nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2019‒08‒26
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Diffusion of Gender Norms: Evidence from Stalin's Ethnic Deportations By Jarotschkin, Alexandra; Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina
  2. Immigration and the Evolution of Local Cultural Norms By Schmitz, Sophia; Weinhardt, Felix
  3. Social Media and Polarization By Campbell, Arthur; Leister, Matthew; Zenou, Yves
  4. Endogenous Social Connections in Legislatures By Battaglini, Marco; Patacchini, Eleonora; Rainone, Edoardo
  5. It's Not A Lie If You Believe It: On Norms, Lying, and Self-Serving Belief Distortion By Cristina Bicchieri, Eugen Dimant and Silvia Sonderegger; Eugen Dimant and Silvia Sonderegger; Silvia Sonderegger
  6. The Gender Gap in Informal Child Care: Theory and Some Evidence from Italy By Francesca Barigozzi; Cremer,Helmuth; Chiara Monfardini
  7. Endogenous Shocks in Social Networks: Exam Failures and Friends' Future Performance By Maria Marchenko
  8. Dealing with Endogenous Shocks in Dynamic Friendship Network By Maria Marchenko
  9. Ethnic networks can foster the economic integration of refugees By Martén, Linna; Hainmueller, Jens; Hangartner, Dominik

  1. By: Jarotschkin, Alexandra; Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina
    Abstract: We study horizontal between-group cultural transmission using a unique historical setting, which combines exogenous group exposure with no control over how and whether the representatives of different groups interact. Stalin's ethnic deportations during WWII moved over 2 million people, the majority of whom were ethnic Germans and Chechens, from the Western parts of the USSR to Central Asia and Siberia. As a result, the native population in the destination locations was exposed to groups with drastically different gender norms, depending on the group composition of the deportees. We estimate the effect of this exposure relying on the fact that within subnational regions the local population was fairly homogeneous, and the deportation destinations were determined by local demand for manual labor, orthogonal to the identity or skills of deportees. Combining historical archival data with contemporary surveys, we document that both the norms of gender equality and of gender discrimination were diffused to the local population exposed to deportee groups with these norms, manifesting itself in changes of attitudes and behavior.
    Keywords: Deportations; Gender norms; Horizontal cultural transmission; Stalin
    Date: 2019–07
  2. By: Schmitz, Sophia (Federal Ministry of Finance); Weinhardt, Felix (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: We study the local evolution of cultural norms in West Germany in reaction to the sudden presence of East Germans who migrated to the West after reunification. These migrants grew up with very high rates of maternal employment, whereas West German families followed the traditional breadwinner-housewife model. We find that West German women increase their labor supply and that this holds within household. We provide additional evidence on stated gender norms, West-East friendships, intermarriage, and childcare infrastructure. The dynamic evolution of the local effects on labor supply is best explained by local cultural learning and endogenous childcare infrastructure.
    Keywords: cultural norms, local learning, gender, immigration
    JEL: J16 J21 D1
    Date: 2019–07
  3. By: Campbell, Arthur; Leister, Matthew; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: Because of its impacts on democracy, there is an important debate on whether the recent trends towards greater use of social media increases or decreases (political) polarization. One challenge for understanding this issue is how social media affects the equilibrium prevalence of different types of media content. We address this issue by developing a model of a social media network where there are two types of news content: mass-market (mainstream news) and niche-market (biased or more "extreme" news) and two different types of individuals who have a preference for recommending one or other type of content. We find that social media will amplify the prevalence of mass-market content and may result in it being the only type of content consumed. Further, we find that greater connectivity and homophily in the social media network will concurrently increase the prevalence of the niche market content and polarization. We then study an extension where there are two lobbying agents that can and wish to influence the prevalence of each type of content. We find that the lobbying agent in favor of the niche content will invest more in lobbying activities. We also show that lobbying activity will tend to increase polarization, and that this effect is greatest in settings where polarization would be small absent of lobbying activity. Finally, we allow individuals to choose the degree of homophily amongst their connections and demonstrate that niche-market individuals exhibit greater homophily than the mass-market ones, and contribute more to polarization.
    Date: 2019–07
  4. By: Battaglini, Marco; Patacchini, Eleonora; Rainone, Edoardo
    Abstract: We present a model of the U.S. Congress in which social connections among Congress members are endogenous and matter for their legislative activity. We propose a novel equilibrium concept for the network formation game that allows for a sharp characterization of equilibrium behavior and that yields a unique prediction under testable conditions. While the equilibrium is characterized by a large number of nonlinear equations, we show that the model can be structurally estimated by an appropriately designed Approximate Bayesian Computation method. Estimating the model using data from the 109th to 113th U.S. Congresses, we show that social connections are important for legislators' productivities and we identify some of the key determinants of social centralities in Congress.
    JEL: D71 D72
    Date: 2019–07
  5. By: Cristina Bicchieri, Eugen Dimant and Silvia Sonderegger (University of Pennsylvania); Eugen Dimant and Silvia Sonderegger (University of Pennsylvania); Silvia Sonderegger (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: variant of the \dice under the cup" paradigm, in which subjects' beliefs are elicited in stage 1 before performing the dice task in stage 2. In stage 1, we elicit the subjects' beliefs about (i) majoritarian behavior or (ii) majoritarian normative beliefs in a previous session, and, in order to identify self-serving belief distortion, we vary whether participants are aware or unaware of the upcoming opportunity to lie in the dice task. We find that belief distortion occurs, but only with a specific kind of beliefs. When subjects are aware of the dice task ahead, they convince themselves that lying behavior is widespread in order to justify their lying. In contrast with beliefs about majority behavior, we find that beliefs about the extent to which lying is disapproved of are not distorted. Believing that the majority disapproves of lying does not inhibit own lying. These findings are consistent with a model where agents are conditional norm-followers, and where honest behavior is a strong indicator of disapproval of lying, but disapproval of lying is not a strong indicator of honest behavior.
    Keywords: Cheating, Experiment, Lying, Social Norms, Uncertainty
    Date: 2019–07
  6. By: Francesca Barigozzi; Cremer,Helmuth; Chiara Monfardini
    Abstract: Our model studies couples’ time allocation and career choices, which are affected by a social norm on gender roles in the family. Parents can provide two types of informal child care: basic care (feeding, changing children, baby-sitting) and quality care (activities that stimulate children’s social and cognitive skills). We obtain the following main results. Traditional mothers provide some informal basic care, whereas career mothers purchase full time formal basic care in the market. Informal basic care is too large and the group of career mothers is too small because of the social norm. Informal quality care is increasing in the couple’s income and is provided in larger amount by mothers. We test the model’s predictions for Italy using the most recent ISTAT “Use of Time” survey. In line with the model, mothers devote more time than fathers to both basic and quality informal care; more educated parents devote more time to quality informal care than less educated parents; more educated mothers spend more time in the labor market than less educated mothers.
    Keywords: social norms , gender gaps, women’s career choices, basic and quality child care
    JEL: D13 H23 J16 J22
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Maria Marchenko (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: Exam failures of the students in a specific network may influence not only the future performance of the student but also all students from their friendship networks, affecting the overall cohort's performance. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how the whole network responses to failure. The difficulty of such analysis is incorporated in the probability of the failures being highly endogenous. In this paper, I am applying the novel identification and estimation approach to deal with such endogeneity. I am exploring the dynamic data on the students' networks in HSE, Nizhniy Novgorod. The results suggest that, on average, the exam failure of the friend have a negative effect on future performance.
    Keywords: social networks, peer effects, exam failures, shock spillover
    JEL: C21 C49 I21
    Date: 2019–08
  8. By: Maria Marchenko (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: Different types of shocks, or the treatment of one of the players in a specific network, may influence not only the future performance of themselves but also affect their network connections. It is crucial to explore the behaviour of the whole network in response to such an event. This paper focuses on the cases of endogenously formed shock. The logic used in the peer effect literature is adopted to develop the dynamic model and accounts for the endogeneity of the shock. The model allows us to predict the endogenous part of the shock and use the remaining unexpected component to estimate the effect of the shock on the changes in the performance of network connections. The identification conditions for effect are derived, and the consistent estimation procedure is proposed.
    Keywords: social networks, dynamic networks, peer effects, endogenous shock
    JEL: C21 C49 I21
    Date: 2019–08
  9. By: Martén, Linna; Hainmueller, Jens; Hangartner, Dominik
    Abstract: There is widespread concern in Europe and other refugee-receiving continents that living in an enclave of co-ethnics hinders refugees’ economic and social integration. Several European governments have adopted policies to geographically disperse refugees. While many theoretical arguments and descriptive studies analyze the impact of spatially concentrated ethnic networks on immigrant integration, there is limited causal evidence that sheds light on the efficacy of these policies. We provide evidence by studying the economic integration of refugees in Switzerland, where some refugees are assigned to live in a specific location upon arrival and by law are not permitted to relocate during the first five years. Leveraging this exogenous placement mechanism, we find that refugees assigned to locations with many co-nationals are more likely to enter the labor market. This benefit is most pronounced about three years after arrival and weakens somewhat with longer residency. In addition, we find that among refugees employed by the same company, a high proportion share nationality, ethnicity or language, which suggests that ethnic residential networks transmit information about employment opportunities. Together, these findings contribute to our understanding of the importance of ethnic networks for facilitating refugee integration, and they have implications for the design of refugee allocation policies.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2019–08–13

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.
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.