nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2019‒04‒15
twelve papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Effect of Social Connectedness on Crime: Evidence from the Great Migration By Stuart, Bryan; Taylor, Evan J.
  2. The Pied Piper: Prizes, Incentives, and Motivation Crowding-In By Bruni, Luigino; Pelligra, Vittorio; Reggiani, Tommaso G.; Rizzolli, Matteo
  3. The Logic of Fear: Populism and Media Coverage of Immigrant Crimes By Mathieu Couttenier; Sophie Hatte; Mathias Thoenig; Stephanos Vlachos
  4. Learning to cooperate in the shadow of the law By Roberto Galbiati; Emeric Henry; Nicolas Jacquemet
  5. Trust and workplace performance By John T. Addison; Paulino Teixeira
  6. Can you hear me now? Good?? The Effect of Mobile Phones on Collective Violent Action in the Libyan Revolution By Absher, Samuel; Grier, Kevin
  7. Networks in Conflict: A Variational Inequality Approach By Xu, Jin; Zenou, Yves; Zhou, Junjie
  8. Networks, Start-Up Capital and Women's Entrepreneurial Performance in Africa: Evidence from Eswatini By Brixiova, Zuzana; Kangoye, Thierry
  9. Social Confusion and Corruption: Investigating the Causes and Effects of a Breakdown of Ethics By Suzuki, Taku; Mizobata, Satoshi
  10. Understanding migration aversion using elicited counterfactual choice probabilities By Koşar, Gizem; Ransom, Tyler; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert
  11. Partial norms By Giovanna D'Adda; Martin Dufwenberg; Francesco Passarelli; Guido Tabellini
  12. Individual attitudes towards immigration in aging populations By Rana Comertpay; Andreas Irmen; Anastasia Litina

  1. By: Stuart, Bryan (George Washington University); Taylor, Evan J. (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of social connectedness on crime across U.S. cities from 1970 to 2009. Migration networks among African Americans from the South generated variation across destinations in the concentration of migrants from the same birth town. Using this novel source of variation, we find that social connectedness considerably reduces murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, and motor vehicle thefts, with a one standard deviation increase in social connectedness reducing murders by 21 percent and motor vehicle thefts by 20 percent. Social connectedness especially reduces murders of adolescents and young adults committed during gang and drug activity.
    Keywords: crime, social connectedness, Great Migration
    JEL: K42 N32 R23 Z13
    Date: 2019–03
  2. By: Bruni, Luigino (LUMSA University); Pelligra, Vittorio (University of Cagliari); Reggiani, Tommaso G. (Masaryk University); Rizzolli, Matteo (LUMSA University)
    Abstract: In mainstream business and economics, prizes such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom are understood as special types of incentives, with the peculiar features of being awarded in public, and of having largely symbolic value. Informed by both historical considerations and philosophical instances, our study defines fundamental theoretical differences between incentives and prizes. The conceptual factors highlighted by our analytical framework are then tested through a laboratory experiment. The experimental exercise aims to analyze how prizes and incentives impact actual individuals' behavior differently. Our results show that both incentives (monetary and contingent) and prizes (non-monetary and discretional rewards) boost motivation to perform if awarded publicly, but only prizes crowd-in motivation promoting virtuous attitude.
    Keywords: incentives, prizes, awards, crowding-in, meaning, intrinsic motivation
    JEL: B1 D03 J33
    Date: 2019–03
  3. By: Mathieu Couttenier (University of Lyon, ENS de Lyon, Gate UMR 5824, F-69342 Lyon, France and CEPR); Sophie Hatte (University of Lyon, ENS de Lyon, Gate UMR 5824, F-69342 Lyon, France); Mathias Thoenig (Department of Economics, University of Lausanne and CEPR); Stephanos Vlachos (Department of Economics, University of Vienna)
    Abstract: We study how news coverage of immigrant criminality impacted municipality-level votes in the November 2009 “minaret ban” referendum in Switzerland. The campaign, successfully led by the populist Swiss People’s Party, played aggressively on fears of Muslim immigration and linked Islam with terrorism and violence. We combine an exhaustive violent crime detection dataset with detailed information on crime coverage from 12 newspapers. The data allow us to quantify the extent of pre-vote media bias in the coverage of migrant criminality. We then estimate a theory-based voting equation in the cross-section of municipalities. Exploiting random variations in crime occurrences, we find a first-order, positive effect of news coverage on political support for the minaret ban. Counterfactual simulations show that, under a law forbidding newspapers to disclose a perpetrator’s nationality, the vote in favor of the ban would have decreased by 5 percentage points (from 57.6% to 52.6%).
    Keywords: Media, Violent crime, Immigration, Vote, Populism
    JEL: D72 L82 Z12 K42
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Roberto Galbiati (Département d'économie); Emeric Henry (Département d'économie); Nicolas Jacquemet (Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne (CNRS/UP 1))
    Abstract: How does the exposure to past institutions affect current cooperation? While a growing literature focuses on behavioral channels, we show how cooperation-enforcing institutions affect rational learning about the group’s value. Strong institutions, by inducing members to cooperate, may hinder learning about intrinsic values in the group. We show, using a lab experiment with independent interactions and random rematching, that participants behave in accordance with a learning model, and in particular react differently to actions of past partners whether they were played in an environment with coercive enforcement or not.
    Keywords: Enforcement; Social values; Cooperation; Learning spillovers; Persistence of institutions; Repeated games; Experiments
    JEL: C91 C73 D02 K49 P16 Z1
    Date: 2019–04
  5. By: John T. Addison; Paulino Teixeira
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between trust and establishment performance. The outcome indicators are management’s assessment of the economic or financial situation of the workplace and its relative labor productivity. Trust is initially measured using the individual survey respondent’s assessment of the ‘contribution’ of the other side, the rating of the employee representative being favored over that of management as less subject to feedback from performance. Although the potential endogeneity of employee trust is taken into account, an improved measure is constructed from the discrepancy or dissonance between the assessments of the two sides as to the quality of industrial relations at the workplace. All trust measures are associated with improved establishment performance. However, there is no suggestion from specifications using the two more favored trust measures that any one type of formal workplace representation – either works councils or union bodies – is superior. Dissonance, if indeed exogenous, demonstrates that good industrial relations trump type of workplace representation.
    Keywords: trust, dissonance, workplace employee representation, economic/financial performance, labor productivity
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Absher, Samuel; Grier, Kevin
    Abstract: We explore the effect of mobile phone and internet access on levels of collective violent action within the Libyan Revolution. Eastern Libya experienced a state-implemented blackout shortly after widespread riots and protests began. However, with luck, ingenuity, and foreign aid, Libyan rebels forged an independent mobile phone network. We exploit the exogeneity of the timing of the network’s reactivation and use a variation of difference-in-differences (DID) to measure the effect on the frequency of collective violent action. While the dominant view in the literature is that cell access increases violence by lowering the costs of organizing, we find that the reactivation of the mobile phone network reduced violent collective action by 21%. We find this negative effect for all conflicts and for conflicts that can be identified as initiated by non-state actors. We also study mobile phone’s effect on collective deadly action and fatalities using a different source for conflicts, finding similar negative effects. We propose mechanisms that may explain the aggregate negative effect: (1) substitution of physical protests to digital protests, (3) the reduction of dissatisfaction toward the state, and (3) the use of mobile phones to avoid conflict with state actors.
    Keywords: Mobile phones and violence, natural experiments, Libyan revolution
    JEL: F51
    Date: 2019–03–04
  7. By: Xu, Jin; Zenou, Yves; Zhou, Junjie
    Abstract: We study a very general contest game in which players exert efforts in multiple battles. The conflict structure, which represents who participates in which battlefield, is arbitrary and can be represented by a hypergraph. We show, under mild conditions on the cost function and contest technology, that the set of pure strategy Nash equilibria is nonempty and convex, and provide equivalent characterizations using techniques from Variational Inequality (VI). We demonstrate that the strong monotonicity of the cost function always implies the uniqueness of Nash equilibrium regardless of the conflict structure. We also perform an extensive comparative statics analysis with respect to the parameters of the model and discuss several applications of our model. Our general model incorporates many existing models of single or multi-battle contests as special cases when the conflict network and/or the cost function take particular forms.
    Keywords: Contests; network games; variational inequality
    JEL: C72 D74 D85
    Date: 2019–04
  8. By: Brixiova, Zuzana (Technical University of Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republik); Kangoye, Thierry (African Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of networks in access of women entrepreneurs to start-up capital and firm performance in Eswatini, a country with one of the highest female unemployment rates in Africa. The paper first shows that higher initial capital is associated with better sales performance for both men and women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs start their firms with smaller start-up capital than men and are more likely to fund it from their own sources, which reduces the size of their firm and sales level. However, women with higher education start their firms with more capital than their less educated counterparts. Moreover, women who receive support from professional networks have higher initial capital, while those trained in financial literacy more often access external funding sources, including through their networks.
    Keywords: networks, start-up capital, multivariate analysis, Africa
    JEL: L53 O12
    Date: 2019–03
  9. By: Suzuki, Taku; Mizobata, Satoshi
    Abstract: While studies of transitions to market economies have long focused on the issue of corruption, the perspectives from which their analyses have been based have diverged. Accordingly, this paper employs a systematic review through testing 14 hypotheses from the perspectives of political and economic causes, as well as culture and values, based on 559 works from the literature on the subject. Its findings make it clear that the liberalization and privatization of ownership both expand and contract corruption; the effects of culture and values also should not be overlooked, while mostly rejecting the so-called “greasing-the-wheels” hypothesis.
    Keywords: corruption, systems, economic growth, democracy, tradition, systematic review
    JEL: C00 O17 P24 P26
    Date: 2019–03
  10. By: Koşar, Gizem (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Ransom, Tyler (Oklahoma University, IZA); Van der Klaauw, Wilbert (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: Residential mobility rates in the United States have fallen considerably over the past three decades. The cause of the long-term decline remains largely unexplained. In this paper we investigate the relative importance of alternative drivers of residential mobility, including job opportunities, neighborhood and housing amenities, social networks, and housing and moving costs, using data from two waves of the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations. Our hypothetical choice methodology elicits choice probabilities from which we recover the distribution of preferences for location and mobility attributes without concerns about omitted variables and selection biases that hamper analyses based on observed mobility choices alone. We estimate substantial heterogeneity in the willingness to pay (WTP) for location and housing amenities across different demographic groups, with income considerations, proximity to friends and family, neighbors’ shared norms and social values, and monetary and psychological costs of moving being key drivers of migration and residential location choices. The estimates point to potentially important amplifying roles played by family, friends, and shared norms and values in the decline of residential mobility rates.
    Keywords: geographic labor mobility; migration; neighborhood characteristics
    Date: 2019–04–01
  11. By: Giovanna D'Adda; Martin Dufwenberg; Francesco Passarelli; Guido Tabellini
    Abstract: We consider an expanded notion of social norms that renders 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: social norms, partial norms, normative expectations, consensus, experiment
    JEL: C91 D91
    Date: 2019
  12. By: Rana Comertpay; Andreas Irmen; Anastasia Litina
    Abstract: This research empirically establishes the hypothesis that the process of population aging in a society as a whole affects the attitudes of its members towards immigration. Hence, an aging social environment exerts an effect on the attitudes of individuals towards immigration after accounting for their age and other individual characteristics. We test this hypothesis in a multilevel analysis of individuals living in 25 European OECD countries over the period 2002-2017. Our measure of “societal population aging” is the old-age dependency ratio. “Attitudes” are taken from immigration related questions in eight consecutive rounds of the European Social Survey. For these attitudes we find non-linear, U-shaped relationships. Hence, the effect of societal population aging on individual attitudes towards immigration is negative in young societies and positive in old ones.
    Keywords: population aging, attitudes, immigration, culture
    JEL: J10 Z10
    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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