nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2018‒12‒10
eighteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Causal Effect of Trust By Bartling, Björn; Fehr, Ernst; Huffman, David B.; Netzer, Nick
  2. The Effect of Media Coverage on Mass Shootings By Jetter, Michael; Walker, Jay K.
  3. Cohesive Institutions and Political Violence By Thiemo Fetzer; Stephan Kyburz
  4. Superstar Economists: Coauthorship Networks and Research Output By Hsieh, Chih-Sheng; König, Michael D.; Liu, Xiaodong; Zimmermann, Christian
  5. Back to Black? The Impact of Regularizing Migrant Workers By Edoardo Di Porto; Enrica Maria Martino; Paolo Naticchioni
  6. Immigration and Social Mobility By Hoen, Maria F.; Markussen, Simen; Røed, Knut
  7. Altruism, Fast and Slow? Evidence from a Meta-Analysis and a New Experiment By Hanna Fromell; Daniele Nosenzo; Trudy Owens
  8. Does the Girl Next Door Affect Your Academic Outcomes and Career Choices? By Goulas, Sofoklis; Megalokonomou, Rigissa; Zhang, Yi
  9. Race-Blind Admissions, School Segregation, and Student Outcomes: Evidence from Race-Blind Magnet School Lotteries By Cook, Jason B.
  10. Searching with friends By A Stefano Caria; Simon Franklin; Marc Witte
  11. Does Guilt Affect Performance? Evidence from Penalty Kicks in Soccer By Caspi, Itamar; Mazar, Yuval; Michelson, Noam; Tsur, Shay
  12. Network Matching Efficiency along the Economic Cycle: Direct and Indirect Ties By Arnaud Herault; Eva Moreno Galbis; Francois-Charles Wolff
  13. High-Capacity Donors’ Preferences for Charitable Giving By Mackenzie Alston; Catherine Eckel; Jonathan Meer; Wei Zhan
  14. Relative Age Effect on European Adolescents’ Social Network By Fumarco, Luca; Baert, Stijn
  15. Access and Excess - The Effect of Internet Access on the Comsumption Decisions of the Poor By Pieter Joseph Sayer
  16. Education Level and Mating Success: Undercover on Tinder By Neyt, Brecht; Vandenbulcke, Sarah; Baert, Stijn
  17. Land Markets, Landslides and Social Norms: New Insights from a Discrete Choice Experiment By Mertens, Kewan; Vranken, Liesbet
  18. Social Norm Perception in Economic Laboratory Experiments: Inexperienced versus Experienced Participants By Schmidt, Robert J.; Schwieren, Christiane; Sproten, Alec N.

  1. By: Bartling, Björn (University of Zurich); Fehr, Ernst (University of Zurich); Huffman, David B. (University of Pittsburgh); Netzer, Nick (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Trust affects almost all human relationships – in families, organizations, markets and politics. However, identifying the conditions under which trust, defined as people's beliefs in the trustworthiness of others, has a causal effect on the efficiency of human interactions has proven to be difficult. We show experimentally and theoretically that trust indeed has a causal effect. The duration of the effect depends, however, on whether initial trust variations are supported by multiple equilibria. We study a repeated principal-agent game with multiple equilibria and document empirically that an efficient equilibrium is selected if principals believe that agents are trustworthy, while players coordinate on an inefficient equilibrium if principals believe that agents are untrustworthy. Yet, if we change the institutional environment such that there is a unique equilibrium, initial variations in trust have short-run effects only. Moreover, if we weaken contract enforcement in the latter environment, exogenous variations in trust do not even have a short-run effect. The institutional environment thus appears to be key for whether trust has causal effects and whether the effects are transient or persistent.
    Keywords: trust, causality, equilibrium selection, belief distortions, incomplete contracts, screening, institutions
    JEL: C91 D02 D91 E02
    Date: 2018–10
  2. By: Jetter, Michael (University of Western Australia); Walker, Jay K. (Old Dominion University)
    Abstract: Can media coverage of shooters encourage future mass shootings? We explore the link between the day-to-day prime time television news coverage of shootings on ABC World News Tonight and subsequent mass shootings in the US from January 1, 2013 to June 23, 2016. To circumvent latent endogeneity concerns, we employ an instrumental variable strategy: worldwide disaster deaths provide an exogenous variation that systematically crowds out shooting-related coverage. Our findings consistently suggest a positive and statistically significant effect of coverage on the number of subsequent shootings, lasting for 4-10 days. At its mean, news coverage is suggested to cause approximately three mass shootings in the following week, which would explain 55 percent of all mass shootings in our sample. Results are qualitatively consistent when using (i) additional keywords to capture shooting-related news coverage, (ii) alternative definitions of mass shootings, (iii) the number of injured or killed people as the dependent variable, and (iv) an alternative, longer data source for mass shootings from 2006-2016.
    Keywords: media effects, mass shootings, contagion hypothesis, instrumental variable estimation
    JEL: C26 D91 F52 L82
    Date: 2018–10
  3. By: Thiemo Fetzer (University of Warwick); Stephan Kyburz (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Can institutionalized transfers of resource rents be a source of civil conflict? Are cohesive institutions better at managing conflicts over distribution? We exploit exogenous variation in revenue disbursements to local governments and use new data on local democratic institutions in Nigeria to answer these questions. There is a strong link between rents and conflict far away from the location of the resource. Conflict over distribution is highly organized, involving political militias, and concentrated in the extent to which local governments are non-cohesive. Democratically elected local governments significantly weaken the causal link between rents and political violence. Elections produce more cohesive institutions, and vastly limit the extent to which distributional conflict between groups breaks out following shocks to the rents. Throughout, we confirm these findings using individual level survey data.
    Keywords: Nigeria, conflict, ethnicity, natural resources, political economy, commodity, prices
    JEL: Q33 O13 N52 R11 L71
    Date: 2018–11
  4. By: Hsieh, Chih-Sheng (Chinese University of Hong Kong); König, Michael D. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Liu, Xiaodong (University of Colorado, Boulder); Zimmermann, Christian (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
    Abstract: We study the impact of research collaborations in coauthorship networks on research output and how optimal funding can maximize it. Through the links in the collaboration network, researchers create spillovers not only to their direct coauthors but also to researchers indirectly linked to them. We characterize the equilibrium when agents collaborate in multiple and possibly overlapping projects. We bring our model to the data by analyzing the coauthorship network of economists registered in the RePEc Author Service. We rank the authors and research institutions according to their contribution to the aggregate research output and thus provide a novel ranking measure that explicitly takes into account the spillover effect generated in the coauthorship network. Moreover, we analyze funding instruments for individual researchers as well as research institutions and compare them with the economics funding program of the National Science Foundation. Our results indicate that, because current funding schemes do not take into account the availability of coauthorship network data, they are ill-designed to take advantage of the spillover effects generated in scientific knowledge production networks.
    Keywords: coauthor networks, scientific collaboration, spillovers, key player, research funding, economics of science
    JEL: C72 D85 D43 L14 Z13
    Date: 2018–10
  5. By: Edoardo Di Porto (Università di Napoli Federico II, CSEF and INPS); Enrica Maria Martino (INED and CHILD (Collegio Carlo Alberto)); Paolo Naticchioni (Università di Roma Tre, AIEL, IZA, and INPS)
    Abstract: This paper provides a firm and individual level analysis of the impact on labor market outcomes of regularizing undocumented migrant workers. Using unique administrative data released by the Italian Social Security Institute, we evaluate Italy's largest ever regularization process. We employ an unexpected quasi-random auditing program to deal with firms' self-selection into treatment. Our results show that regularization has only a short-run positive impact on firm employment and no effect on firm-level wages. Nonetheless, 73.5% of regularized migrants remains within the formal Italian labor market, and we find also that legalized migrant coworkers were not affected (negatively) by the reform. Our findings highlight that high mobility of migrants to other firms, provinces and industries is an important driver of our results.
    Keywords: Migration, Legalization, Shadow Economy, Tax Compliance, Policy Evaluation
    JEL: J6 H26 O17
    Date: 2018–12–04
  6. By: Hoen, Maria F. (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Markussen, Simen (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Røed, Knut (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Using Norwegian administrative data, we examine how exposure to immigration over the past decades has affected natives' relative prime age labor market outcomes by social class background. Social class is established on the basis of parents' earnings rank. By exploiting variation in immigration patterns over time across commuting zones, we find that immigration from low‐income countries has reduced social mobility and thus steepened the social gradient in natives' labor market outcomes, whereas immigration from high‐income countries has leveled it. Given the large inflow of immigrants from low-income countries to Norway since the early 1990s, this can explain a considerable part of the relative decline in economic performance among natives with lower class background, and also rationalize the apparent polarization of sentiments toward immigration.
    Keywords: immigration, intergenerational mobilty
    JEL: J62 J15 J24
    Date: 2018–10
  7. By: Hanna Fromell (Department of Economics, Econometrics, and Finance, University of Groningen); Daniele Nosenzo (Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and School of Economics, University of Nottingham); Trudy Owens (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: Can we use the lens of dual-system theories to explain altruistic behavior? In recent years this question has attracted the interest of both economists and psychologists. We contribute to this emerging literature, by reporting both the results of a meta-study of the literature and a new experiment. Our meta-study is based on 19 experimental studies conducted with nearly 11,000 subjects. We show that the overall effect of manipulating cognitive resources to promote the “intuitive†system at the expense of the 'deliberative' system is very close to zero. We argue that this null result could be because the interventions used in the existing literature to manipulate cognitive resources are vulnerable to the presence of heterogeneity in the direction of the effect of the intervention. We design a new experiment that is not vulnerable to this potential heterogeneity. We still fail to find support for the notion that altruistic choices are the result of a conflict between the intuitive and deliberative systems. Taken together, the findings of our meta-study and the new experiment offer little support for dual-system theories of altruistic behavior.
    Keywords: altruism; giving; dictator game; dual-system model; intuition; deliberation; selfcontrol; willpower; depletion; Stroop task
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Goulas, Sofoklis (Stanford University); Megalokonomou, Rigissa (University of Queensland); Zhang, Yi (University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Gender peer effects are potentially important for optimally organizing schools and neighborhoods. In this paper, we examine how the gender of classmates and neighbors affects a variety of high school outcomes and choice of university major. Given that students are assigned to schools based on proximity from their residential address, we define as neighbors all same-cohort peers who attend any other school within a 1-mile radius of one's school. To control for potentially confounding unobserved characteristics of schools and neighborhoods that might be correlated with peer gender composition, we exploit within-school and -neighborhood idiosyncratic variation in gender composition share across consecutive cohorts in the 12th grade. Using data for the universe of students in public schools in Greece between 2004 and 2009, we find that a higher share of females in a school or neighborhood improves both genders' subsequent scholastic performance, increases their university matriculation rates, renders them more likely to enroll in an academic university than a technical school, and affects their choice of university study. In addition, we find that only females are more likely to enroll in STEM degrees and target more lucrative occupations when they have more female peers in school or neighborhood. Based on our back-of-the-envelope calculations, a 10 percentage point increase in the proportion of females in a school or neighborhood reduces the gender gap in STEM enrollments by 2% and 3%, respectively. We also find that (1) neighborhood peer effects are as large as school peer effects, and (2) the effects are nonlinear-namely, the effects are larger for school and neighborhood cohorts with a large majority of female peers.
    Keywords: gender peer effects, neighborhood effects, STEM university degrees
    JEL: J24 J21 J16 I24
    Date: 2018–10
  9. By: Cook, Jason B. (University of Pittsburgh)
    Abstract: We know surprisingly little about the influence of race-blind school admissions on student outcomes. This paper studies a unique reform where a large, urban school district was federally mandated to adopt a race-blind lottery system to fill seats in its oversubscribed magnet schools. The district had previously integrated its schools by conducting separate admissions lotteries for black and non-black students to offset the predominantly black applicant pools. The switch to race-blind lotteries dramatically segregated subsequent magnet school cohorts. I show that race-blind admissions caused the more segregated schools to enroll students with lower average baseline achievement and to employ lower value-added teachers due to sorting. I also find that segregation is further exacerbated by "white flight" as white students transfer out of the district after attending more segregated schools. Ultimately, the mandated segregation decreases student standardized test scores and four-year college attendance. I provide suggestive evidence that the impact of racial segregation is partially mediated by changes to peer baseline achievement.
    Keywords: race-blind school admissions, school racial segregation, magnet schools, peer effects, school admissions lotteries
    JEL: I24 I28 J15 J48
    Date: 2018–10
  10. By: A Stefano Caria; Simon Franklin; Marc Witte
    Abstract: Do policy interventions disrupt social networks? We study how a job-search assistance intervention in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, affects the job-search partners of programme participants. We ?nd that the partners of treated participants reduce their job search efforts compared to the partners of untreated jobseekers. This is not because they receive more information about vacancies from their treated friends. On the contrary, we document less information sharing between job-search partners. We present suggestive evidence that this may be because cooperation in job search becomes harder when one jobseeker has access to more resources than the other.
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Caspi, Itamar; Mazar, Yuval; Michelson, Noam; Tsur, Shay
    Abstract: Does guilt affect performance? Exploiting a novel measure of the justification of penalty calls, we find that unjustified penalty calls negatively affect penalty conversion rates, and that this effect increases with social norms of trust. Exploiting the variance arising from players who do not play in their countries of origin by including the norms of both the league and the kickers’ countries of origin, we separate the constraints on egoism into two categories: internal sanctions, such as guilt, and external sanctions, such as shame. We find that both guilt and shame affect the performance of penalty kickers.
    Keywords: Guilt, performance, soccer, football, penalty kicks, Europe.
    JEL: D81 L83
    Date: 2018–11–19
  12. By: Arnaud Herault (GRANEM, University of Angers); Eva Moreno Galbis (Aix-Marseille Univ., CNRS, EHESS, Centrale Marseille, AMSE); Francois-Charles Wolff (LEMNA, University of Nantes and INED)
    Abstract: There is a large consensus in the literature on the major role of social networks as a helpful instrument to find a job. In this paper, we study the social network matching rate along the economic cycle both from a theoretical and empirical perspective. Using the French Labor Force Survey for the period 2003-2012, we find that the relationship between the network matching rate based on direct ties and the job finding rate is decreasing and convex as predicted by our theoretical setup. Results are completely modified when we consider a measure of the network matching rate based on indirect ties related to the share of peers in a job. In this case, we find a linearly increasing relation between the network matching rate and the job finding rate. This underlines not only the heterogeneous ways through which network membership may influence the individuals’ performance on the labor market, but also the different behaviors of these driving factors along the economic cycle.
    Keywords: employment, network matching rate, direct and indirect ties, job finding rate, immigrants
    JEL: J24 J61 J15 A14 D85
    Date: 2018–11
  13. By: Mackenzie Alston; Catherine Eckel; Jonathan Meer; Wei Zhan
    Abstract: How can charities solicit high-capacity donors to provide the funds for matching grants and leadership gifts? In conjunction with one of Texas A&M University’s fundraising organizations, we conducted a field experiment to study whether high-income donors respond to non-personal solicitations, as well as the effect of allowing for directed giving on high-income donors and their willingness to direct their donations towards overhead costs. We found that high-income donors are not responsive to letters or e-mails. The option to direct giving had no effect on the probability of donating or the amount donated. Our results suggest that motivating high-income donors requires more personal communication.
    JEL: D64 H41
    Date: 2018–11
  14. By: Fumarco, Luca; Baert, Stijn
    Abstract: We contribute to the literature on relative age effects on pupils’ (non-cognitive) skills formation by studying students’ social network. We investigate data on European adolescents from the Health Behaviour in School Aged Children survey and use an instrumental variables approach to account for endogeneity of relative age while controlling for confounders, namely absolute age, season-of-birth, and family socio-economic status. We find robust evidence that suggests the existence of a substitution effect: the youngest students within a class e-communicate more frequently than relatively older classmates but have fewer friends and meet with them less frequently.
    Keywords: Relative age, adolescents, education, Europe, social network
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Pieter Joseph Sayer
    Abstract: This paper tests for the existence of a causal relationship between internet access and the consumption decisions of the poor. In particular, we develop theoretical models that provide two testable hypotheses. Firstly, that, by better aligning beliefs with reality regarding the value of future income, information attained via the internet will either increase or decrease one’s propensity to consume, depending on the nature of their occupation. Second, that, by heightening one’s concern for their relative status, access to social media via the internet will cause users to increase their conspicuous consumption. The analysis exploits a natural experiment, the 2015 roll out of a free internet provision program (Free Basics) in Colombia, as a source of exogenous variation in potential internet access. By taking advantage of a unique geo-coded dataset of telecommunications pylons in Colombia this paper is able to compare households covered by the free internet provision program to those who are not. We estimate a number of 2SLS instrumental variable and di?erence-in-di?erences speci?cations on rich data from the Encuesta Longitudinal Colombiana (ELCA) panel survey. Our estimates provide tentative evidence in support of our second hypothesis as we estimate a local average treatment e?ect (LATE) of a 12.2 percentage point increase in the share of conspicuous consumption in the overall consumption bundle as a result of internet access. We ?nd no evidence of a statistically signi?cant LATE on overall consumption. Our di?erence-in-di?erences, intention to-treat (ITT), estimates for both outcomes are small and insigni?cant, however this could be a result of a lack of power given the low take-up of the internet provision program.
    Date: 2018
  16. By: Neyt, Brecht (Ghent University); Vandenbulcke, Sarah (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University)
    Abstract: In this study, we examine the impact of an individual’s education level on her/his mating success by means of a field experiment on the mobile dating app Tinder, using a sample of 3,600 profile evaluations. In line with previous studies from the field of evolutionary psychology, our results indicate a heterogeneous effect of education level by gender: while females strongly prefer a highly educated potential partner, we cannot accept this hypothesis for males. Additionally, in contrast with previous literature on partner choice in an offline context and on classic online dating websites, we do not find any evidence for educational assortative mating, i.e. preferring a partner with a similar education level, on mobile dating apps such as Tinder. We argue that this is due to our research design, which allows us to examine actual (instead of stated) mate preferences in a dating market without search frictions and social frictions.
    Keywords: returns to education, mating success, assortative mating, dating apps, Tinder
    JEL: C93 J12
    Date: 2018–11
  17. By: Mertens, Kewan; Vranken, Liesbet
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Farm Management, Land Economics/Use, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2018–12–04
  18. By: Schmidt, Robert J.; Schwieren, Christiane; Sproten, Alec N.
    Abstract: We study whether social norm perception in economic laboratory experiments differs between subjects that participate for the first time and subjects that already participated many times. Consistent with previous studies, inexperienced subjects pronounce egalitarianism, while experienced subjects pronounce efficiency and the maximization of their own earnings. Moreover, experienced subjects evaluate exploitation and deception of other individuals in the lab as more appropriate than inexperienced subjects. Field norms also slightly differ between the two groups, but to a lower extent than lab norms. We therefore conclude that learning effects are more important than selection effects for explaining differences between inexperienced and experienced participants. We also conduct exploratory analyses on the relation between lab and field norms and find that behaving unsocial in the lab is considered substantially more appropriate than in the field. This appears inconsistent with the hypothesis that social preferences measured in economic experiments are inflated and indicates a distinction between revealed social preferences and the elicitation of normatively appropriate behavior.
    Keywords: laboratory experiments; selection effects; learning; generalizability; methodology
    Date: 2018–11–28

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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