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

  1. Civic Engagement as a Second-Order Public Good: The Cooperative Underpinnings of the Accountable State By Kenju Kamei; Louis Putterman; Jean-Robert Tyran
  2. Economic Polarization and Antisocial Behavior: An Experiment By Bigoni, Maria; Bortolotti, Stefania; Nas Özen, Efşan
  3. Crime and Networks: 10 Policy Lessons By Lindquist, Matthew J.; Zenou, Yves
  4. The Impact of Socioeconomic and Cultural Differences on Online Trade By Daniel W. Elfenbein; Raymond Fisman; Brian McManus
  5. Spatial Dependence, Social Networks, and Economic Structures in Regional Labor Migration By Murayama, Koji; Nagayasu, Jun
  6. The Early Life Influences of Teachers' Genders on Later Life Charitable Giving: Evidence from the Natural Disasters in Japan By Yamamura, Eiji; Powdthavee, Nattavudh
  7. Old Sins Cast Long Shadows: The Long-Term Impact of the Resettlement of the Sudetenland on Residential Migration By Guzi, Martin; Huber, Peter; Mikula, Stepan
  8. Social Confusion and Corruption: Investigating the Causes and Effects of a Breakdown of Ethics By Suzuki, Taku; Mizobata, Satoshi
  9. The number but not the variety of nonprofit organizations affects donations: evidence from an experiment By Giacomo Degli Antoni; Marco Faillo
  10. Perceived Immigration And Voting Behavior. By Bellucci, Davide; Conzo, Pierluigi; Zotti, Roberto
  11. Crowdfunding Dynamics By Paul Belleflamme; Thomas Lambert; Armin Schwienbacher
  12. The Impact of Mass Media On Voting Behavior: The Cross-Country Evidence By Walid Merouani

  1. By: Kenju Kamei (Durham University); Louis Putterman (Brown University); Jean-Robert Tyran (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
    Abstract: Effective states provide public goods by taxing their citizens and imposing penalties for non-compliance. However, accountable government requires that enough citizens are civically engaged. We study the voluntary cooperative underpinnings of the accountable state by conducting a two-level public goods experiment in which civic engagement can build a sanction scheme to solve the first-order public goods dilemma. We find that civic engagement can be sustained at high levels when costs are low relative to the benefits of public good provision. This cost-to-benefit differential yields what we call a "leverage effect" because it transforms modest willingness to cooperate into the larger social dividend from the power of taxation. In addition, we find that local social interaction among subgroups of participants also boosts cooperation.
    Keywords: civic engagement, public goods provision, punishment, experiment, cooperation
    JEL: C92 D02 D72 H41
    Date: 2019–09–05
  2. By: Bigoni, Maria (University of Bologna); Bortolotti, Stefania (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Nas Özen, Efşan (Bilkent University)
    Abstract: Economic inequality may fuel frustration, possibly leading to anger and antisocial behavior. We experimentally study a situation where only the rich can reduce inequality while the poor can express their discontent by destroying the wealth of a rich counterpart with whom they had no previous interaction. We test whether the emergence of such forms of antisocial behavior depends only on the level of inequality, or also on the conditions under which inequality occurs. We compare an environment in which the rich can unilaterally reduce inequality with one where generosity makes them vulnerable to exploitation by the poor. We find that the rich are expected to be more generous in the former scenario than in the latter, but in fact this hope is systematically violated. We also observe that the poor engage in forms of antisocial behavior more often when reducing inequality would be safe for the rich. These results cannot be rationalized by inequality aversion alone, while they are in line with recent models that focus on anger as the result of the frustration of expectations.
    Keywords: expectations, frustration, inequality aversion, money-burning, punishment
    JEL: C91 D63 D83 D84 D91
    Date: 2019–08
  3. By: Lindquist, Matthew J. (SOFI, Stockholm University); Zenou, Yves (Monash University)
    Abstract: Social network analysis can help us understand more about the root causes of delinquent behavior and crime and provide practical guidance for the design of crime prevention policies. To illustrate these points, we first present a selective review of several key studies and findings from the criminology and police studies literature. We then turn to a presentation of recent contributions made by network economists. We highlight 10 policy lessons and provide a discussion of recent developments in the use of big data and computer technology.
    Keywords: co-offending, crime, criminal networks, social networks, peer effects, key player
    JEL: A14 K42 Z13
    Date: 2019–08
  4. By: Daniel W. Elfenbein; Raymond Fisman; Brian McManus
    Abstract: We use U.S. eBay data to investigate how trade is influenced by differences in socioeconomic characteristics, tastes, and trust. States’ similarity in cultural characteristics (ethnicity, religious affiliations, and political behavior) is predictive of online trade; cultural similarity similarly predicts trade between finer (three-digit zip code) geographies. The culture-trade relationship is mediated in part by consumers’ tastes, and is stronger for transactions with sellers who lack extensive reputations or certification, suggesting that consumers infer seller trustworthiness from cultural similarity. There is no correlation between cultural similarity and buyer satisfaction, consistent with perceived differences in trustworthiness not being validated by actual transactions.
    JEL: D12 D91 F14 L15 R12
    Date: 2019–08
  5. By: Murayama, Koji; Nagayasu, Jun
    Abstract: This study empirically analyzes the determinants of regional labor migration in Japan, where small towns are disappearing due to the shortage of labor. Using spatial models of origin-destination flows and considering network effects of labor and economic structures, we obtain results more consistent with the standard migration theory than previous studies. First, unlike previous studies, we find that migration decisions in Japan are based on economic motivations consistent with economic theories. Particularly, unemployment rates in origins and destinations and income in origins are found to be the determinants of labor migration. Second, we report that network effects, which help reduce migration costs, have encouraged relocation of labor. Third, considering spatial weights based on distance, goods flow, and economic structures, we show that neighbors can be most appropriately defined with economic structures; migration patterns are alike in regions with similar economic structures.
    Keywords: labor migration; spatial models; regional economy; economic structures; network effects
    JEL: J61 R23
    Date: 2019–08
  6. By: Yamamura, Eiji (Seinan Gakuin University); Powdthavee, Nattavudh (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: What determines human beings' decisions to donate money to a charity? Using a nationally representative survey of the Japanese population, we demonstrate that having been taught by a female teacher in their first year of school makes individuals more likely to donate to charities following natural disasters. The findings are robust in controlling for lessons on prosocial behaviors, such as group learning. We tested our results separately for men and women, as well as on prosocial attitude outcomes. Overall, our results suggest potential prosocial implications may arise from teacher-student gender matching.
    Keywords: charitable giving, gender, prosocial, Japan, natural disaster, donation
    JEL: D64 I20
    Date: 2019–08
  7. By: Guzi, Martin (Masaryk University); Huber, Peter (WIFO - Austrian Institute of Economic Research); Mikula, Stepan (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: 2019–08
  8. 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 558 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: 2019–09
  9. By: Giacomo Degli Antoni (University of Parma, Department of Law); Marco Faillo (University of Trento)
    Abstract: We provide experimental evidence on the effect of competition among nonprofit organizations on the total and the per capita amount of collected donations. We vary the number of organizations in competition, their type, i.e., nonprofit associations and community foundations, and their charitable purposes, i.e., to help people with economic difficulties or disabilities. We show that the number but not the variety of nonprofit organizations positively affects the total collected donations. Moreover, we find that the latter is inelastic to the increase in the number of organizations in the competition, which increases the total collected donations but reduces the per capita donations.
    Keywords: donations; competition; organizational density; nonprofit organizations; community foundations
    JEL: C91 D64 L31
    Date: 2019–08
  10. By: Bellucci, Davide; Conzo, Pierluigi; Zotti, Roberto (University of Turin)
    Abstract: A growing number of studies have found significant effects of inflows of migrants on electoral outcomes. However, the role of perceived immigration, which in many European countries is above official migration statistics, is overlooked. This paper investigates the effects of perceived threat of immigration on voting behavior, by looking at whether local elections in Italy were affected by sea arrivals of refugees before the election day. While, upon arrival, refugees cannot freely go to the destination municipality, landing episodes were discussed in the media especially before the elections, thereby influencing voters’ perceptions about the arrivals. We develop an index of exposure to arrivalsthat varies over time and across municipalities depending on the nationality of the incoming refugees. This index captures the impact of perceived immigration on voting behavior, on top of the effects of real immigration as proxied for by the stock of immigrants and the presence of refugee centers. Results show that, in municipalities where refugees are more expected to arrive, participationdecreases, whereas protest votes and support for extreme-right, populist and anti-immigration parties increase. Since these effects are driven by areas with fast broadband availability, we argue that antiimmigration campaigns played a key role.
    Date: 2019–06
  11. By: Paul Belleflamme; Thomas Lambert; Armin Schwienbacher
    Abstract: Various forms of social learning and network effects are at work on crowdfunding platforms, giving rise to informational and payoff externalities. We use novel entrepreneur-backer data to study how these externalities shape funding dynamics, within and across projects. We find that backers decide to back a particular project based on past contributions not only to that project—as documented by prior work—but also to other contemporaneous projects—a novel result. Our difference-in-differences estimates indicate that such ‘cross-project funding dynamics’ account for 4-5% in the increase of contributions that projects generate on a daily basis. We show that recurrent backers are the main transmission channel of cross-project funding dynamics: by initiating social learning about project existence and quality, recurrent backers encourage future funding by other backers. Our results demonstrate that even though contemporaneous projects compete for funding, they jointly benefit from their common presence on the platform. We finally show that these crowdfunding dynamics stir platform growth, with important consequences for competition among platforms.
    Keywords: crowdfunding, digital platforms, FinTech, network effects, social learning
    JEL: D43 G23 L14 L26 L86
    Date: 2019
  12. By: Walid Merouani (Maître de recherche, Centre de Recherche en Economie appliquée pour le Développement (CREAD-Alger) and Centre de recherche en Economie et Management (CREM-CNRS))
    Abstract: In this study, we challenge the topic of vote turnout by exploring original surveys in three north African countries: Algeria, Libya and Tunisia. We test the impact of media consumption on individual intention to vote. The existing literature argues that media could stimulate political participation, however, the empirical evidence still scarce, especially in the aforementioned countries. The use of BBC Media Action surveys provides the opportunity to fill this research gap. Separately in each country we verify the role of media consumption in the intention to vote using logistic regressions. To make the results more robust, we add to our regressions a set of socio-demographic control variables. Our findings clearly show that media consumption increases the intention to vote. Furthermore, we confirm that age, education and location are significant predictors of the likelihood to vote in the studied societies. We believe these results have a practical meaning in term of policy making.
    Date: 2019–08–21

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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