nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2019‒04‒01
twelve papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Determinants of trust: the role of personal experiences By Frederik Schwerter; Florian Zimmermann
  2. Migration and the Value of Social Networks By Blumenstock, Joshua; Chi, Guanghua; Tan, Xu
  3. Partial Norms By D'Adda, Giovanna; Dufwenberg, Martin; Passarelli, Francesco; Tabellini, Guido
  4. Interacting collective action problems in the commons By Nicolas Querou
  5. Do farmers follow the herd? The influence of social norms in the participation to agri-environmental schemes. By Philippe Le Coent; Raphaële Preget; Sophie Thoyer
  6. Cultural Transmission with Incomplete Information: Parental Perceived Efficacy and Group Misrepresentation. By Sebastiano Della Lena; Fabrizio Panebianco
  7. The Intergenerational Behavioural Consequences of a Socio-Political Upheaval By Alison Booth; Xin Meng; Elliott Fan; Dandan Zhang
  8. Why understanding multiplex social network structuring processes will help us better understand the evolution of human behavior By Curtis Atkisson; Piotr J. G\'orski; Matthew O. Jackson; Janusz A. Ho{\l}yst; Raissa M. D'Souza
  9. Impact of religious participation, social interactions and globalisation on meat consumption: evidence from India By Massimo Filippini; Suchita Srinivasan
  10. The (in)elasticity of moral ignorance By Marta Serra-Garcia; Nora Szech
  11. Immigration and Right-Wing Populism: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Mehic, Adrian
  12. Highly skilled and well connected: Migrant inventors in Cross-Border M&As By Diego USECHE; Ernest MIGUELEZ; Francesco LISSONI

  1. By: Frederik Schwerter; Florian Zimmermann
    Abstract: Social interactions pervade daily life and thereby create an abundance of social experiences. Such personal experiences likely shape what we believe and who we are. In this paper, we ask if and how personal experiences from social interactions determine individuals’ inclination to trust others? We implement an experimental environment that allows us to manipulate prior social experiences—either being paid or not being paid by a peer subject for a task—and afterwards measure participant’s willingness to trust others. We contrast this situation with a control condition where we keep all aspects of the prior experiences identical, except that we remove the social dimension. Our key finding is that after positive social experiences, subjects’ willingness to trust is substantially higher relative to subjects who made negative social experiences. No such effect is obtained in the control condition where we removed the social aspect of experiences. Findings from a difference-in-difference analysis confirm this pattern. Our results cannot be explained by rational learning, income effects, pay or social comparison related mood, disappointment aversion and expectations-based or social reference points. Delving into the underlying mechanisms, we provide evidence that non-standard belief patterns are an important driver of experience effects.
    Keywords: determinants of trust, experiences, beliefs, non-standard learning, experiments
    JEL: C91 D03 D81
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Blumenstock, Joshua; Chi, Guanghua; Tan, Xu
    Abstract: What is the value of a social network? Prior work suggests two distinct mechanisms that have historically been difficult to differentiate: as a conduit of information, and as a source of social and economic support. We use a rich 'digital trace' dataset to link the migration decisions of millions of individuals to the topological structure of their social networks. We find that migrants systematically prefer 'interconnected' networks (where friends have common friends) to 'expansive' networks (where friends are well connected). A micro-founded model of network-based social capital helps explain this preference: migrants derive more utility from networks that are structured to facilitate social support than from networks that efficiently transmit information.
    Keywords: Big Data; Development; migration; networks; social capital; Social Networks
    JEL: D85 O12 O15 R23 Z13
    Date: 2019–03
  3. By: D'Adda, Giovanna; Dufwenberg, Martin; Passarelli, Francesco; Tabellini, Guido
    Abstract: We consider an expanded notion of social norms that render them belief-dependent and partial, formulate a series of related testable predictions, and design an experiment based on a variant of the dictator game that tests for empirical relevance. Main results: Normative beliefs influence generosity, as predicted. Degree of partiality leads to more dispersion in giving behavior, as predicted.
    Keywords: Consensus; Experiment; normative expectations; partial norms; Social norms
    JEL: C91 D91
    Date: 2019–03
  4. By: Nicolas Querou (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier)
    Abstract: We consider a setting where agents are subject to two types of collective action problems, any group user's individual extraction inducing an externality on others in the same group (intra-group problem), while aggregate extraction in one group induces an externality on each agent in other groups (intergroup problem). One illustrative example of such a setting corresponds to a case where a common-pool resource is jointly extracted in local areas, which are managed by separate groups of individuals extracting the resource in their respective location. The interplay between both types of externality is shown to affect the results obtained in classical models of common-pool resources. We show how the fundamentals affect the individual strategies and welfare compared to the benchmark commons problems. Finally, different initiatives (local cooperation, inter-area agreements) are analyzed to assess whether they may alleviate the problems, and to understand the conditions under which they do so.
    Keywords: externalities,common-pool resource,collective action
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Philippe Le Coent (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier); Raphaële Preget (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier); Sophie Thoyer (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier)
    Abstract: This article analyses the role played by social norms in farmers' decisions to enroll into an agri-environmental scheme (AES). First, it develops a simple theoretical model highlighting the interplay of descriptive and injunctive norms in farmers' utility functions. Second, an empirical valuation of the effect of social norms is provided based on the results of a stated preference survey conducted with 98 wine-growers in the South of France. Proxies are proposed to capture and measure the weight of social norms in farmers' decision to sign an agri-environmental contract. Our empirical results indicate that the injunctive norm seems to play a stronger role than the descriptive norm.
    Keywords: agri-environmental contracts,behaviour,social norms
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Sebastiano Della Lena; Fabrizio Panebianco (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    Abstract: This paper introduces incomplete information in the standard model of cultural transmission (Bisin and Verdier, 2001). We allow parents to ignore own group size and the efficiency of their cultural transmission technology, while receiving a feedback from their children. Using the selfcon_rming equilibrium concept, parents may end up to sustain, and be confirmed about, wrong conjectures. We show that in equilibrium optimal socialization efforts display cultural complementarity with respect to own population share, while the standard substitution result holds with respect their own conjectured population shares. Considering the population dynamics, if conjectures about population shares are shaped by cultural leaders who want to maximize the presence of own traits in the next period, then conjectures are characterized by negative biases. Our main finding is that, depending on the magnitude of the bias, the dynamics can display stable or unstable polymorphic equilibria, or just a stable homomorphic equilibrium, potentially reverting standard predictions
    Keywords: Cultural Transmission; Incomplete Information; Selfcon rming Equilibrium; Group Under-Representation; Parental Perceived Ecacy; Cultural leaders.
    JEL: C72 D10 D80 J10 Z10
    Date: 2019–03
  7. By: Alison Booth; Xin Meng; Elliott Fan; Dandan Zhang
    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: Preferences, Behavioural Economics, Cultural Revolution
    JEL: C91 N4
    Date: 2019–02
  8. By: Curtis Atkisson; Piotr J. G\'orski; Matthew O. Jackson; Janusz A. Ho{\l}yst; Raissa M. D'Souza
    Abstract: Anthropologists have long appreciated that single-layer networks are insufficient descriptions of human interactions---individuals are embedded in complex networks with dependencies. One debate explicitly about this surrounds food sharing. Some argue that failing to find reciprocal food sharing means that some process other than reciprocity must be occurring, whereas others argue for models that allow reciprocity to span domains. The analysis of multi-dimensional social networks has recently garnered the attention of the mathematics and physics communities. Multilayer networks are ubiquitous and have consequences, so processes giving rise to them are important social phenomena. Recent models of these processes show how ignoring layer interdependencies can lead one to miss why a layer formed the way it did, and/or draw erroneous conclusions. Understanding the structuring processes that underlie multiplex networks will help understand increasingly rich datasets, which give better, richer, and more accurate pictures of social interactions.
    Date: 2019–03
  9. By: Massimo Filippini (ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Suchita Srinivasan (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: From both health and environmental policy perspectives, it is advisable to ensure that individuals maximise the nutritional gains from eating meat, without having a significantly adverse environmental impact, i.e. sustainable meat consumption pathways are imperative. This is especially true for developing countries, where rising incomes and growing populations have meant that meat consumption has also risen. India is an example of a country where a large share of the population has been vegetarian due to religious and cultural factors, although this is rapidly changing. In this paper, we hypothesise that social interactions and globalisation are two factors that explain this shift in consumption behaviour, especially amongst Hindu households. These hypotheses are based on the theoretical findings of Levy and Razin (2012). The empirical results show that Hindus that are members of religious groups are less likely to eat meat than non-member Hindus, whereas Hindus that are members of non-religious types of groups are more likely to eat meat than non-members. We also find that Hindu households that frequently use sources of media such as newspapers, the radio or television are more likely to consume meat compared to Hindus that do not. This paper provides important policy implications, both in terms of the formulation of Nationally Recommended Diets in developing countries, and in terms of identifying the channel of influence of both social networks and globalisation on social and religious norms, consumption behaviour, and ultimately, on climate change.
    Keywords: Meat consumption, Religious norms, Social interactions, Globalisation, India
    JEL: D83 Q18 Q54 C23 C26
    Date: 2018–11
  10. By: Marta Serra-Garcia; Nora Szech
    Abstract: We investigate the elasticity of moral ignorance with respect to monetary incentives and social norm information. We propose that individuals suffer from higher moral costs when rejecting a certain donation, and thus pay for moral ignorance. Consistent with our model, we find significant willingness to pay for ignorance, which we calibrate against morally neutral benchmark treatments. We show that the demand curve for moral ignorance exhibits a sharp kink, of about 50 percent, when moving from small negative to small positive monetary incentives. By contrast, while social norms strongly favor information acquisition, they have little impact on curbing moral ignorance.
    Keywords: information avoidance, morality, unethical behavior, social norms
    JEL: D83 D91 C91
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Mehic, Adrian (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Between the 2014 and 2018 Swedish parliamentary elections, the vote share of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats increased significantly. To evaluate the possibility of a causal link between immigration and the right-wing populist vote, this paper uses data from a nationwide policy experiment, under which refugees are allocated randomly to every municipality in the country, creating exogenous variation in the number of refugees between municipalities. Overall, I find a positive and significant impact of immigration on the anti-immigration vote. In areas with strong anti-immigration sentiments during the 1990s refugee wave, the effect is magnified significantly. However, when considering immigration of a particular refugee group dominated by young men, the relationship is considerably weaker. I show that this is because immigration of young men has a balancing effect on the right-wing populist vote among immigration-friendly voter groups.
    Keywords: immigration; right-wing populism; natural experiment
    JEL: D72 J15 P16
    Date: 2019–03–19
  12. By: Diego USECHE; Ernest MIGUELEZ; Francesco LISSONI
    Abstract: Based on a relational view of international business, we investigate the role of migrant inventors in Cross-Border Merger & Acquisitions (CBM&As) undertaken by R&D-active firms. We hypothesize that the migrant inventors’ international social networks can be leveraged upon by their employers in order to spot and/or integrate the knowledge bases of acquisition targets in the inventors’ home country. We nuance our hypothesis by means of several conditional logistic regressions on a large matched sample of deals and control cases. The impact of migrant inventors increases with the distance between countries and for targets located in countries with weak administrative/legal systems, as well as when targets are either innovative or belong to high-tech sectors or to the same sector as the acquirer, and for full versus partial acquisitions.
    Keywords: cross-border mergers and acquisitions, migration, inventors, PCT patents
    JEL: F22 F23
    Date: 2019

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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