nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2018‒12‒24
seventeen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Long-lasting social capital and its impact on economic development: the legacy of the commons By Daniel Montolio; Ana Tur-Prats
  2. “Trust in times of economic crisis in Spain: Paradoxes for social capital theory” By Catalina Bolancé; Jordi Caïs; Diego Torrente
  3. Civicness Drain By Casari, Marco; Ichino, Andrea; Michaeli, Moti; De Paola, Maria; Marandola, Ginevra; Scoppa, Vincenzo
  4. Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools By Alberto Alesina; Michela Carlana; Eliana La Ferrara; Paolo Pinotti
  5. Measuring Ethnic Stratification and its Effect on Trust in Africa By Hodler, Roland; Srisuma, Sorawoot; Vesperoni, Alberto; Zurlinden, Noemie
  6. CSR, trust and the employer brand By Bustamante, Silke
  7. The Geography of Repression and Support for Democracy: Evidence from the Pinochet Dictatorship By María Angelica Bautista; Felipe González; Luis R. Martínez; Pablo Muñoz; Mounu Prem
  8. The Intergenerational Behavioural Consequences of a Socio-Political Upheaval By Booth, Alison L; Fan, Elliott; Meng, Xin; Zhang, Dandan
  9. THE SHADOW OF THE FAMILY: HISTORICAL ROOTS OF SOCIAL CAPITAL IN EUROPE By Maria Kravtsova; Aleksey Oshchepkov; Christian Welzel
  10. What's behind image? towards a better understanding of image-driven behavior By Tobias Regner
  11. Gender, Social Value Orientation, and Tax Compliance By John D'Attoma; Clara Volintiru; Antoine Malezieux
  12. Germs, Social Networks and Growth By Fogli, Alessandra; Veldkamp, Laura
  13. Leveraging Patients' Social Networks to Overcome Tuberculosis Underdetection: A Field Experiment in India By Goldberg, Jessica; Macis, Mario; Chintagunta, Pradeep
  14. Giving once, giving twice: A two-period field experiment on intertemporal crowding in charitable giving By Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
  15. My Peers are Watching me - Audience and Peer Effects in a Pay-What-You-Want Context By Elisa Hofmann; Michael E. Fiagbenu; Asri Özgümüs; Amir M. Tahamtan; Tobias Regner
  16. Anti-Social Behavior in Groups By Bauer, Michal; Cahlíková, Jana; Celik Katreniak, Dagmara; Chytilová, Julie; Cingl, Lubomir; Želinský, Tomáš
  17. The return of religious Antisemitism? The evidence from World Values Survey data By Tausch, Arno

  1. By: Daniel Montolio (Universitat de Barcelona & Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB)); Ana Tur-Prats (University of California, Merced)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the historical determinants and long-term persistence of social capital, as well as its effect on economic development, by looking at the legacy of the commons in a Spanish region. In medieval times, common goods were granted to townships and were managed collectively by local citizens. This enabled the establishment of institutions for collective action and self-government. Common goods persisted until the second half of the nineteenth century. We argue that the experience of cooperation among villagers, repeated over the centuries, increased the social capital in each local community. In 1845, a law forced small villages to merge with others, a fact which generated exogenous variation in the number of mergers (i.e., cooperative networks) that each modern municipality was required to have. We exploit this change in an IV and RD setting and find that current municipalities formed by a greater number of old townships have a denser network of associations. We also find that higher social capital is associated with more economic development.
    Keywords: Collective Action, Self-Government, Long-Term Persistence, Common Goods
    JEL: N90 P48 Z10 H49
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Catalina Bolancé (Department of Econometrics, Riskcenter-IREA, University of Barcelona, Avinguda Diagonal 690, 08034 Barcelona, Spain.); Jordi Caïs (Departament de Sociologia i Anàlisi de les Organitzacions); Diego Torrente (Department of Sociology, Faculty of Economics and Business Diagonal Avenue 696 08034 Barcelona.)
    Abstract: The theory of social capital suggests that trust in other individuals (social trust) and trust in institutions are closely related phenomena. People who trust more in other individuals also trust more in institutions, and vice versa. Some scholars argue that trust generates a climate of social cooperation and a sense of collaboration, which in turn promotes interest and participation in institutions. Despite the fact that both social trust and trust in institutions tend to decline when socioeconomic conditions worsen, the theory of social capital rarely takes economic variables into account. The economic crisis in Spain resulted in a paradox: a notable decline in trust in institutions, together with a surprising increase – rather than the expected decrease – in social trust. In this article we analyse the impact of a number of variables on social trust and trust in institutions before and during the economic crisis in Spain. The results confirm that economic factors had greater explanatory power for both types of trust during times of economic crisis, due mainly to increased inequality. However, the classic variables of the theory of social capital, such as how people view democracy or the extent of civic participation, continued to be significant. The data analysed here also highlight the possibility that the two types of trust did not track in a mutually supportive manner due to the emergence of the Movimiento 15M (“15M Movement”), which gave rise to the appearance of new political parties such as Podemos (“We Can”), on the extreme left of the electoral scale.
    Keywords: Social trust, trust in institutions, economic crisis, political movements, social capital, Spain. JEL classification:H12, I31, D73
    Date: 2018–12
  3. By: Casari, Marco (University of Bologna); Ichino, Andrea (European University Institute); Michaeli, Moti (University of Haifa); De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria); Marandola, Ginevra (University of Bologna); Scoppa, Vincenzo (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: Migration may cause not only a brain drain but also a civicness drain, leading to an uncivicness trap. We study this possibility using college choices of southern-Italian students classified as Civic if not cheating in a die-roll experiment. Local civicness is the fraction of Civic in their high-school class. A civicness drain is observed at high and low local civicness. We explain this finding in a model in which Civic and Uncivic types balance hope vs. fear of migration outcomes, taking into account economic gains, risk preferences, and their beliefs about being considered Civic in the place of destination.
    Keywords: migration, Italy, honesty game, experiments, social capital
    JEL: H J6
    Date: 2018–11
  4. By: Alberto Alesina; Michela Carlana; Eliana La Ferrara; Paolo Pinotti
    Abstract: If individuals become aware of their stereotypes, do they change their behavior? We study this question in the context of teachers’ bias in grading immigrants and native children in middle schools. Teachers give lower grades to immigrant students compared to natives who have the same performance on standardized, blindly-graded tests. We then relate differences in grading to teachers’ stereotypes, elicited through an Implicit Association Test (IAT). We find that math teachers with stronger stereotypes give lower grades to immigrants compared to natives with the same performance. Literature teachers do not differentially grade immigrants based on their own stereotypes. Finally, we share teachers’ own IAT score with them, randomizing the timing of disclosure around the date on which they assign term grades. All teachers informed of their stereotypes before term grading increase grades assigned to immigrants. Revealing stereotypes may be a powerful intervention to decrease discrimination, but it may also induce a reaction from individuals who were not acting in a biased way.
    JEL: F5 I24
    Date: 2018–12
  5. By: Hodler, Roland; Srisuma, Sorawoot; Vesperoni, Alberto; Zurlinden, Noemie
    Abstract: We define and axiomatically characterize an index of ethnic stratification that measures the extent to which the hierarchy in socio-economic positions across the individuals of a society follows ethnolinguistic lines. This index generalizes the idea of between-group inequality to situations where data on economic and ethnolinguistic distances between pairs of individuals is available. We define an estimator of our index that takes the form of a second order U-statistic and has well-behaved statistical properties, and we show that ethnic stratification is empirically related to low levels of trust in other people and institutions at the local level in Africa.
    Keywords: ethnic diversity; ethnic fractionalization; inequality; Trust
    JEL: D31 D63 Z13
    Date: 2018–12
  6. By: Bustamante, Silke
    Abstract: Trust in companies and their executives seems to have declined in recent years (Edelman Trust Barometer, 2018; Reputation Institute, 2018; Tonkiss, 2009), with consequences for the credibility of the entire economic system. At the same time, there is some evidence, that social responsibility is considered important for the long-term success of companies by university students, who represent the future entrants to the job market (Elias, 2004). Those future entrants seem to be interested in companies' responsible behavior and sustainable governance. In line with demographic challenges and resulting staffing bottlenecks, companies are challenged to position themselves as attractive employers in the job-market. Against this background, the discussion about trust, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the employer brand has gained traction. The objective of this paper is to conceptualize the relation between trust, CSR and the employer brand and to derive instruments for building trust via CSR and employer branding. Trust is understood as the "psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based upon positive expectations of the intentions or behavior of another" (Rousseau, Sitkin, Burt & Camerer, 1998). The paper describes elements and determining factors for trust and discusses the influence of CSR activities and the employer brand on employer choice and trust. Finally, instruments rooted in CSR and employer branding that enhance trust in companies are identified.
    Keywords: CSR,workplace CSR,trust,employer choice,employer branding
    Date: 2018
  7. By: María Angelica Bautista; Felipe González; Luis R. Martínez; Pablo Muñoz; Mounu Prem
    Abstract: We show that exposure to repression under dictatorship increases support for democracy and contributes to regime change when a democratic window of opportunity arises. Studying the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, we exploit the fact that the predetermined location of military bases predicts local levels of civilian victimization, but is unrelated to historical political preferences. Using two-stage least squares, we show that increased exposure to repression during the dictatorship led to higher voter registration and higher opposition to Pinochet’s continuation in power in the 1988 plebiscite that triggered the democratic transition. Complementary survey data confirms that individuals with greater exposure to repression during the military regime continue to have stronger preferences for democracy. However, exposure to repression does not affect election outcomes after democratization.
    Keywords: Chile; Human rights; Repression; Dictatorship; Democratization; Elections; Derechos humanos; Represión; Dictadura; Democratización; Elecciones
    JEL: D72 N46
    Date: 2018–12
  8. By: Booth, Alison L; Fan, Elliott; Meng, Xin; Zhang, Dandan
    Abstract: Social scientists have long been interested in the effects of social-political upheavals on a society subsequently. A priori, we would expect that, when traumas are brought about by outsiders, within-group behaviour would become more collaborative, as society unites against the common foe. Conversely, we would expect the reverse when the conflict is generated within-group. In our paper we are looking at this second form of upheaval, and our measure of within-group conflict is the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution (CR) that seriously disrupted many aspects of Chinese society. In particular, we explore how individuals' behavioural preferences are affected by within-group traumatic events experienced by their parents or grandparents. Using data from a laboratory experiment in conjunction with survey data, we find that individuals with parents or grandparents affected by the CR are less trusting, less trustworthy, and less likely to choose to compete than their counterparts whose predecessors were not direct victims of the CR.
    Keywords: behavioural economics; Cultural Revolution; preferences
    JEL: C91 N4
    Date: 2018–12
  9. By: Maria Kravtsova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Aleksey Oshchepkov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Christian Welzel (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This study provides new evidence on the impact of historic household formation patterns on present day levels of social capital (SC). We distinguish effects on bonding and bridging social capital, of which only the latter is beneficial for a society as a whole. Our results challenge the view that large household size in the past per se was responsible for institutional drawbacks of contemporary societies restricting social capital. We unveil the true processes lying behind the idea that prevalence of nuclear households fostered institutional development, testing three mechanisms through which household size may influence social capital: (a) family size in terms of the number of household members; (b) the strength of loyalty bonds within the family, and (c) generational and gendered power hierarchies within the family. Our hypotheses are explored on the basis of 26 European countries covered by the Life in Transition Survey (LiTs) in 2010. The contrast between Western and Eastern European countries in the LiTs provides a controlled environment that is free from the potentially confounding influence of European colonialism. We generate a new historical database using historical census data for 429 sub-national regions in 5 West European and 21 East European countries. Individual responses from the LiTs are attributed to the sub-national region in which the respondent lives. We find that power relations within the family have more essential consequences for contemporary values and attitudes than nuclearity/extendedness dimension. Within-family hierarchies revealed to be the strongest predictor of social capital today, indicating lower levels of bridging SC and higher level of corruption in form of monetary transfers or exchange of favors. We suggest that within-family hierarchies in the past might have affected the contemporary level of SC provoking a longstanding commitment to authority within the society. This evidence is illustrated by the significant positive correlation between the historical index of within-family hierarchy and autocracy preference as measured on LiTs data. Societal commitment to authority rooted in historical family pattern might have prevented generalized trust formation and fostered vertical patron-client relations, favoritism and corruption. Our results may drive further research from concentrating on family extendedness (nuclearity) as a predictor of the current state of modernization towards using more meaningful indicators of within-family hierarchies.
    Keywords: historical family structure, social capital, bridging social capital, bonding social capital, corruption, modernization
    JEL: N33 J12
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Tobias Regner (FSU Jena)
    Abstract: Our experimental design systematically varies image concerns in a dictator/trust game. In comparison to the baseline, we either decrease the role of self-image concerns (by providing an excuse for selfish behavior) or increase the role of social-image concerns (by conveying the transfer choice to a third person). In this set up, we analyze the underlying processes that motivate subjects to give less/more. Controlling for distributional preferences and expectations, our results indicate that moral emotions (guilt and shame) are a significant determinant of pro-social behavior. The disposition to guilt explains giving in the baseline, while it does not when an excuse for selfish behavior exists. Subjects' disposition to shame is correlated to giving when their choice is public and they can be identified.
    Keywords: social preferences, pro-social behavior, experiments, guilt aversion, reciprocity, self-image concerns, social-image concerns, trust game
    JEL: C72 C91 D03 D80
    Date: 2018–12–21
  11. By: John D'Attoma; Clara Volintiru; Antoine Malezieux
    Abstract: This paper brings an important empirical contribution to the academic literature by examining whether gender differences in tax compliance are due to higher prosociality among women. We conducted a large cross-national tax compliance experiment carried out in Italy, U.K., U.S., Sweden, and Romania, and assessed tax compliance as reported income as a percentage of total earned income in the experiment. We uncover that women declare a significantly higher percentage of their income than men in all five countries. While some scholars have argued that differences in honesty between men and women is actually being mediated by the fact that women are more prosocial than men, we find that women are not more prosocial than men in all countries. Furthermore, though overall women tend to be more prosocial on average than men, SVO has no mediation effect between gender and tax compliance. We conclude then that although differences in prosociality between men and women seem to be context dependent, differences in tax compliance are indeed much more consistent.
    Keywords: behavioral economics, tax compliance, gender
    JEL: A10 C90 C92 D64 H26 H30 H41
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Fogli, Alessandra; Veldkamp, Laura
    Abstract: Does the pattern of social connections between individuals matter for macroeconomic outcomes? If so, where do these differences come from and how large are their effects? Using network analysis tools, we explore how different social network structures affect technology diffusion and thereby a country's rate of growth. The correlation between high-diffusion networks and income is strongly positive. But when we use a model to isolate the effect of a change in social networks, the effect can be positive, negative, or zero. The reason is that networks diffuse ideas and disease. Low-diffusion networks have evolved in countries where disease is prevalent because limited connectivity protects residents from epidemics. But a low-diffusion network in a low-disease environment needlessly compromises the diffusion of good ideas. In general, social networks have evolved to fit their economic and epidemiological environment. Trying to change networks in one country to mimic those in a higher-income country may well be counterproductive.
    Keywords: Development; disease; economic networks; growth; pathogens; Social Networks; technology diffusion
    JEL: E02 I1 O1 O33
    Date: 2018–11
  13. By: Goldberg, Jessica (University of Maryland); Macis, Mario (Johns Hopkins University); Chintagunta, Pradeep (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: Peer referrals are a common strategy for addressing asymmetric information in contexts such as the labor market. They could be especially valuable for increasing testing and treatment of infectious diseases, where peers may have advantages over health workers in both identifying new patients and providing them credible information, but they are rare in that context. In an experiment with 3,182 patients at 128 tuberculosis (TB) treatment centers in India, we find peers are indeed more effective than health workers in bringing in new suspects for testing, and low-cost incentives of about $US 3 per referral considerably increase the probability that current patients make referrals that result in the testing of new symptomatics and the identification of new TB cases. Peer outreach identifies new TB cases at 25%-35% of the cost of outreach by health workers and can be a valuable tool in combating infectious disease.
    Keywords: tuberculosis, referrals, social networks, case finding, incentives, India, health
    JEL: O1 I1
    Date: 2018–11
  14. By: Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
    Abstract: We study intertemporal crowding between two fundraising campaigns for the same charitable organization by manipulating donors’ beliefs about the likelihood of future campaigns in two subsequent field experiments. The data shows that initial giving is decreasing in the likelihood of a future campaign while subse-quent giving increases in initial giving. While this refutes the predictions of a simple expected utility model, the pattern is in line with a model that allows for (anticipated or unanticipated) habit formation provided that donations in the two periods are substitutes.
    Keywords: Charitable giving,field experiments,intertemporal crowding
    JEL: C93 D64 D12
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Elisa Hofmann (Friedrich Schiller University Jena); Michael E. Fiagbenu (Friedrich Schiller University Jena); Asri Özgümüs (Georg-August University Göttingen); Amir M. Tahamtan (Sharif University of Technology, Teheran); Tobias Regner (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)
    Abstract: We experimentally investigate two relevant drivers of payments in voluntary settings: the ef- fects of audience and peers. Our 2×2 between-subjects design varies the interpersonal closeness of buyers (Strangers vs. Peers) and the observability of their payments to other buyers (Anonymous vs. Public). This allows us to enrich the research on both drivers and identify whether payment observability (audience effect), the presence of known others (peer effect), or the combination of both affects voluntary payments. Payments are, on average, higher if they are made public and if buyers feel close to each other. While the effect of audience and peers on payments is additive in total, we do not find an interaction effect, if payments are observed by peers.
    Keywords: social preferences, experiments, social image concerns, Pay-What-You-Want, interpersonal closeness
    JEL: C91 D03 L11
    Date: 2018–12–21
  16. By: Bauer, Michal (Charles University, Prague); Cahlíková, Jana (Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance); Celik Katreniak, Dagmara (National Research University); Chytilová, Julie (Charles University, Prague); Cingl, Lubomir (University of Economics Prague); Želinský, Tomáš (Technical University of Košice)
    Abstract: This paper provides strong evidence supporting the long-standing speculation that decision-making in groups has a dark side, by magnifying the prevalence of anti-social behavior towards outsiders. A large-scale experiment implemented in Slovakia and Uganda (N=2,309) reveals that deciding in a group with randomly assigned peers increases the prevalence of anti-social behavior that reduces everyone’s but which improves the relative position of own group. The effects are driven by the influence of a group context on individual behavior, rather than by group deliberation. The observed patterns are strikingly similar on both continents.
    Keywords: group membership, aggressive competitiveness, antisocial behavior, group decision-making, group conflict
    JEL: C92 C93 D01 D64 D74 D91
    Date: 2018–11
  17. By: Tausch, Arno
    Abstract: 1) Background: This paper addresses the return of religious Antisemitism by a multivariate analysis of global opinion data from 28 countries. 2) Methods: For the lack of any available alternative we used the World Values Survey (WVS) Antisemitism study item: rejection of Jewish neighbors. It is closely correlated with the recent ADL-100 Index of Antisemitism for more than 100 countries. To test the combined effects of religion and background variables like gender, age, education, income and life satisfaction on Antisemitism, we applied the full range of multivariate analysis including promax factor analysis and multiple OLS regression. 3) Results: Although religion as such still seems to be connected with the phenomenon of Antisemitism, intervening variables such as restrictive attitudes on gender and the religion-state relationship play an important role. Western Evangelical and Oriental Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are performing badly on this account, and there is also a clear global North-South divide for these phenomena. 4) Conclusions: Challenging patriarchic gender ideologies and fundamentalist conceptions of the relationship between religion and state, which are important drivers of Antisemitism, will be an important task in the future. Multiculturalism must be aware of prejudice, patriarchy and religious fundamentalism in the global South.
    Keywords: Relation of Economics to Social Values; Index Numbers and Aggregation; Labor; Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants • Non-labor Discrimination; Economics of Gender • Non-labor Discrimination; Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - General, International, or Comparative; Religion
    JEL: A13 C43 J15 J16 N30 Z12
    Date: 2018–11–17

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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.