and market capitalization of Russian companies. Significant models, however, were found only for the market capitalization as the dependent variable, not for such accounting variable as return on assets (ROA).
    Keywords: board of directors, social capital, government cooperation, return on assets, ROA, empirical research, board of directors, governmental institutions,
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Attanasi, Giuseppe; Dessí, Roberta; Moisan, Frederic; Robertson, Donald
    Abstract: Intergenerational interactions play an important part in society with older generations often acting as role models that influence younger ones. We investigate in a public good experiment how the behavior of more experienced and knowledgeable players (graduate students) is affected when they are informed that some of their personal and behavioral characteristics will be transmitted to future first-year undergraduates (enrolling the following year) playing the same game at the same university. In the "information" treatment, the history of behavior is transmitted with some personal characteristics (e.g. age and gender). In the "photo" treatment, a photo is also transmitted. Despite the absence of any monetary linkage between generations, our results show a significant effect of visibility by the future audience on initial contributions and dynamic behavior. Contrary to previous findings in the literature, contributions are lower in the presence of such personal identification. We explain this surprising negative effect by a "sucker aversion" bias according to which people become more sensitive to being perceived as exploited by their peers. We argue that the nature of the "audience" matters in reaching such an undesirable outcome.
    Date: 2017–10
  6. By: G. Bellettini; C. Berti Ceroni; C. Monfardini
    Abstract: We exploit a unique dataset merging data on individual socio-economic characteristics and political participation in an Italian municipality to investigate the relationship between ethnic diversity in residential neighborhoods and individuals' propensity to vote. We document a sizable negative impact of diversity on overall electoral turnout which reects differential effects at the individual level, depending on household equivalent income. Speciffically, we show that ethnic heterogeneity in the neighborhood reduces the political participation of the poor, while it fosters that of the more affluent. These results highlight a potential democratic deficit stemming from reduced and unequal electoral turnout in increasingly ethnically heterogeneous neighborhoods.
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2017–11
  7. By: Chanida Jittaruttha (Chulalongkorn University)
    Abstract: Public trust is an important topic in "New Democratic Governance? approach of modernising states. Trust in government is deteriorating in many OECD countries. Public administration scholars generally agree that public trust is a keystone of good governance. This article explored public trust that 2,587 Thai citizens perceived on governance in public administration in Thailand. The findings are: (a) public trust and governance in public administration in Thailand are perceived at medium level, (b) relationship between two factors are positively correlated in two ways direction and varied in the same direction at high level (r = .864), (c) seven indicators to cultivate governance in public administration in Thailand are ethics of honesty, merit system, leaders who build trust culture, maintenance of democratic value, law enforcement efficiency, officials professionalism of, and public service ideologies.
    Keywords: Public Trust, Trust Culture, Governance in Public Administration
    Date: 2017–10
  8. By: Alberto Chong; Gianmarco León; Vivian Roza; Martin Valdivia; Gabriela Vega
    Abstract: We use a field experiment to evaluate the impact of two informational get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaigns to boost female electoral participation in Paraguay. We find that public rallies have no effect either on registration or on voter turnout in the 2013 presidential elections. However, households that received door-to-door (D2D) treatment are 4.6 percentage points more likely to vote. Experimental variation on the intensity of the treatment at the locality level allows us to estimate spillover effects, which are present in localities that are geographically more concentrated, and thus may favor social interactions. Reinforcement effects to the already treated population are twice as large as diffusion to the untreated. Our results underscore the importance of taking into account urbanization patterns when designing informational campaigns.
    Keywords: Voter behavior, electoral politics, urbanization, spillover effects, Paraguay
    JEL: O10 D72 O53 D71
    Date: 2017–11
  9. By: Rajeev Sharma (Charles Darwin University)
    Abstract: Social media is now a communications tool of choice for many individuals, commercial and not for profit organizations. There is compelling evidence that mainstream Australians are avid social media users. Understanding of social media consumption and its impact is important for a wide range of stakeholders. The objective of this study is to better understand the beliefs that drive social media consumption in the Northern Territory Australia. Primary data for this paper was obtained through an on-line survey. Based on 420 usable responses, this paper explores the underlying beliefs of individual and institutional social media users. Data analysis identified statistically significant differences in the beliefs of the two cohorts.
    Keywords: social media, beliefs, Australia
    JEL: M19
    Date: 2017–10
  10. By: Serhiy Kandul; Olexandr Nikolaychuk
    Abstract: Experimental literature on pro-social behavior has been largely focused on settings where the decision of donors is sufficient for an interaction to occur. However, in many real-life applications recipients first have to ask donors for help to initiate the transaction. We suggest that this first move by the recipients might be associated with psychological costs which include shame of not being able to manage on one's own, negative feelings from the loss of respect, or stigmatization from the society. We argue that the reluctance to initiate the transaction is different from the unwillingness to accept help initiated by somebody else and test this preposition in a laboratory experiment. We let participants play a dictator game with two procedures: (1) dictator first chooses a transfer, and the recipient decides to accept or reject it; (2) recipient first decides to ask or not, and if asked the dictator then chooses a transfer. We also let recipients choose in which of the two conditions they want to play and then compare recipients' and dictators' behavior within each experimental procedure.
    Keywords: dictator game; procedural preferences; fairness; role allocation; social preferences.
    JEL: D01 D64 D90
    Date: 2017–11
  11. By: Feng, Xunan (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics); Jin, Zhi (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics); Johansson, Anders C. (Stockholm China Economic Research Institute)
    Abstract: Previous studies have studied how religious beliefs may affect economic activity. We extend this literature by examining how Confucianism is linked to innovative activities at the firm level in China. We analyze the relationship between Confucianism and several proxies for inputs and outputs of innovative activities. Our results show that Confucianism is significantly related to lower levels of innovative activities regardless of which measure for firm-level innovation we use. We also find that type of ultimate ownership influences this relationship, with innovation among state-controlled firms being significantly more affected by Confucianism. This study thus adds to the understanding of how traditional belief systems influence behavior at the firm level.
    Keywords: Confucianism; Beliefs; Religion; Innovation; R&D; Patents; China
    JEL: O30 Z10
    Date: 2017–11–16
  12. By: Frédéric Docquier (FNRS & IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), and FERDI (France)); Aysit Tansel (Middle East Technical University (Turkey), IZA (Germany) and ERF (Egypt)); Riccardo Turati (IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium))
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates whether emigrants from MENA countries self-select on cultural traits such as religiosity and gender-egalitarian attitudes. To do so, we use Gallup World Poll data on individual opinions and beliefs, migration aspirations, short-run migration plans, and preferred destination choices. We find that individuals who intend to emigrate to OECD, high-income countries exhibit significantly lower levels of religiosity than the rest of the population. They also share more gender-egalitarian views, although the effect only holds among the young (aged 15 to 30), among single women, and in countries with a Sunni minority. For countries mostly affected by Arab Spring, since 2011 the degree of cultural selection has decreased. Nevertheless, the aggregate effects of cultural selection should not be overestimated. Overall, self-selection along cultural traits has limited (albeit non negligible) effects on the average characteristics of the population left behind, and on the cultural distance between natives and immigrants in the OECD countries.
    Keywords: International migration, self-selection, cultural traits, gender-egalitarian attitudes, religiosity, MENA region.
    JEL: F22 J61 Z10
    Date: 2017–11
  13. By: Battiston, Diego; Blanes i Vidal, Jordi; Kirchmaier, Thomas
    Abstract: Has technology made face-to-face communication redundant? We investigate using a natural experiment in an organisation where a worker must communicate complex electronic information to a colleague. Productivity is higher when the teammates are (exogenously) in the same room and, inside the room, when their desks are closer together. We establish face-to-face communication as the main mechanism, and rule out alternative channels such as higher effort by co-located workers. The effect is stronger for urgent and complex tasks, for homogeneous workers, and for high pressure conditions.We highlight the opportunity costs of face-to-face communication and their dependence on organisational slack.
    Keywords: teamwork; face-to-face communication; distance; organisations
    JEL: R14 J01
    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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