nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2018‒02‒05
eight papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Financial Shocks and the Erosion of Interpersonal Trust: Evidence from Longitudinal Data By Jetter, Michael; Kristoffersen, Ingebjørg
  2. Does upward mobility harm trust? By Rémi Suchon; Marie Claire Villeval
  3. Voting and Peer Effects: Experimental Evidence from Mozambique By Fafchamps, Marcel; Vaz, Ana; Vicente, Pedro C
  4. Which Type of Trust Matters?:Interpersonal vs. Institutional vs. Political Trust By In Do Hwang
  5. Sociality is Not Lost with Monetary Transactions within Social Groups By Lukinova, Evgeniya; Babkina, Tatiana; Sedush, Anna; Menshikov, Ivan; Menshikova, Olga; Myagkov, Mikhail
  6. Do Women Socialize Better? Evidence from a Study on Sociality Effects on Gender Differences in Cooperative Behavior By Peshkovskaya, Anastasia; Myagkov, Mikhail; Babkina, Tatiana; Lukinova, Evgeniya
  7. Social cohesion and inequality in South Africa By Anda David; Nathalie Guilbert; Hiroyuki Hino; Murray Leibbrandt; Elnari Potgieter; Muna Shifa
  8. Inequality, ethnicity, and social cohesion By McDoom, Omar Shahabudin

  1. By: Jetter, Michael (University of Western Australia); Kristoffersen, Ingebjørg (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effect of financial shocks on interpersonal trust levels, exploiting longitudinal survey data from 22,112 Australians. Using within-individual level variation, we find that trust does not change meaningfully following a positive financial shock (e.g., winning the lottery). However, trust falls sharply following a negative financial shock (e.g., bankruptcy). In terms of magnitude, this effect is approximately equivalent to the effect observed after one reports being the victim of physical violence or a property crime, but significantly larger than effects from a range of other individual-level shocks (e.g., being fired or getting divorced). We then explore a potential explanation of this finding related to locus of control, which relates to the extent to which people believe they are in control of their circumstances. Indeed, we find evidence consistent with this hypothesis as locus of control tends to change, and become less internal, following a negative financial shock. In turn, locus of control is closely associated with interpersonal trust levels.
    Keywords: financial shocks, trust levels, locus of control
    JEL: D90 E32 Z1
    Date: 2017–12
  2. By: Rémi Suchon (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-69131 Ecully, France); Marie Claire Villeval (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-69131 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: While considered as appealing for positive and normative reasons, anecdotal evidence suggests that upward social mobility may harm interpersonal interactions. We report on an experiment testing the effect of upward social mobility on interpersonal trust. Individuals are characterized both by a natural group identity and by a status awarded by means of relative performance in a task in which natural identities strongly predict performance. Upward mobility is characterized by the access to the high status of individuals belonging to the natural group associated with a lower expected performance. We find that socially mobile individuals trust less than those who are not socially mobile, especially when the trustee belongs to the same natural group. In contrast, upward mobility does not affect trustworthiness. We find no evidence that interacting with an upwardly mobile individual impacts trust or trustworthiness.
    Keywords: Trust, trustworthiness, social mobility, social identity, experiment
    JEL: C92 J62
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Fafchamps, Marcel; Vaz, Ana; Vicente, Pedro C
    Abstract: Voter education campaigns often aim to increase voter participation and political accountability. Randomized interventions were implemented nationwide during the 2009 Mozambican elections using leaflets, text messaging, and a free newspaper. We study the local peer effecs triggered by the campaign. We investigate whether treatment effects are transmitted through social networks and geographical proximity at the village level. For individuals personally targeted by the campaign, we estimate the reinforcement effect of proximity to other individuals in our sample. For untargeted individuals, we estimate how the campaign diffuses as a function of proximity to others in the sample. We find evidence for both effects, similar across treatments and proximity measures. The campaign raises the level of interest in the election through networks, in line with the average treatment effect. However, we find a negative network effect of the treatment on voter participation, implying that the positive effect of treatment on more central individuals is smaller. We interpret this result as consistent with free-riding through pivotal reasoning and we provide additional evidence to support this claim.
    Date: 2018–01
  4. By: In Do Hwang (Economic Research Institute, The Bank of Korea)
    Abstract: Although an increasing number of studies demonstrate the importance of trust in economic growth, they only focus on interpersonal trust. This paper considers various types of trust including interpersonal trust (i.e., trust in people), institutional trust (e.g., trust in the fair administration of justice, or trust in the protection of property rights), and political trust (e.g., trust in government or political parties), and investigates their impacts on growth. Using novel cross-country survey data, this paper finds that institutional trust is most robustly related to the economic growth in a cross-section of 46 countries. This paper also shows that there is a causal relationship between institutional trust and growth using panel data from those 46 countries. Hence, in contrast with the previous trust literature which focuses on trust in "people" as a "time-invariant cultural feature," this paper stresses trust in "social system" as an "institutions- dependent feature."
    Keywords: Institutions and economic growth, Trust, Social capital
    JEL: O17 P16 Z13
    Date: 2017–05–15
  5. By: Lukinova, Evgeniya; Babkina, Tatiana; Sedush, Anna; Menshikov, Ivan; Menshikova, Olga; Myagkov, Mikhail
    Abstract: This paper investigates how the group membership fee influences the cooperation rate within the groups formed through the socialization. Our previous findings suggest that socialization, or social interactions in groups, create sociality and, therefore, establish a society with sustained cooperation and fairness. In line with Social Identity Theory, we assert some esteem or value to be gained through group differentiation. What will happen with this additional value once we try to quantify it? For this purpose, we observed two cases: socialized participants should pay the fee to stay in-group; participants should pay the fee to join the group, socialize and stay there. We find that monetary transactions are not determinative on their own; rather the consequences of these transactions can hurt collective action through a forced division of participants into those who paid enough (in-group) and those who did not (out-group). More over, despite the fact that being in-group and out-group is an economically equal situation, participants are willing to pay the fee to stay in their socialized group or pay the fee to join the group before socialization.
    Keywords: Prisoner’s Dilemma, Socialization, Cooperation, Auction, Group Formation, Membership Fee, Experimental Economics
    JEL: C1 C71
    Date: 2017–09–17
  6. By: Peshkovskaya, Anastasia; Myagkov, Mikhail; Babkina, Tatiana; Lukinova, Evgeniya
    Abstract: Human behavior is greatly influenced by the social context. The currrent study on men’ and women’s cooperative behavior investigated the influence of long-term and short-term effects of socializing in group. The repeated Prisoner’s dilemma carried out in groups of 6 participants was used as the main experimental situation. The differences were found in changes in the level of cooperation, taking in to account the effects of mixing social and gender variables. Socialization made cooperation of group members strength and sustainable. However, men’ and women’s cooperative behavior in groups differed. Women were initially more inclined to cooperate in interaction with strangers. Men showed greater sensitivity to sociality effects. They tended to make cooperative decisions more often if there are friends in the group. Furthermore, men cooperated with previously unknown people after socializing with them significantly more than women.
    Keywords: cooperation, social dilemma, Prisoner’s Dilemma, sociality, gender differences, group, experiment
    JEL: C7 J16
    Date: 2017–09–17
  7. By: Anda David (Agence Française de Développement); Nathalie Guilbert; Hiroyuki Hino (Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Murray Leibbrandt (Pro-Vice Chancellor, Poverty and Inequality of the University of Cape Town, the Director of SALDRU and the DST/NRF Research Chair on Poverty and Inequality.); Elnari Potgieter (South Africa Reconciliation Barometer, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation); Muna Shifa (Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: We examine recent trends in social cohesion and inequality, and the relationship between the two in South Africa using data from the South African Reconciliation Barometer Surveys. Given that the country's history of long-term racial and socioeconomic segregation, we use the extent of inter-racial interactions as our main approximation of social cohesion. We show that although there is some improvement in the extent of inter-racial interactions over time, even today less than a third of South Africans often or always talk or socialize with someone from a different racial group. We use a multidimensional Living Standards Measure to assess the level of well-being and the level of inequality. Our inequality analysis of this measure indicates that since 2008 both vertical and horizontal (between races) inequality declined significantly. These trends can be attributed to progress made in the provision of basic services (i.e. water, electricity) and ownership of household assets in South Africa. In contrast, when we focus on subjective or perceived inequality, it is clear that large proportions of South Africans (about 70 percent) perceive that the extent of inequality (the gap between the poor and the rich) has not changed much or has even worsened over time. The key finding of our quantitative work is a significant relationship between individuals' perception of inequality and their level of inter-racial interactions. Individuals who perceived that the gap between the rich and the poor is getting worse are less likely to participate in inter-racial socializations, while those who perceived that the gap is getting better are more likely to participate in inter-racial socializations. This finding remains strong and significant even after controlling for the influence of LSM, race, education, trust and other factors. Indeed, a number of these factors are also correlated with higher inter-racial interactions. Individuals who have higher education levels, a higher LSM and a better relative economic position are more likely to be involved in inter-racial socialization. In both the descriptive and multivariate analysis Africans and Whites are shown to have lower levels of inter-racial interactions than Coloureds at all LSM levels. The provincial-level multivariate analysis is able to examine the relationship between a full social cohesion index and inequality in LSMs. These results suggest that vertical inequality in living standards is correlated with the level of social cohesion. Higher inequality may adversely affect social cohesion as it reduces inclusiveness
    Keywords: social cohesion, South Africa, inequality, poverty
    Date: 2018
  8. By: McDoom, Omar Shahabudin
    Abstract: How do changes in socio-economic inequality between ethnic groups affect interethnic ties in a divided society? I analyse the evolution of cross-ethnic marriages in a society affected by violence along ethnic boundaries and make three principal findings. First, as inequality between ethnic groups increases, the prospects of interethnic marriages decline. Status equalization between ethnic groups promotes cross-ethnic ties. Insofar as intermarriage indicates social cohesion, reducing ethnic inequality in multiethnic societies may facilitate ethnic integration. Second, the effect of ethnic inequality is not uniform across ethnic groups. Endogamy remains high among certain groups even when socio-economic disparities diminish. I suggest this is because the ethnic norms and sanctions proscribing outmarriage are particularly powerful within these groups. Third, the social and political salience of ethnic boundaries may be distinct. Intermarriages can increase even as civil war violence intensifies. Ethnic divisions risk being overstated by assuming political attitudes also drive choices in the social sphere. I establish these findings in the deeply-divided society of Mindanao in the southern Philippines by analysing over 6.2 million marriages and comparing individual-level census data for the years 2000 and 2010. Mindanao is home to a longstanding insurgency, waged by rebels drawn from the native Muslim Moro population resentful of their minoritization and dispossession by Christian settlers
    Keywords: Inequality; ethnicity; violent conflict; intermarriage; social cohesion; Philippines
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2017–12–01

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