nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2019‒02‒18
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. From Immigrants to Americans: Race and Assimilation during the Great Migration By Vasiliki Fouka; Soumyajit Mazumder; Marco Tabellini
  2. Are we more honest than others think we are? By Claire Mouminoux; Jean-Louis Rullière
  3. Trust somebody but choose carefully : an empirical analysis of social relationships on an exchange market By Sylvain Mignot; Annick Vignes
  4. The effects of status mobility and group identity on trust By Rémi Suchon; Marie Claire Villeval
  5. Media's Role in the Making of a Democrat: Evidence from East Germany By Tim Friehe; Helge Müller; Florian Neumeier
  6. Broadband Internet and Social Capital By Andrea Geraci; Mattia Nardotto; Tommaso Reggiani; Fabio Sabatini
  7. Cooperation and Endogenous Repetition in an Infinitely Repeated Social Dilemma: Experimental Evidence By Kamei, Kenju
  8. Peer Punishment in Repeated Isomorphic Give and Take Social Dilemmas By Abhijit Ramalingam; Antonio J. Morales; James M. Walker
  9. Recovering social networks from panel data: identification, simulations and an application By Áureo de Paula; Imran Rasul; Pedro CL Souza

  1. By: Vasiliki Fouka (Stanford University); Soumyajit Mazumder (Harvard University); Marco Tabellini (Harvard Business School)
    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 changing perceptions of out-group distance 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: 2019–02–04
  2. By: Claire Mouminoux (SAF - Laboratoire de Sciences Actuarielle et Financière - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon); Jean-Louis Rullière (SAF - Laboratoire de Sciences Actuarielle et Financière - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon)
    Abstract: While the laws are justified on the basis of the efficiency they provide to society, policy makers and researchers focus on the reasons why people violate the law. Crimes and violations induce directly costs. But there is another indirect costs that is generally ignored : the fact that a person can violate the law (whether it does or not) can reduce trust in one's honesty. Thus, even if the economic agent is honest and respects the law, this loss of confidence, which could be unfounded, is also a source of inefficiency. We introduce in an experiment, a normative rule of "decision" in order to elicit both honesty and beliefs about honesty from subjects in the lab. There is no direct transfer of money between both part to avoid any inequality aversion or altruism aversion. The main question remains how individuals trust in the honesty of an anonymous group. Subjects are split into two groups : those who are subject to the temptation of (unverifiable) dishonesty and those who value the dishonesty of others. We inform each participant that we cannot identify defection. We find an important heterogeneity of trust in honesty through subjects. On average, subjects A suggests that participants B are more honest than they are. Moreover, we identify distortion of effective honesty and beliefs about other honesty when the environment of players A is unfavorable.
    Keywords: Behavioral economics,Trust measurement,Honesty,Experiment
    Date: 2019–01–30
  3. By: Sylvain Mignot (LEM - Lille - Economie et Management - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Annick Vignes (CAMS - Centre d'Analyse de Mathématiques sociales)
    Abstract: This article analyses the influence of trust on the functioning of a market for perishable goods, where there exists no quality signal and quantities can be scarce. On this market, agents can choose between bidding or exchanging through bilateral transactions. It is well accepted in economy that trust plays an important role in transactions but its definition and measurement stay, as far as we know, very elusive. Starting from the empirical analysis of a market with a peculiar organization, the Boulogne-sur-mer fish market, where people have the choice between trading through auctions or bilateral exchanges, we propose a measurement of trust, based on the dynamics of agents' encounters. We then analyze the differences in the social network structures and estimate how they affects the market outcomes. We bring into the light that, when the transaction links on the auction market reflects the economic constraints of the partners, the relationships on the bilateral market depends on something more. Clearly, the prices of the bilateral transactions are the consequences of economics and non economics determinants. At first glance, the stable coexistence of two market structures looks like a paradox. Our results help to understand the distinctive characteristics and functioning of each sub-market. This discussion contributes to the debate about the efficiency of market structures.
    Abstract: Cette article analyse l'influence de la confiance sur le fonctionnement d'un marché sur lequel se vend un bien périssable dont la ressource est contrainte et pour lequel il n'existe pas de signal de qualité. Sur ce marché, les ventes se font aux enchères ou à travers un processus bilatéral. Si l'influence significative de la confiance sur le fonctionnement d'un marché est largement reconnue en économie, sa définition et sa mesure restent encore très vagues. A partir de l'analyse empirique d'un marché au poisson, nous proposons un indicateur de confiance et montrons comment celle-ci agit différemment selon le mode de vente du bien. Nous mettons en évidence que, quand la fixation des prix aux enchères résulte d'un jeu économique, les relations sociales entre les agents influent les prix auxquels les biens s'échangent sur le marché de gré à gré.
    Keywords: market design,trust,social networks JEL codes: L14,D85,D47,L14
    Date: 2019–01–10
  4. By: Rémi Suchon (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-69131 Ecully, France); Marie Claire Villeval (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-69131 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: In a laboratory experiment we test the interaction effects of status and group identity on interpersonal trust. Natural group identity is generated by school affiliation. Status (expert or agent) is awarded based on relative performance in a math quiz that is ex ante less favorable to the subjects from one group. We find that "promoted" trustors (individuals from the disadvantaged group that nevertheless achieve the status of expert) trust less both in-group and out-group trustees, compared to the other members of their group. Rather than playing against the effects of natural group identity, status promotion singles-out individuals. In contrast, trustworthiness is not affected by status and there is no evidence that interacting with promoted individuals impacts trust or trustworthiness.
    Keywords: Trust, status, group identity, social mobility, experiment
    JEL: C92 D91 J62
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Tim Friehe; Helge Müller; Florian Neumeier
    Abstract: This paper explores the causal influence of media content on voting behavior. We exploit a natural experiment involving access to West German TV within the German Democratic Republic. Focusing on federal and state election outcomes in the post-reunification decade (i.e., a time at which TV content was harmonized), we find that municipalities that had access to Western TV broadcasts before reunification have lower vote shares for left-wing and right-wing extremist parties. With regard to potential channels, we provide evidence based on survey data that GDR citizens with access to West German TV were less loyal to the socialist regime, less hostile toward foreigners, and exhibited higher levels of social capital. Our findings thus support the notion that access to free media influences political attitudes and facilitates the consolidation of democracy.
    Keywords: voting, extremism, television, media, natural experiment, Germany
    JEL: D72 L82 P30
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Andrea Geraci (European Commission JRC); Mattia Nardotto (KU Leuven); Tommaso Reggiani (Masaryk University); Fabio Sabatini (Sapienza University of Rome)
    Abstract: We study how the diffusion of broadband Internet affects social capital using two data sets from the UK. Our empirical strategy exploits the fact that broadband access has long depended on customersâ position in the voice telecommunication infrastructure that was designed in the 1930s. The actual speed of an Internet connection, in fact, rapidly decays with the distance of the dwelling from the specific node of the network serving its area. Merging unique information about the topology of the voice network with geocoded longitudinal data about individual social capital, we show that access to broadband Internet caused a significant decline in forms of offline interaction and civic engagement. Overall, our results suggest that broadband penetration substantially crowded out several aspects of social capital.
    Keywords: ICT, broadband infrastructure, networks, Internet, social capital, civic capital
    JEL: C91 D9 D91 Z1
    Date: 2018–12
  7. By: Kamei, Kenju
    Abstract: Exogenously imposed infinite repetition is known to mitigate people’s uncooperative behaviors in dilemma situations with partner matching through personal enforcement. One as yet unanswered question is whether people collectively choose to interact with each other under the partner matching condition when there exists an alternative possibility under random matching. In an indefinitely repeated public goods game framework, I let subjects democratically choose whether to (i) play with pre-assigned specific others for all rounds or to (ii) play with randomly matched counterparts in every round. The experimental results revealed that most groups collectively opt for the partner matching protocol. The data also indicated that groups achieve a higher level of cooperation when they democratically select the partner matching protocol by voting, relative to when the same option is exogenously imposed. These findings imply that people’s equilibrium selection may be affected by how the basic rules of games are introduced (endogenously or exogenously). The paper provides further evidence to suggest that the positive effect of democratic decision-making is stronger when the majority voting rule, rather than the unanimity rule, is applied.
    Keywords: experiment, public goods, cooperation, dilemma, social norms, endogenous choices
    JEL: C72 C73 C92 H41
    Date: 2019–02–09
  8. By: Abhijit Ramalingam; Antonio J. Morales; James M. Walker
    Abstract: This study brings together two strands of experimental literature, “Give and Take” versions of strategically and payoff isomorphic linear public goods games and the effectiveness of peer punishment in promoting cooperation in repeated fixed-group game settings. We find evidence of lower cooperation in the Take game setting, primarily due to a greater decrease in cooperation in later decision rounds. Importantly, we also find that peer punishment is able to overcome the decrease in cooperation in the Take game, leading to greater relative increases in cooperation and earnings. Overall, with punishment, we observe efficiency gains in the Take game, but not in the Give game. This result is linked to the fact that low contributors in their respective groups are targeted for punishment more frequently in the Take game than in the Give game. Key Words: isomorphic, social dilemma, experiment, cooperation, punishment, reciprocal preferences
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D02 H41
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Áureo de Paula (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Imran Rasul (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London and IFS); Pedro CL Souza (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    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 results on the identification of social networks from observational panel data that contains no information on social ties between agents. 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. While this result is relevant across different estimation strategies, we then describe how high-dimensional estimation techniques can be used to estimate the model based on the Adaptive Elastic Net GMM method. We showcase the method and its robustness in Monte Carlo simulations using stylized and real world network structures. Finally, we employ the method to study tax competition across US states. We find the identified network structure of tax competition differs markedly from the common assumption of 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 results show how the analysis of social interactions can be extended to economic realms where no network data exists.
    Date: 2018–10–08

This nep-soc issue is ©2019 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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