nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2018‒10‒01
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The cultural origin of saving behavior By Costa-Font, Joan; Giuliano, Paola; Özcan, Berkay
  2. Social Norms and Fertility By Sunha Myong; JungJae Park; Junjian Yi
  3. Public Attitudes Towards the Use of Vaccination and Antibiotics in Animals in Canada By Muringai, V.; Goddard, E.
  4. Immigration and far-right voting: Evidence from Greece By Chletsos, Michael; Roupakias, Stelios
  5. How to model fake news By Dorje C. Brody; David M. Meier
  6. The Wider Benefits of Adult Learning: Work-Related Training and Social Capital By Ruhose, Jens; Thomsen, Stephan L.; Weilage, Insa
  7. The Effects of Scarcity on Cheating and In-Group Favoritism By Billur Aksoy; Marco A. Palma
  8. Cooperative member commitment, trust and social pressure -- the role of members’ participation in the decision-making By Hao, J.
  9. Can Social Capital Boost Irrigation Capital? Empirical Evidence from North China By Nian, Yefan; Huang, Qiuqiong
  10. The Role of Morals in Three-Player Ultimatum Games By CASAL Sandro; FALLUCCHI Francesco; QUERCIA Simone
  11. Human Factors, User Requirements, and User Acceptance of Ride-Sharing in Automated Vehicles By Natasha Merat; Ruth Madigan; Sina Nordhoff

  1. By: Costa-Font, Joan; Giuliano, Paola; Özcan, Berkay
    Abstract: Traditional economic interpretations have not been successful in explaining differences in saving rates across countries. One hypothesis is that savings respond to cultural specific social norms. The accepted view in economics so far is that culture does not have any effect on savings. We revisit this evidence using a novel dataset, which allows us to study the saving behavior of up to three generations of immigrants in the United Kingdom. Against the backdrop of existing evidence, we find that cultural preferences are an important explanation for cross-country differences in saving behavior, and their relevance persists up to three generations.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2018–09–12
  2. By: Sunha Myong (Singapore Management University); JungJae Park (National University of Singapore); Junjian Yi (The University of Chicago)
    Abstract: We first document three stylized facts about marriage and fertility in East Asian societies: They have the highest marriage rates in the world, but the lowest total fertility; they have the lowest total fertility, but almost all married women have at least one child. By contrast, almost no single women have any children. We then explain these three facts, focusing on two social norms associated with Confucianism: the unequal gender division of childcare within a household and the stigma attached to out-of-wedlock births. We incorporate the two social norms into an economic model, and structurally estimate it using data from South Korea’s censuses and household surveys. We find that, on the one hand, the social norm of unequal gender division of childcare significantly contributes to the low fertility of South Korea, and its effect varies across education: The social norm lowers fertility for highly educated women but increases it for the less educated. Pro-natal policies can increase average fertility, but they are not effective in mitigating the role of this norm as they cannot sufficiently boost fertility for highly educated women. On the other hand, the social stigma has negligible effects on marriage and fertility. Historical simulation results show that fertility would have decreased less dramatically in the absence of the first norm, especially for younger birth cohorts. Our results suggest that the tension between the persistent gender ideology and rapid socioeconomic development is the main driving force behind the unique marriage and fertility patterns of East Asian societies, and that this tension has escalated in recent decades.
    Keywords: Confucianism, social norms, fertility, demographic transition, East Asia societies
    JEL: J11 J12 J13
    Date: 2018–09
  3. By: Muringai, V.; Goddard, E.
    Abstract: Public concerns and attitudes might influence their acceptance of technologies and consumption of food products. In this study, public attitudes about the use of vaccines and antibiotics in animals are compared. Data are from three national online surveys that were conducted in Canada in October 2012, November 2015 and January 2017. Data are analysed using Tobit regressions and net agreement percentages. Overall, respondents have more positive attitudes towards the use of vaccines in animals as compared to antibiotics. Trust in groups or institutions responsible for food and attitudes towards animal husbandry systems significantly influence public attitudes towards the use of vaccines and antibiotics in animals. Therefore, maintaining or building public trust in groups or institutions responsible for food through competence and transparency, for example is important for acceptance of the use of vaccines and antibiotics in animals.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, Livestock Production/Industries
    Date: 2018–07
  4. By: Chletsos, Michael; Roupakias, Stelios
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the impact of immigration on Greek politics over the 2004-2012 period, exploiting panel data on 51 Greek regional units. We account for potential endogenous clustering of migrants into more “tolerant” regions by using a shift-share imputed instrument, based on their allocation in 1991. Overall, our results are consistent with idea that immigration is positively associated with the vote share of extreme-right parties. This finding appears to be robust to alternative controls, sample restrictions and different estimation methods. We do not find supportive evidence for the conjecture that natives “vote with their feet”, i.e. move away from regions with high immigrant concentrations. We also find that the political success of the far-right comes at the expense of “Leftist” parties. Importantly, concerns on criminality and competition for jobs and public resources appear to drive our findings.
    Keywords: Immigration, Elections, Political economy
    JEL: D72 J15 J61
    Date: 2018–08–18
  5. By: Dorje C. Brody; David M. Meier
    Abstract: Over the past three years it has become evident that fake news is a danger to democracy. However, until now there has been no clear understanding of how to define fake news, much less how to model it. This paper addresses both these issues. A definition of fake news is given, and two approaches for the modelling of fake news and its impact in elections and referendums are introduced. The first approach, based on the idea of a representative voter, is shown to be suitable to obtain a qualitative understanding of phenomena associated with fake news at a macroscopic level. The second approach, based on the idea of an election microstructure, describes the collective behaviour of the electorate by modelling the voting preferences of individual members of the electorate. It is shown through a simulation study that the mere knowledge that pieces of fake news may be in circulation goes a long way towards mitigating the impact of fake news.
    Date: 2018–09
  6. By: Ruhose, Jens; Thomsen, Stephan L.; Weilage, Insa
    Abstract: We propose a regression-adjusted matched difference-in-differences framework to estimate non-pecuniary returns to adult education. This approach combines kernel matching with entropy balancing to account for selection bias and sorting on gains. Using data from the German SOEP, we evaluate the effect of work-related training, which represents the largest portion of adult education in OECD countries, on individual social capital. Training increases participation in civic, political, and cultural activities while not crowding out social participation. Results are robust against a variety of potentially confounding explanations. These findings imply positive externalities from work-related training over and above the well-documented labor market effects.
    Keywords: non-pecuniary returns,social capital,work-related training,matched difference-in-differences approach,entropy balancing
    JEL: J24 I21 M53
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Billur Aksoy (Texas A&M University, Department of Economics); Marco A. Palma (Texas A&M University, Department of Agricultural Economics)
    Abstract: We study the impact of scarcity on cheating and in-group favoritism using a two-stage lab-in-the-field experiment with low-income coffee farmers in a small, isolated village in Guatemala. During the coffee harvesting months, farmers in this village experience a significant income boost from selling their coffee beans. However, during the non-harvesting months, they experience a substantial decline in income, inducing a pronounced state of scarcity, while other factors remain similar. Using this distinctive variance in income, we first conducted our experiment before the coffee harvest (Scarcity period). We then repeated the experiment-with the same group of subjects-during the harvest season (Abundance period). First, using the Fischbacher and Follmi-Heusi (2013) die-roll paradigm, we find that subjects cheat at high levels in both periods when they are the beneficiaries of the cheating. Scarcity does not impact this cheating behavior. Secondly, using subjects' natural village identity, we find significant in-group favoritism for cheating in the Abundance period, which disappears during the Scarcity period. Finally, using a dictator game, we show that this finding holds when the cost of favoring an in-group member is monetary rather than moral.
    Keywords: dishonesty, lab-in-the-field experiment, pro-social cheating, scarcity, social identity.
    JEL: C93 D63 D64
  8. By: Hao, J.
    Abstract: Though we can find the separate research of the antecedents of member commitment, there has been little systematic research into member commitment within agricultural cooperatives, especially the way how these antecedents (or correlates) affect member commitment. Using a sample of 391 farmer cooperative members in China, this study investigates whether trust and social pressure affect cooperative member commitment and if so, whether the effect is mediated by member participating in the decision-making process. Our study finds that trust is positively associated with three components of member commitment – affective commitment, continuance commitment and normative commitment, while social pressure is positively related to normative commitment. Participation plays a partially mediating role between trust and social pressure and member commitment. Generally, these findings offer empirical evidence on the important role of cooperative chairman between members and Chinese cooperatives and on the influence of social pressure with Chinese characteristics in maintaining cooperative membership.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development
    Date: 2018–07
  9. By: Nian, Yefan; Huang, Qiuqiong
    Keywords: International Development, Resource/Energy Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use
    Date: 2017–06–15
  10. By: CASAL Sandro; FALLUCCHI Francesco; QUERCIA Simone
    Abstract: We experimentally investigate the role of moral concerns in three-player ultimatum bargaining. In our experimental paradigm, proposers can increase the overall size of the pie at the expenses of an NGO that conducts humanitarian aid in emergency areas. In a first study, we find that responders are not willing to engage in ?immoral? transactions only when fully informed about proposers? behavior toward the NGO. Under complete information, their willingness to reject offers increases with the strength of the harm to the NGO. Moreover, the possibility to compensate the NGO through rejection further increases their willingness to reject. In a second study aimed at gauging the importance of different motives behind rejections, we show that the two most prevalent motives are to compensate the NGO or to diminish inequality between responders and proposers. Punishing proposers? unkind intentions towards the NGO or rejecting on the basis of pure deontological reasons constitute less important motives.
    Keywords: mini ultimatum game; morals; experiment
    JEL: C72 C91 D64
    Date: 2018–09
  11. By: Natasha Merat (Institute for Transport Studies); Ruth Madigan (Institute for Transport Studies); Sina Nordhoff (Delft University of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the social-psychological factors that are likely to influence the trust and acceptance of shared SAE Level 4 Automated Vehicles (AVs). It begins with a short summary of what influences users’ engagement in ride-sharing for conventional vehicles, followed by the factors that affect user acceptance and trust of robotic systems. Using studies of human robot interaction (HRI), recommendations are made on how to improve users’ trust, acceptance and use of shared AVs. Results from real-world studies and on-line surveys provide some contradictory views regarding willingness to accept and use the systems, which may be partly due to the fact that on-line users have not had actual interactions with AVs. We recommend that the pathway to adoption and acceptance of AVs should be incremental and iterative, providing users with hands-on experience of the systems at every stage. This removes unrealistic, idealised, expectations, which can ultimately hamper acceptance. Manufacturers may also use new technologies, social-networks and crowd-sourcing techniques to receive feedback and input from consumers themselves, in order to increase adoption and acceptance of shared AVs.
    Date: 2017–07–20

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