nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2018‒02‒19
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Trust behind bars: a longitudinal study of inmates? prosocial preferences By Mario A. Maggioni; Domenico Rossignoli; Simona Beretta; Sara Balestri
  2. Homeownership, Political Participation, and Social Capital in Post- Communist Countries and Western Europe By Petr Huber; Josef Montag
  3. 'A Theory of Social Norms, Women's Time Allocation, and Gender Inequality in the Process of Development' By Pierre-Richard Agénor
  4. Biases in Beliefs: Experimental Evidence By Dominik Bauer; Irenaeus Wolff
  5. Inequality of opportunity, governance and individual beliefs By Brock, Michelle
  6. Relational Capital in Lending Relationships. Evidence from European Family Firms By Marco Cucculelli; Valentina Peruzzi; Alberto Zazzaro
  7. Uninvadable social behaviors and preferences in group-structured populations By Alger, Ingela; Lehmann, Laurent; Weibull, Jörgen W.
  8. Social Interaction and Technology Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Improved Cookstoves in Mali By Jacopo Bonan; Pietro Battiston; Jaimie Bleck; Philippe LeMay Boucher; Stefano Pareglio; Bassirou Sarr; Massimo Tavoni
  9. Time and money transfers: social networks and kinship in migration By Anna Nicińska
  10. I'm fine with Immigrants, but ...: Attitudes, ethnic diversity, and redistribution preference By Coban, Mustafa

  1. By: Mario A. Maggioni; Domenico Rossignoli; Simona Beretta; Sara Balestri
    Abstract: The paper presents the results of a Longitudinal Lab-in-the-Field Experiment implemented between September 2015 and July 2016 in two State Prisons in California (USA). A subset of eligible inmates willing to undertake GRIP (Guiding Rage Into Power), an offender accountability program, were randomly assigned to it. The paper tests whether the participation to this program (used as a treatment in the experiments), based on building strong relationships and mutual help, affects prosocial preferences of participants, with specific reference to trust. The results of a Difference-in-Differences (DID) estimation procedure show that trust significantly increased in GRIP participants compared to the control group. This result is robust to alternative estimation techniques and to the inclusion of an endogenous behavioral measure of altruism.
    JEL: C91 C92 D03 Z10
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Petr Huber (Austrian Institute for Economic Research (WIFO) and Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno.); Josef Montag (International School of Economics, Kazakh-British Technical University and Department of Economics, Mendel University in Brno)
    Abstract: We study whether the positive effects of homeownership on political participation and social capital, found in developed market economies, extend to post-communist countries. We find that homeownership is strongly related to higher participation in local-level and national elections. In post- communist countries, homeownership is also related to higher social trust. However, the positive association between homeownership and volunteering found in developed market economies does not extend to post-communist countries. Together, our results corroborate that homeownership is associated with positive social benefits. However, these effects are highly heterogeneous and context- dependent.
    Keywords: Homeownership, social capital, political participation, post-communist countries
    JEL: D62 D72 P14 P26
    Date: 2018–02
  3. By: Pierre-Richard Agénor
    Abstract: This paper studies how social norms influence gender bias in the workplace and in the family, how these two forms of discrimination interact among themselves and with intra-household bargaining, and how gender norms evolve in the course of development. The presence of women in the labor market is a key determinant of the degree of gender bias in the workplace. Household preferences towards girls' education depend on women's bargaining power which, through the male-female wage gap, depends itself on gender bias in the labor market. Experiments with a calibrated version of the model for a stylized low-income country show that interactions between social norms, women's time allocation, and gender gaps are a critical source of growth dynamics. Initial measures aimed at mitigating the influence of discriminatory norms regarding gender roles in the workplace and in the family can magnify over time the benefits of standard policy prescriptions (aimed for instance at fostering childhood education) in promoting development and gender equality.
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Dominik Bauer; Irenaeus Wolff
    Abstract: Many papers have reported behavioral biases in belief formation that come on top of standard game-theoretic reasoning. We show that the processes involved depend on the way participants reason about their beliefs. When they think about what everybody else or another ‘unspeci€fied’ individual is doing, they exhibit a consensus bias (believing that others are similar to themselves). In contrast, when they think about what their situation-speci€fic counterpart is doing, they show ex-post rationalization, under which the reported belief is €‹fitted to the action and not vice versa. Our €findings suggest that there may not be an ‘innocent’ belief-elicitation method that yields unbiased beliefs. However, if we ‘debias’ the reported beliefs using our estimates of the di‚fferent e‚ffects, we €find no more treatment e‚ffect of how we ask for the belief. ‘The ‘debiasing’ exercise shows that not accounting for the biases will typically bias estimates of game-theoretic thinking upwards.
    Keywords: Belief Elicitation, Belief Formation, Belief-Action Consistency, Framing E‚ffects, Projection, Consensus E‚ffect, Wishful ‘Thinking, Hindsight Bias, Ex-Post Rationalization
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Brock, Michelle
    Abstract: Inequality of opportunity is a failure of economies to fairly tie incentives to effort and investment, across the socio-economic spectrum. But the actual limitations on economic activity due to this failure may depend on if people believe the system is unfair, and how well governing institutions safeguard fair-play. In this paper, I study whether inequality of opportunity is correlated with beliefs about fairness, and whether good governance can be a substitute in belief formations for decreases in inequality of opportunity. I find a that people in countries with recent increases in inequality of opportunity are less likely to believe that success is due to fair processes. The relationship is strongest in countries with poor quality governance. In countries with high quality governance, people appear to be more tolerant of inequality of opportunity, as it is only weakly reflected in their beliefs about process fairness. Finally, increases in income inequality also reduce the likelihood people perceive success as fair, but this relationship is not mitigated by good governance.
    Keywords: beliefs; governance; Inequality of opportunity; process fairness
    JEL: D31 E00 Z13
    Date: 2018–01
  6. By: Marco Cucculelli; Valentina Peruzzi (Università Politecnica delle Marche); Alberto Zazzaro (University of Naples Federico II, CSEF and MoFiR.)
    Abstract: We investigate the role of a family CEO’s relational capital and a non-family CEO’s managerial abilities in the context of bank relationships for a large sample of small- and medium-sized European firms. We begin by examining whether the relational capital embodied in the family leadership of the company influences the lending relationship with the bank in terms of information sensitivity and duration. Next, we test how banks value in their credit decisions the leadership of professionals and their managerial skills with respect to the relational capital of family CEOs. The results indicate that family businesses appointing managers from within the family are significantly more likely to maintain soft-information-based and longer-lasting lending relationships. However, family executives do not have a negative impact on the firm’s access to credit, while the creation of soft-information-based and long-lasting lending relationships significantly reduce the likelihood of experiencing credit restrictions. In view of these findings, family relational capital appears to have a univocal beneficial impact on the bank–firm relationship in our sample.
    Keywords: Family firm, family CEO, soft information, relational capital, relationship lending, credit rationing
    JEL: D22 G21 G22
    Date: 2018–02–01
  7. By: Alger, Ingela; Lehmann, Laurent; Weibull, Jörgen W.
    Abstract: Humans have evolved in populations structured in groups that extended beyond the nuclear family. Individuals interacted with each other within these groups and there was limited migration and sometimes conáicts between these groups. Suppose that during this evolution, individuals transmitted their behaviors or preferences to their (genetic or cultural) o§spring, and that material outcomes resulting from the interaction determined which parents were more successful than others in producing (genetic or cultural) o§spring. Should one then expect pure material self-interest to prevail? Some degree of altruism, spite, inequity aversion or morality? By building on established models in population biology we analyze the role that di§erent aspects of population structureó such as group size, migration rates, probability of group conáicts, cultural loyalty towards parentsó play in shaping behaviors and preferences which, once established, cannot be displaced by any other preference. In particular, we establish that uninvadable preferences under limited migration between groups will consist of a materially self-interested, a moral, and an other-regarding component, and we show how the strength of each component depends on population structure.
    Keywords: Strategic interactions; Preference evolution; Evolution by natural selection; Cultural transmission; Pro-sociality; Altruism; Morality; Spite
    JEL: A12 A13 B52 C73 D01 D63 D64 D91
    Date: 2018–02
  8. By: Jacopo Bonan (FEEM, LdA and CMCC); Pietro Battiston (University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy); Jaimie Bleck (University of Notre Dame, USA); Philippe LeMay Boucher (Heriot Watt University, UK); Stefano Pareglio (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and FEEM, Italy); Bassirou Sarr (Paris School of Economics, France); Massimo Tavoni (Politecnico di Milano and FEEM, Italy)
    Abstract: We investigate the role of social interaction in technology adoption by conducting a field experiment in urban Mali. We invite women to attend a training session, where information on a more efficient cooking stove is provided along with the opportuinity to purchase the product at market price. During that session we randomly assign participants to receive information on a peer's actual purchase of an improved cookstove. We find that women are more likely to purchase during our intervention and use the product in the following six to nine months if the information they receive is on a peer who purchased the product and whose opinion is respected. In general, we find positive direct and spillover effects on attending the session. We then investigate whether social interaction plays a role in the natural diffusion of this technology by putting forward evidence that women who participated in the session and did not buy are more likely to later adopt the product when more women living around them own it. We investigate the various mechanisms of social interaction potentially at play and provide evidence supporting imitation effects, rather than social learning or constraint interaction.
    Keywords: Technology Adoption, Social Interaction Cookstoves, Mali
    JEL: D91 O33 O13 M31
    Date: 2018–01–29
  9. By: Anna Nicińska (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: This study investigates transfers given by different donors to parents in need for help whose children migrated abroad. We develop a formal model of time and money transfers given to the elderly parents by kin and non-kin individuals taking into account the elderly’s social network and proximity between transfer’s donor and recipient. We find that migrant children specialize in money and non-migrant children in time transfers, provided that the difference in wages and proximity between siblings is substantial, and parental social networks do not compress. The dynamics in the size and composition of parent’s social network triggered by child’s migration affects the transfers received by parents not only from children, but also from other individuals. The overall effect on total time transfers might be positive even if donors decide to decrease their transfers of time, provided that the set of donors is enlarged.
    Keywords: private transfers, care, time transfers, money transfers, kinship, family, social network, proximity, migration, ageing, elderly
    JEL: D02 D03 D19 D64 H31
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Coban, Mustafa
    Abstract: Combining the link between ethnic heterogeneity, attitudes towards immigrants, and the support of redistribution, predictions are made about natives' preference for redistribution depending on interethnic contact, perceived outgroup threats, and natives' social distance from immigrants. The econometric specification explicitly considers the simultaneous effects of ethnic heterogeneity on attitudes towards immigrants and those attitudes on the redistribution preference. Applying bivariate recursive probit estimations enables the decomposition of marginal effects into a direct and an indirect effect. The empirical assessment, based on a cross-section of 18 European countries from 2014, shows that natives' perceived outgroup threats directly decrease their preference for redistribution, whereas interethnic contact indirectly increases their redistribution preference through less anti-immigrant attitudes. If immigrants are perceived as a threat to the culture or social life in a country, a native's probability of supporting more governmental redistribution decreases by 6.4 percent or 8.2 percent, respectively. However, if ethnic heterogeneity rises, this probability increases by 0.8 percent. In contrast, there is no significant association between natives' social distance from immigrants and their preference for redistribution. These results are robust to IV estimation strategies which control for the possibility of natives' selective out-migration and reverse causality. Taking the natives' and immigrants' average incomes into account, the ethnic income gap between natives and immigrants strengthens the negative impact of perceived outgroup threats if immigrants earn much less than natives in a country.
    Keywords: preference for redistribution,immigration,ethnic diversity,attitudes towards immigrants,bivariate recursive probit
    JEL: C30 D31 D63 D72 F22 H20
    Date: 2017

This nep-soc issue is ©2018 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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