nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2018‒09‒10
twelve papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Effects of Sexism on American Women: The Role of Norms vs. Discrimination By Kerwin Kofi Charles; Jonathan Guryan; Jessica Pan
  2. Social Networks and the Intention to Migrate By Miriam Manchin; Sultan Orazbayev
  3. From Immigrants to Americans: Race and Assimilation during the Great Migration By Vasiliki Fouka; Soumyajit Mazumder; Marco Tabellini
  4. Migration, Political Institutions, and Social Networks By Catia Batista; Julia Seither; Pedro C. Vicente
  5. Sanctioning and Trustworthiness across Ethnic Groups: Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan By Vojtech Bartos; Ian Levely
  6. Keep It Simple: A Field Experiment on Information Sharing in Social Networks By Cátia Batista; Marcel Fafchamps; Pedro C. Vicente
  7. Social Influence in Prosocial Behavior:Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment By Götte, Lorenz; Tripodi, Egon
  8. Race and Gender Affinities in Voting: Experimental Evidence By Penney, Jeffrey; Tolley, Erin; Goodyear-Grant, Elizabeth
  9. The Effect on Teenage Childbearing on Social Capital Development: New Evidence on Civic Engagement By Joseph J. Sabia; Joseph P. Price; H. Elizabeth Peters; Reginald Covington
  10. Underlying Motivations For Rule-Violation Among Juvenile Delinquents: A Lab-in-the-Field Experiment By Lubomir Cingl; Vaclav Korbel
  11. Is There a Male Breadwinner Norm? The Hazards of Inferring Preferences from Marriage Market Outcomes By Binder, Ariel J.; Lam, David
  12. The Role of Farmer’s Trust, Risk and Time Preferences for Contract Choices: Experimental Evidence from the Ghanaian Pineapple Sector By Fischer, Sabine; Wollni, Meike

  1. By: Kerwin Kofi Charles; Jonathan Guryan; Jessica Pan
    Abstract: We study how reported sexism in the population affects American women. Fixed-effects and TSLS estimates show that higher prevailing sexism where she was born (background sexism) and where she currently lives (residential sexism) both lower a woman's wages, labor force participation and ages of marriage and childbearing. We argue that background sexism affects outcomes through the influence of previously-encountered norms, and that estimated associations regarding specific percentiles and male versus female sexism suggest that residential sexism affects labor market outcomes through prejudice-based discrimination by men, and non-labor market outcomes through the influence of current norms of other women.
    JEL: J12 J13 J16 J22 J31 J7 Z10
    Date: 2018–08
  2. By: Miriam Manchin; Sultan Orazbayev
    Abstract: Using a large individual-level survey spanning several years and more than 150 countries, we examine the importance of social networks in influencing individuals' intention to migrate internationally and locally. We distinguish close social networks (composed of friends and family) abroad and at the current location, and broad social networks (composed of same-country residents with intention to migrate, either internationally or locally). We find that social networks abroad are the most important driving forces of international migration intentions, with close and broad networks jointly explaining about 37% of variation in the probability intentions. Social networks are found to be more important factors driving migration intentions than work-related aspects or wealth (wealth accounts for less than 3% of the variation). In addition, we nd that having stronger close social networks at home has the opposite effect by reducing the likelihood of migration intentions, both internationally and locally.
    Keywords: intention to migrate; social networks; international migration; local migration; remittances
    JEL: F22 F24 R23 O15
    Date: 2018–03
  3. By: Vasiliki Fouka (Stanford University); Soumyajit Mazumder (Harvard University); Marco Tabellini (Harvard Business School, Business, Government and the International Economy Unit)
    Abstract: How does the appearance of a new out-group affect the economic, social, and cultural integration of previous outsiders? We study this question in the context of the first Great Migration (1915-1930), when 1.5 million African Americans moved from the US South to urban centers in the North, where 30 million Europeans had arrived since 1850. We test the hypothesis that black inflows led to the establishment of a binary black-white racial classification, and facilitated the incorporation of - previously racially ambiguous - European immigrants into the white majority. We exploit variation induced by the interaction between 1900 settlements of southern-born blacks in northern cities and state-level outmigration from the US South after 1910. Black arrivals increased both the effort exerted by immigrants to assimilate and their eventual Americanization. These average effects mask substantial heterogeneity: while initially less integrated groups (i.e. Southern and Eastern Europeans) exerted more assimilation effort, assimilation success was larger for those that were culturally closer to native whites (i.e. Western and Northern Europeans). These patterns are consistent with a framework in which perceptions of racial threat among native whites lower the barriers to the assimilation of white immigrants.
    Keywords: Immigration, assimilation, Great Migration, race, group identity.
    JEL: J11 J15 N32
    Date: 2018–08
  4. By: Catia Batista (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, CReAM, IZA and NOVAFRICA); Julia Seither (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, University of California at Berkeley, and NOVAFRICA); Pedro C. Vicente (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, BREAD, and NOVAFRICA)
    Abstract: What is the role of international migrants and, specifically, migrant networks in shaping political attitudes and behavior in migrant sending countries? Our theoretical framework proposes that migration might change individual social identities and thus stimulate intrinsic motivation for political participation, while it may also improve knowledge about better quality political institutions. Hence, international migration might increase political awareness and participation both by migrants and by other individuals in their networks. To test this hypothesis, we use detailed data on different migrant networks (geographic, kinship, and chatting networks), as well as several different measures of political participation and electoral knowledge (self-reports, behavioral, and actual voting measures). These data were purposely collected around the time of the 2009 elections in Mozambique, a country with substantial emigration to neighboring countries – especially South Africa - and with one of the lowest political participation rates in the region. The empirical results show that the number of migrants an individual is in close contact with via regular chatting significantly increases political participation of residents in that village – more so than family links to migrants. Our findings are consistent with both improved knowledge about political processes and increased intrinsic motivation for political participation being transmitted through migrant networks. These results are robust to controlling for self-selection into migration as well as endogenous network formation. Our work is relevant for the many contexts of South-South migration where both countries of origin and destination are recent democracies. It shows that even in this context there may be domestic gains arising from international emigration.
    Keywords: International migration, social networks, political participation, information, diffusion of political norms, governance
    JEL: D72 D83 F22 O15
    Date: 2018–08
  5. By: Vojtech Bartos; Ian Levely
    Abstract: We show how sanctioning is more effective in increasing cooperation between groups than within groups. We study this using a trust game among ethnically diverse subjects in Afghanistan. In the experiment, we manipulate i) sanctioning and ii) ethnic identity. We find that sanctioning increases trustworthiness in cross-ethnic interactions, but not when applied by a co-ethnic. While we find higher in-group trustworthiness in the absence of sanctioning, the availability and use of the sanction closes this gap. This has important implications for understanding the effect of institutions in developing societies where ethnic identity is salient. Our results suggest that formal institutions for enforcing cooperation are more effective when applied between, rather than within, ethnic groups, due to behavioral differences in how individuals respond to sanctions.
    Keywords: sanctions, cooperation, crowding out, moral incentives, ethnicity, Afghanistan
    JEL: D01 D02 C93 J41
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Cátia Batista; Marcel Fafchamps; Pedro C. Vicente
    Abstract: SMS information campaigns are increasingly used for policy. To investigate their effectiveness, we conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment to study information sharing through mobile phone messages. Subjects are rural households in Mozambique who have access to mobile money. In the base treatment, subjects receive an SMS containing information on how to redeem a voucher. They can share this information with other exogeneously assigned subjects. We find that few participants redeem the voucher. They nonetheless share it with others and many share information they do not use themselves. Information is shared more when communication is anonymous and we find no evidence of homophily in information sharing. We introduce treatments to vary the cost of sending a message, shame those who do not send the voucher to others, or allow subjects to appropriate the value of information. All decrease information sharing. To encourage information sharing, the best is to keep it simple.
    JEL: D64 D83 O33
    Date: 2018–08
  7. By: Götte, Lorenz; Tripodi, Egon
    Abstract: We propose an experiment that prevents social learning and allows to disentangle mechanisms of social influence. Subjects observe another individual's incentives, but not their behavior. We find conformity: when individuals believe that incentives make others contribute more, they also increase their contributions. Conformity is driven by individuals who feel socially close to their partner. However, when incentives don't raise others' contributions, individuals reduce contributions. This pattern cannot be explained by incentive inequality (Breza et al., 2017). We conclude that norm adherence is weakened when incentives are ineffective. Our results show that information about others' economic environment generates social influence
    Keywords: Online Experiment; prosocial behavior; social influence
    Date: 2018–07
  8. By: Penney, Jeffrey; Tolley, Erin; Goodyear-Grant, Elizabeth
    Abstract: We analyze the results of a large-scale experiment wherein subjects participate in a hypothetical primary election and must choose between two fictional candidates who vary by sex and race. We find evidence of affnities along these dimensions in voting behaviour. A number of phenomena regarding these affnities and their interactions are detailed and explored. We find that they compete with each other on the basis of race and gender. Neuroeconomic metrics suggest that people who vote for own race candidates tend to rely more on heuristics than those who do not.
    Keywords: Financial Economics, Public Economics
    Date: 2016–10
  9. By: Joseph J. Sabia; Joseph P. Price; H. Elizabeth Peters; Reginald Covington
    Abstract: Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), we examine the relationship between teenage childbearing and four measures of adult civic engagement: charitable giving, volunteerism, political awareness, and voting.
    Keywords: Teenage childbearing , Social capital , Civic engagement , Charitable giving
    JEL: I
  10. By: Lubomir Cingl (Department of Institutional, Environmental and Experimental Economics, Faculty of Economics, University of Economics in Prague, Nam. Winstona Churchilla 4, 130 67 Prague, Czech Republic; CERGE-EI Foundation Teaching Fellow); Vaclav Korbel (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: This paper reports on a lab-in-the- eld experiment that investigates differences in rule-violating behavior between the inmates of juvenile detention centers and regular adolescents from primary schools of similar age in response to three specific contexts: (i) when they interact with ingroup and outgroup members, (ii) when they are exposed to an unfair economic situation and (iii) when the rule-violating behavior is exposed to others. Our results show substantial similarities between the delinquents and non-problematic adolescents. Even though the juvenile delinquents violate rules more, we nd no evidence of ingroup favoritism. Moreover, both groups care similarly about their social image and do not violate rules substantially more after the unfair treatment. Our findings thus show that juvenile delinquents are not inherently di erent from non-problematic adolescents and highlight the importance of social values for successful resocialization.
    Keywords: delinquency, adolescence, rule-violation, experiment, random allocation game
    JEL: C93 I21 J13
    Date: 2018–01
  11. By: Binder, Ariel J. (University of Michigan); Lam, David (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: Spousal characteristics such as age, height, and earnings are often used in social science research to infer social preferences. For example, a "male taller" norm has been inferred from the fact that fewer wives are taller than their husbands than would occur with random matching. The large proportion of husbands out-earning their wives has similarly been cited as evidence for a "male breadwinner" norm. This paper argues that it is difficult and potentially misleading to infer social preferences about an attribute from observed marital sorting on that attribute. We show that positive assortative matching on an attribute is consistent with a wide variety of underlying preferences, including "female taller" or "female breadwinner" norms. Given prevailing gender gaps in height and earnings, positive sorting implies it will be rare for women to be taller than, or earn more than, their husbands – even if there is no underlying preference for shorter or lower-earning wives. In an empirical application, we show that simulations which sort couples positively on permanent earnings can largely replicate the observed distribution of spousal earnings differences in US Census data. Further, we show that an apparent sharp drop in the distribution function at the point where the wife begins to out-earn the husband results from a mass of couples earning identical incomes, a mass which we argue is not evidence of a norm for higher-earning husbands.
    Keywords: economics of marriage, gender gap, economics of the family
    JEL: D10 J12 J16
    Date: 2018–07
  12. By: Fischer, Sabine; Wollni, Meike
    Abstract: In the last decades global food value chains have seen the need for increasing vertical coordination in order to secure quality standards. A prominent way to govern the relationships between farmers and agri-business firms are farming contracts. We study the role of trust, risk and time preferences for farmers' contract choices in a discrete choice experiment among Ghanaian pineapple farmers. We find that experimental measures of trust, risk and time preferences can predict preferences for contract attributes. Especially trust has economically important effects on the willingness to pay for transparent quality controls. Differences in preferences for timing of payment and timing of agreement making cannot be explained by trust levels but by time preferences. Risk-sharing in form of reduced quality requirements is less important for risk-seeking individuals compared to risk-neutral or risk-averse farmers. Including behavioral preferences can significantly improve the explanatory power of the models. Our results indicate that preferences affect farmers' participation constraints and argue that a diversification of contract offers might increase the willingness of farmers to participate in contract farming. This has implications for companies who aim at developing stable long-term relationships with farmers.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, International Development
    Date: 2017–11–13

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