nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2018‒04‒23
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Tracing the Historic Roots of Generalized Trust By Kalischer Wellander, Benjamin; Sanandaji, Tino
  2. We Can Be Heroes. Trust and Resilience in Corrupted Economic Environments By Leonardo Becchetti; Luca Corazzini; Vittorio Pelligra
  3. Pre-colonial Religious Institutions and Development: Evidence through a Military Coup By Adeel Malik; Rinchan Ali Mirza
  4. Effectiveness of Connected Legislators By Marco Battaglini; Valerio Leone Sciabolazza; Eleonora Patacchini
  5. Liberté, Égalité Religiosité By Joan-Maria Esteban; Gilat Levy; Laura Mayoral
  6. The Strength of Weak Leaders - An Experiment on Social Influence and Social Learning in Teams By Berno Büchel; Stefan Klößner; Martin Lochmüller; Heiko Rauhut
  7. Recovering social networks from panel data: Identification, simulations and an application By Aureo de Paula; Imran Rasul; Pedro CL Souza
  8. Will Urban Migrants Formally Insure their Rural Relatives? Family Networks and Rainfall Index Insurance in Burkina Faso By Kazianga, Harounan; Wahhaj, Zaki
  9. The Structure of Origin-Based Social Network and Its Influence on Migration Diffusion: The Case of a Migrant-Sending Village in the Philippines By Tabuga, Aubrey, D.
  10. How Persistent Is Life Satisfaction? Evidence from European Immigration By Berggren, Niclas; Bergh, Andreas; Bjørnskov, Christian; Tanaka, Shiori
  11. Earning to Give: Occupational Choice for Effective Altruists By Jonathan Morduch; Ariane Szafarz
  12. Gender differences in altruism on mechanical turk: Expectations and actual behaviour By Brañas-Garza, Pablo; Capraro, Valerio; Rascon-Ramirez, Ericka
  13. The Impact of Democracy Prep Public Schools on Civic Participation By Brian Gill; Charles Tilley; Emilyn Whitesell; Mariel Finucane; Liz Potamites; Sean Corcoran

  1. By: Kalischer Wellander, Benjamin; Sanandaji, Tino (Institute for Economic and Business History Research)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on the historic roots of trust, with a particular focus on Scandinavia. While there are many surveys on various aspects of trust, none reviews the growing literature on the historic roots of trust. One of the most striking facts is the robust cross-country differences in trust. The share of the population who generally trusts others ranges between 60-70 percent in Scandinavian countries and as low as 3-4 percent in countries such as Colombia and the Philippines. The key problem in disentangling the historic roots of trust is that systematic measurements do not go back far enough, as trust was first systematically measured in 1942 in the United States. The lack of historic data has in recent years led scholars to develop other methods to indirectly trace historic roots, such as comparing the trust rates of decedents of immigrants based on the arrival year of their ancestors. This new line of research suggests that the roots of trust are deep and that high Scandinavian trust emerged prior to the welfare state.
    Keywords: Trust; Social capital; economic development
    JEL: N10 Z13
    Date: 2018–03–27
  2. By: Leonardo Becchetti (CEIS & DEF, University of Rome Tor Vergata); Luca Corazzini (Università di Venezia “Ca Foscari”); Vittorio Pelligra (Università di Cagliari, CRENoS)
    Abstract: We use an original variant of the standard trust game, in order to study the effect of corruption on trust and trustworthiness. In this game, both the trustor and the trustee know that part of the surplus they can generate may be captured by a third “corrupted” player under different expected costs of audit and prosecution. We find slightly higher trustor’s giving in presence of corruption, matched by a significant effect of excess reciprocity from the trustee. Both the trustor and the trustee expect on average corruption acting as a tax, inelastic to changes in the risk of corruptor audit. Expectations are correct for the inelasticity assumption, and for the actual value of the “corruption tax”. Our experimental findings lead to the rejection of four standard hypotheses based on purely self-regarding preferences. We discuss how the apparently paradoxical excess reciprocity effect is consistent with the cultural role of heroes in history where examples of commendable giving were used to stimulate emulation of the ordinary people. Our results suggest that the excess reciprocity component of the trustee makes trustor’s excess giving a rational and effective strategy
    Keywords: corruption, extended trust game, lab experiment
    JEL: C72 C91
    Date: 2018–04–11
  3. By: Adeel Malik; Rinchan Ali Mirza
    Abstract: This paper offers a novel illustration of the political economy of religion and development by empirically examining the impact of religious shrines on development. Compiling a unique database covering the universe of holy Muslim shrines across Pakistani Punjab, we show that historically embedded religious power shapes persistent differences in literacy. Using the 1977 military take-over as a universal shock, our difference-in-differences analysis suggests that areas with a greater concentration of shrines recognized by the British colonial administration experienced a substantially retarded growth in literacy. We argue that this literacy disadvantage in shrine-dominated regions is largely attributable to a growingly prominent role of shrine elites in electoral politics and their direct control over allocation of public goods since the 1977 military coup. Our analysis suggests that shrines in these regions represent the confluence of three forces—religion, land and politics —that together constitute a powerful structural inequality with potentially adverse consequences for development.
    JEL: I25 N55 Z12 O15
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Marco Battaglini; Valerio Leone Sciabolazza; Eleonora Patacchini
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the extent to which social connections influence the legislative effectiveness of members of the U.S. Congress. We propose a new model of legislative effectiveness that formalizes the role of social connections and generates simple testable predictions. The model predicts that a legislator's equilibrium effectiveness is proportional to a specific weighted Katz-Bonacich centrality in the network of social connections, where the weights depend on the legislators' characteristics. We then propose a new empirical strategy to test the theoretical predictions using the network of cosponsorship links in the 109th-113th Congresses. The strategy addresses network endogeneity by implementing a two-step Heckman correction based on an original instrument: the legislators' alumni connections. We find that, in the absence of a correction, all measures of centrality in the cosponsorship network are significant. When we control for network endogeneity, however, only the measure suggested by the model remains significant, and the fit of the estimation is improved. We also study the influence of legislators' characteristics on the size of network effects. In doing so, we provide new insights into how social connectedness interacts with factors such as seniority, partisanship and legislative leadership in determining legislators' effectiveness.
    JEL: D72 D85
    Date: 2018–03
  5. By: Joan-Maria Esteban; Gilat Levy; Laura Mayoral
    Abstract: In this paper we study the effect of religiosity on the political choices over redistribution and over the legal restrictions on personal liberties. Religious teachings generally restrict individual behavior on issues such as consumption of some goods, sexual orientation, divorce, abortion, gay marriage, contraception and so on. We assume that the more religious an individual is, (i) the less he enjoys the use of liberties prohibited by his religion; and (ii) the higher the negative externality experienced when others in society practice those liberties beyond what he deems adequate. The first assumption implies that, when the law allows for the use of liberties, secular individuals have a higher incentive to work than religious ones. As a result, the political choice of legal restrictions on liberties has an impact on income inequality. The second implies that religious individuals may prefer to repress liberties in society. As repression of liberties reduces income inequality, poor religious individuals may still prefer low taxes compared with richer and less religious ones. We also analyze the choice of redistribution and the legal cap on liberties as the majoritarian outcome in a citizen-candidate model. We obtain that when the majority of the population is religious and the religious cleavage in society is large, high intolerance due to negative externalities leads to a political outcome consisting of repression of liberties and relatively low income taxes.
    Keywords: religiosity, redistribution, individual liberties, political economy
    Date: 2018–03
  6. By: Berno Büchel (University of Fribourg, Economics); Stefan Klößner (Saarland University, Statistics and Econometrics); Martin Lochmüller (Saarland University, Statistics and Econometrics); Heiko Rauhut (University of Zurich, Sociology)
    Abstract: We investigate how the selection process of a leader affects team performance with respect to social learning. We use a lab experiment in which an incentivized guessing task is repeated in a star network with the leader at the center. Leader selection is either based on competence, on self-confidence, or made at random. Teams with random leaders do not underperform compared to competent leaders, and they even outperform teams whose leader is selected based on self-confidence. The reason is that random leaders are better able to use the knowledge within the team. We can show that it is the declaration of the selection procedure which makes non-random leaders overly influential. We set up a horse race between several rational and naïve models of social learning to investigate the micro-level mechanisms. We find that overconfidence and conservatism contribute to the fact that overly influential leaders mislead their team.
    Keywords: Social Networks, Social Influence, Confidence, Overconfidence, Bayesian Updating, Naïve Learning, Sortition, Wisdom of Crowds
    JEL: D83 D85 C91
    Date: 2018–02
  7. By: Aureo de Paula; Imran Rasul; Pedro CL Souza
    Abstract: It is almost self-evident that social interactions can determine economic behavior and outcomes. Yet, information on social ties does not exist in most publicly available and widely used datasets. We present methods to recover information on the entire structure of social networks from observational panel data that contains no information on social ties between individuals. In the context of a canonical social interactions model, we provide sufficient conditions under which the social interactions matrix, endogenous and exogenous social effect parameters are all globally identified. We describe how high-dimensional estimation techniques can be used to estimate the model based on the Adaptive Elastic Net GMM method. We showcase our method in Monte Carlo simulations using two stylized and two real world network structures. Finally, we employ our method to study tax competition across US states. We find the identified network structure of tax competition differs markedly from the common assumption of tax competition between geographically neighboring states. We analyze the identified social interactions matrix to provide novel insights into the long-standing debate on the relative roles of factor mobility and yardstick competition in driving tax setting behavior across states. Most broadly, our method shows how the analysis of social interactions can be usefully extended to economic realms where no network data exists.
    Keywords: social networks, panel data
    JEL: C18 C31 D85 H71
    Date: 2018–03–22
  8. By: Kazianga, Harounan; Wahhaj, Zaki
    Abstract: We present findings from a pilot study exploring whether and how existing ties between urban migrants and rural farmers may be used to provide the latter improved access to formal insurance. Urban migrants in Ouagadougou (the capital of Burkina Faso) originating from nearby villages were offered, at the prevailing market price, a rainfall index insurance product that can potentially protect their rural relatives from adverse weather shocks. The product had an uptake of 22% during the two-week subscription window. Uptake rates were higher by 17-22 percentage points among urban migrants who were randomly offered an insurance policy that would make pay-outs directly to the intended beneficiary rather than the subscriber. We argue that rainfall index insurance can complement informal risk-sharing networks by mitigating problems of informational asymmetry and self-control issues.
    Keywords: Microinsurance markets,Indexed insurance,Rainfall,Migration,Informal insurance networks
    JEL: O15 O16 G21
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Tabuga, Aubrey, D.
    Abstract: While economic forces drive much of international migration, social factors are known to significantly facilitate movement. By providing information and other resources, networks reduce the cost and risk associated with international migration. The influence of migration networks, however, remains a black box that needs to be unpacked simply because these have been treated in the past mostly as unidimensional. In reality, however, networks do not only vary in type but also have structures. This study seeks to examine the structure of migration networks in a migrant-sending village in the Philippines. It also aims to relate this structure to the diffusion of migration behavior in the village over time through a socio-historical lens--an unconventional approach in the analysis of international migration perpetuation. Results show that the density of the kinship and friendship ties and the network position of pioneer migrants in the village affect the current distribution of migration behavior in the area. Know more about the factors affecting international migration structures in the Philippines through this paper.
    Keywords: Philippines, migration networks, international migration, network structure, network analysis, graph theory
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Berggren, Niclas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Bergh, Andreas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Bjørnskov, Christian (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Tanaka, Shiori (Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering)
    Abstract: This paper asks to what extent life satisfaction among immigrants remains similar to that in their country of origin and to what extent it adapts to that in their country of residence. We employ data from 29,000 immigrants in the European Social Survey to estimate the relative importance of these influences. We find evidence that the persistence of life satisfaction from the country of origin is strong for migrants from developed countries and close to zero for migrants from formerly communist countries. We also find that persistence for second-generation immigrants is similar but weaker than for their parents.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction; Happiness; Life satisfaction; Heritability; Culture; Immigration
    JEL: I31 Z10
    Date: 2018–04–04
  11. By: Jonathan Morduch; Ariane Szafarz
    Abstract: Effective altruists wish to do good while optimizing the social performance they deliver. We apply this principle to the labor market. We determine the optimal occupational choice of a socially motivated worker who has two mutually exclusive options: a job with a for-profit firm and a lower-paid job with a nonprofit. We construct a model in which a worker motivated only by pure altruism will work at a relatively high wage for the for-profit firm and then make charitable contributions to the nonprofit; this represents the “earning to give” option. By contrast, the occupational choice of a worker sensitive to warm glow (“impure altruism”) depends on her income level. While the presence of “warm glow” feelings would seem to clearly benefit charitable organizations, we show that impure altruism can create distortions in labor market choices. In some cases, warm glow feelings may push the worker to take a job with the nonprofit,even when it is not optimal for the nonprofit.
    Keywords: altruism; occupation choice; nonprofit; warm glow; social performance; donation
    JEL: J24 L31 J31 D64 J44
    Date: 2018–04–13
  12. By: Brañas-Garza, Pablo; Capraro, Valerio; Rascon-Ramirez, Ericka
    Abstract: Whether or not there are gender differences in altruistic behaviour in Dictator Game experiments has attracted considerable attention in recent years. Earlier studies found women to be more altruistic than men. However, this conclusion has been challenged by more recent accounts, which have argued that gender differences in altruistic behaviour may be a peculiarity of student samples and may not extend to random samples. Here we study gender differences in altruistic behaviour and, additionally, in expectations of altruistic behaviour, in a sample of Amazon Mechanical Turk crowdworkers living in the US. In Study 1, we report a mega-analysis of more than 3,500 observations and we show that women are significantly more altruistic than men. In Study 2, we show that both women and men expect women to be more altruistic than men.
    Keywords: dictator game, gender differences, altruism, expectations.
    JEL: C93 C99 J7 J71
    Date: 2018–04–01
  13. By: Brian Gill; Charles Tilley; Emilyn Whitesell; Mariel Finucane; Liz Potamites; Sean Corcoran
    Abstract: Using randomized admissions lotteries to conduct an experimental analysis, we find that the Democracy Prep charter-school network produces substantial positive impacts on rates of voter registration and election participation after students become old enough to vote.
    Keywords: school choice, charter schools, voter participation, voter registration, civic education
    JEL: I

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