nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2019‒09‒02
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. National Income and Trust By Markus Brückner; Alberto Chong; Mark Gradstein
  2. Old sins cast long shadows: The Long-term impact of the resettlement of the Sudetenland on residential By Martin Guzi; Peter Huber; Stepan Mikula
  3. Neighborhoods, Social Class, and Reciprocity: Evidence Using Representative Artefactual Data from Latin America By Arlette Beltrán; Alberto Chong; Mariano Montoya
  4. A Social Norm Nudge to Save More: A Field Experiment at a Retail Bank By Robert Dur; Dimitry Fleming; Marten van Garderen; Max van Lent
  5. Social Connectedness in Urban Areas By Bailey, Michael; Farrell, Patrick; Kuchler, Theresa; Ströbel, Johannes
  6. Outgroup Homogeneity Bias Causes Ingroup Favoritism By Marcel Montrey; Thomas R. Shultz
  7. Crime and Networks: 10 Policy Lessons By Lindquist, Matthew; Zenou, Yves
  8. Dynamic Social Interactions and Health Risk Behavior By Arduini, Tiziano; Bisin, Alberto; Ozgur, Onur; Patacchini, Eleonora
  9. "When Olson Meets Dahl": From Inefficient Groups Formation to Inefficient Policy-Making By Martimort, David
  10. Farsighted manipulation and exploitation in networks By Bayer, Péter; Herings, P. Jean-Jacques; Peeters, Ronald

  1. By: Markus Brückner (Australian National University, Australia); Alberto Chong (Department of Economics, Georgia State University, USA); Mark Gradstein (Ben Gurion University, Israel)
    Abstract: We explore whether national economic prosperity enhances mutual generalized trust. This is done using panel data of multiple waves of the World Values Surveys, whereby national income levels are instrumented for using exogenous oil price shocks. We find significant and substantial effects of national income on the level of trust in the economy. In particular, a one percent increase in national income tends to cause an average increase of one-percentage point (or more) in the likelihood that a person becomes trustful. We also identify crime and corruption as potential mechanisms that may lead to the reported causal effect and explore heterogeneous effects across individuals.
    Date: 2019–08
  2. By: Martin Guzi (Masaryk University); Peter Huber (Austrian Institute for Economic Research); Stepan Mikula (Masaryk University)
    Abstract: We analyze the long-term impact of the resettlement of the Sudetenland after World War~II on residential migration. This event involved expulsion of ethnic Germans and almost complete depopulation of an area of a country and its rapid resettlement by 2 million Czech inhabitants. Results based on nearest neighbor matching and regression discontinuity design show a higher population churn in resettled areas that continues today. The populations in resettled areas and in the remainder of the country share similar values and do not differ statistically in terms of their propensity to give donations, attend social events, and participate in voluntary work. However, we observe that resettled settlements have fewer local club memberships, lower turnout in municipal elections, and less frequently organized social events. This finding indicates substantially lower local social capital in the resettled settlements that is likely to have caused higher residential migration. This explanation is consistent with theoretical models of the impact of social capital on migration decisions.
    Keywords: Migration, Social Capital, Sudetenland
    JEL: N44 Z10 R23 J15
    Date: 2019–07–31
  3. By: Arlette Beltrán (Universidad del Pacifico, Peru); Alberto Chong (Department of Economics, Georgia State University, USA); Mariano Montoya (Universidad del Pacifico, Peru)
    Abstract: We study if urban class segregation destroys social capital in Latin America using experimental data that are representative for six Latin American cities. In particular, we focus on whether belonging to upper class neighborhoods impacts reciprocity in a standard trust game. While our overall results confirm a negative association between these two variables, we also find that trusting behavior can help counteract the negative impact of class.
    Date: 2019–08
  4. By: Robert Dur (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Dimitry Fleming (ING Netherlands); Marten van Garderen (ING Netherlands); Max van Lent (Leiden University)
    Abstract: A large fraction of households have very little savings buffer and are therefore vulnerable to financial shocks. We examine whether a social norm nudge can stimulate such households to save more by running a small-scale survey experiment and a large-scale field experiment at a retail bank in the Netherlands. The survey experiment shows that a social norm nudge increases intended savings. In line with this, we find in our field experiment that households who are exposed to the social norm nudge click more often on a link to a personal webpage where they can start or adjust an automatic savings plan. However, analyzing detailed bank data, we find no treatment effect on actual savings, neither in the short run nor in the long run. Our null findings are quite precisely estimated.
    Keywords: household savings, field experiment, nudges, social norms
    JEL: C93 D14
    Date: 2019–08–26
  5. By: Bailey, Michael; Farrell, Patrick; Kuchler, Theresa; Ströbel, Johannes
    Abstract: We use anonymized and aggregated data from Facebook to explore the spatial structure of social networks in the New York metro area. We highlight the importance of transportation infrastructure in shaping urban social networks by showing that travel time and travel costs are substantially stronger predictors of social connectedness between zip codes than geographic distance is. We also document significant heterogeneity in the geographic breadth of social networks across New York zip codes, and show that much of this heterogeneity is explained by the ease of access to public transit, even after controlling for socioeconomic characteristics of the zip codes' residents. When we group zip codes with strong social ties into hypothetical communities using an agglomerative clustering algorithm, we find that geographically non-contiguous locations are grouped into socially connected communities, again highlighting that geographic distance is an imperfect proxy for urban social connectedness. We also explore the social connections between New York zip codes and foreign countries, and highlight how these are related to past migration movements.
    Keywords: Agglomeration externalities; Social Connectedness; Transportation Infrastructure
    JEL: R1 R2 R3
    Date: 2019–06
  6. By: Marcel Montrey; Thomas R. Shultz
    Abstract: Ingroup favoritism, the tendency to favor ingroup over outgroup, is often explained as a product of intergroup conflict, or correlations between group tags and behavior. Such accounts assume that group membership is meaningful, whereas human data show that ingroup favoritism occurs even when it confers no advantage and groups are transparently arbitrary. Another possibility is that ingroup favoritism arises due to perceptual biases like outgroup homogeneity, the tendency for humans to have greater difficulty distinguishing outgroup members than ingroup ones. We present a prisoner's dilemma model, where individuals use Bayesian inference to learn how likely others are to cooperate, and then act rationally to maximize expected utility. We show that, when such individuals exhibit outgroup homogeneity bias, ingroup favoritism between arbitrary groups arises through direct reciprocity. However, this outcome may be mitigated by: (1) raising the benefits of cooperation, (2) increasing population diversity, and (3) imposing a more restrictive social structure.
    Date: 2019–08
  7. By: Lindquist, Matthew; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: In this article, we argue that social network analysis can be used in a meaningful way to help us understand more about the root causes of delinquent behavior and crime and also to provide practical guidance for the design of crime prevention policies.
    Keywords: Co-offending; crime; Criminal networks; key player; peer effects; Social Networks
    JEL: A14 K42 Z13
    Date: 2019–06
  8. By: Arduini, Tiziano; Bisin, Alberto; Ozgur, Onur; Patacchini, Eleonora
    Abstract: We study risky behavior of adolescents. Concentrating on smoking and alcohol use, we structurally estimate a dynamic social interaction model in the context of students' school networks included in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The model allows for forward-looking behavior of agents, addiction effects, and social interactions in the form of preferences for conformity in the social network. We find strong evidence for forward looking dynamics and addiction effects. We also find that social interactions in the estimated dynamic model are quantitatively large. A misspecified static model would fit data substantially worse, while producing a much smaller estimate of the social interaction effect. With the estimated dynamic model, a temporary shock to students' preferences in the 10th grade has effects on their behavior in grades 10, 11, 12, with estimated social multipliers 1.53, 1.03, and 0.76, respectively. The multiplier effect of a permanent shock is much larger, up to 3.7 in grade 12. Moreover, (semi-) elasticities of a permanent change in the availability of alcohol or cigarettes at home on child risky behavior implied by the dynamic equilibrium are 25%, 63%, and 79%, in grades 10, 11, 12, respectively.
    JEL: C18 C33 C62 C63 C73 I12
    Date: 2019–08
  9. By: Martimort, David
    Abstract: Two conflicting interest groups buy favors from a policy-maker. Influence is modeled as a common agency game with lobbyists proposing monetary contributions contingent on decisions. When the preferences of the group members are common knowledge, groups form efficiently and lobbying competition perfectly aggregates preferences. When those preferences are instead private information, free riding in collective action arises within groups. Free riding implies that the influence of a group is weakened and that lobbying competition imperfectly aggregates preferences. By softening lobbying competition, private information might also increase groups' payoffs and hurt the policy-maker. Importantly, the magnitudes of informational frictions within each group are jointly determined at equilibrium. We draw from these findings a number of implications for the organization of interest groups.
    Date: 2019–07
  10. By: Bayer, Péter (university of grenoble alpes); Herings, P. Jean-Jacques (General Economics 1 (Micro)); Peeters, Ronald (university of otago, dunedin)
    Abstract: Economic agents with an increased sophistication sometimes use their advantage to exploit their more naive counterparts. In public goods games played on networks, such an agent will attempt to manipulate as many of his neighbors as possible to produce the public good. We study the exploitation of a myopic population by a single farsighted player in such games. We show the existence and payoff-uniqueness of optimal farsighted strategies in every network structure. In the long run, the farsighted player’s effects are only felt locally. A simple dependence-withdrawal strategy reaches the optimal outcome for every network if the starting state is unfavorable, and reaches it for every starting state if the farsighted player is linked to all opponents. We characterize the lower and upper bounds of long-run payoffs the farsighted player can attain in a given network and make comparative statics with respect to adding a new link. The farsighted player always benefits from linking to more opponents (sociability) and is always harmed by his neighbors linking to each other (jealousy).
    Keywords: networks, public goods, myopic and farsighted players
    JEL: C73 D85 H41
    Date: 2019–08–29

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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