nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2019‒12‒23
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Trust in State and Non-State Actors: Evidence from Dispute Resolution in Pakistan By Daron Acemoglu; Ali Cheema; Asim Ijaz Khwaja; James A. Robinson
  2. Peer effects in stock market participation: evidence from immigration By Girshina, Anastasia; Mathä, Thomas Y.; Ziegelmeyer, Michael
  3. Attacking the weak or the strong? An experiment on the targets of parochial altruism By Simon Varaine; Ismaël Benslimane; Raul Magni Berton; Paolo Crosetto
  4. Social Capital and Health: A Meta-Analysis By Xindong Xue; W. Robert Reed; Andrea K. Menclova
  5. Knowledge sharing through enterprise social network : the key roles of servant leader virtues and eudaimonic well-being By Annabel Martin-Salerno; Andrea L. Micheaux; Valentina Stan
  6. Moved to Vote: The Long-Run Effects of Neighborhoods on Political Participation By Eric Chyn; Kareem Haggag
  7. The Legacy of Historical Emigration: Evidence from Italian Municipalities By Erminia Florio
  8. The Pledging Puzzle: How Can Revocable Promises Increase Charitable Giving By James Andreoni; Marta Serra-Garcia
  9. The Bonus-Income Donation Norm By Michalis Drouvelis; Adam Isen; Benjamin M. Marx

  1. By: Daron Acemoglu; Ali Cheema; Asim Ijaz Khwaja; James A. Robinson
    Abstract: Lack of trust in state institutions, often due to poor service provision, is a pervasive problem in many developing countries. It may also be one of the reasons citizens turn to non-state actors for services. This paper investigates whether information about improved public services can help build trust in state institutions and move people away from non-state actors. We focus on dispute resolution in rural Pakistan. We find that (truthful) information about reduced delays in state courts leads to citizens reporting higher likelihood of using them and to greater allocations to the state in two high-stakes lab-in-the-field games designed to measure belief in the effectiveness of state courts and willingness to contribute resources for others to access them. More interestingly, we find indirect negative effects on non-state actors in the same high-stakes settings. We show that the positive direct and negative indirect effects are both mediated by changes in beliefs about the effectiveness of these actors. Our preferred interpretation explains these behaviors as a response to improved beliefs about state actors which then motivate individuals to interact less with non-state actors and as a result downgrade their beliefs about them. We provide additional checks bolstering this interpretation and alleviating concerns about potential social experimenter effects or mechanical contrasts between the two actors. These results indicate that, despite distrust of the state in Pakistan, credible new information can change beliefs and behavior.
    Keywords: dispute resolution, lab-in-the-field games, legitimacy, motivated reasoning, non-state actors, state capacity, trust
    JEL: D02 D73 D74 D83 C91 C93 K40 O17 P16
    Date: 2019–07
  2. By: Girshina, Anastasia; Mathä, Thomas Y.; Ziegelmeyer, Michael
    Abstract: This paper studies how peers’ financial behaviour affects individuals’ own investment choices. To identify the peer effect, we exploit the unique composition of the Luxembourg population and use the differences in stock market participation across various immigrant groups to study how they affect stock market participation of natives. We solve the reflection problem by instrumenting immigrants’ stock market participation with lagged participation rates in their countries of birth. We separate the peer effect from the contextual and correlated effects by controlling for neighbourhood and individual characteristics. We find that stock market participation of immigrant peers has sizeable effects on that of natives. We also provide evidence that social learning is one of the channels through which the peer effect is transmitted. However, social learning alone does not account for the entire effect and we conclude that social utility might also play an important role in peer effects transmission. JEL Classification: G5, D14, D83, G11, I22
    Keywords: peer effects, social learning, social utility, stock market participation
    Date: 2019–12
  3. By: Simon Varaine (Pacte, Laboratoire de sciences sociales - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - UJF - Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1 - IEPG - Sciences Po Grenoble - Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Ismaël Benslimane (IPhiG - Institut de Philosophie de Grenoble - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Raul Magni Berton (Pacte, Laboratoire de sciences sociales - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - UJF - Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1 - IEPG - Sciences Po Grenoble - Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Paolo Crosetto (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes)
    Abstract: Studies on parochial altruism have insofar focused on the causes leading individuals to attack any out-group on the behalf of one's group. Yet, we have no clue to understand why parochial altruists target specific groups, such as big firms in some contexts and refugees in other contexts. The present paper introduces an experiment to analyse the conditions under which individuals costly attack strong versus weak out-groups. In our study, 300 participants played a repeated Inter-group Prisonner Dilemma (IPD) involving multiple groups and inter-group differences in resources. The results show that individuals have a basic preference for targeting strong out-groups, but that attacks decrease when the inequality in destructive capacity between groups is high. Besides, individuals target weak out-groups when they are threatening their in-group status. Decisions in the game correlate with participants' political ideology and social dominance orientation. Overall, the results give clues to understand historical variations in the targets of political violence.
    Keywords: D74,H41,Parochial altruism,Terrorism,Social comparison,Inequality,Ideology,Intergroup conflict,JEL codes : C92
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Xindong Xue; W. Robert Reed (University of Canterbury); Andrea K. Menclova (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: The relationship between social capital and health has received extensive attention in fields such as public health, medicine, epidemiology, gerontology and other health-related disciplines. In contrast, the economics literature on this subject is relatively small. To address this research gap, we investigate the cross-disciplinary empirical literature using meta-analysis. We analyze 12,778 estimates from 470 studies. Our analysis finds that social capital is significantly related to a variety of positive health outcomes. However, the effect sizes are consistently very small. This finding is robust across different types of social capital (e.g., cognitive, structural, bonding, bridging, linking), and for many different measures of health outcomes (e.g., mortality, disease/illnesses, depression). The small effects that we estimate cast doubt on recent initiatives to promote health through social capital such as those by the WHO, the OECD, and US Healthy People 2020.
    Keywords: Social capital, Health, Meta-analysis, Mental health, Physical health, Self-reported health
    JEL: B49 C49 I10 I31
    Date: 2019–12–01
  5. By: Annabel Martin-Salerno (LEM - Lille économie management - LEM - UMR 9221 - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IAE Lille - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises - Lille - Université de Lille, Sciences et Technologies); Andrea L. Micheaux (MMS - Département Management, Marketing et Stratégie - IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris] - TEM - Télécom Ecole de Management - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School, LITEM - Laboratoire en Innovation, Technologies, Economie et Management - UEVE - Université d'Évry-Val-d'Essonne - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School); Valentina Stan (ESSCA Research Lab - ESSCA - Groupe ESSCA)
    Abstract: To elucidate the favorable conditions for knowledge sharing through Enterprise Social Network (ESN), a qualitative study was conducted to identify benefits of ESN converts. Results highlight that the virtues of the servant leader seem to play a major role in overcoming barriers to sharing knowledge as well as several dimensions of eudaimonic well-being.
    Keywords: Enterprise Social Network,Servant leadership,Eudaimonic well-being,Knowledge sharing
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Eric Chyn; Kareem Haggag
    Abstract: How does one's childhood neighborhood shape political engagement later in life? We leverage a natural experiment that moved children out of disadvantaged neighborhoods to study effects on their voting behavior more than a decade later. Using linked administrative data, we find that children who were displaced by public housing demolitions and moved using housing vouchers are 12 percent (3.3 percentage points) more likely to vote in adulthood, relative to their non-displaced peers. We argue that this result is unlikely to be driven by changes in incarceration or in their parents' outcomes, but rather by improvements in education and labor market outcomes, and perhaps by socialization. These results suggest that, in addition to reducing economic inequality, housing assistance programs that improve one's childhood neighborhood may be a useful tool in reducing inequality in political participation.
    JEL: D72 H75 I38 J13 R23 R38
    Date: 2019–11
  7. By: Erminia Florio (University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: I analyze the effect of historical emigration on today’s attitudes towards immigration in Italy. To do so, I collect data on Italian emigrants by municipality from the Ellis Island archives in the period 1892-1924. I estimate, then, the causal effect of emigration on a series of outcomes used to measure attitudes towards immigrants through an IV strategy, by exploiting exogenous variation in proximity to train stations active during years 1892-1924 and in the timing of construction of stations to historical emigration. I find that emigration has a negative and significant long-run effect on attitudes towards immigration. In particular, a one-standard deviation increase in the share of past emigrants reduces the propensity to have a SPRAR in municipalities by roughly 9%. A higher historical emigration also reduces social expenditures, share of votes for center-left parties and non-profit organizations, while increasing the share of votes for center-right parties.
    Keywords: Italian Emigration; Attitudes towards Immigration; Age of Mass Migration.
    JEL: J15 N32 N34 Z1
    Date: 2019–12–16
  8. By: James Andreoni; Marta Serra-Garcia
    Abstract: What is the value of pledges if they are often reneged upon? In this paper we show - both theoretically and experimentally - that pledges can be used to screen donors and to better understand their motives for giving. In return, nonprofit managers can use the information they glean from pledges to better target future charitable giving appeals and interventions to donors, such as expressions of gratitude. In an experiment, we find that offering the option to pledge gifts induces self-selection. If expressions of gratitude are then targeted to individuals who select into pledges, reneging can be significantly reduced. Our findings provide an explanation for the potential usefulness of pledges.
    Keywords: prosocial behavior, charitable giving, pledging, intertemporal choice
    JEL: D64 D90 C91
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Michalis Drouvelis; Adam Isen; Benjamin M. Marx
    Abstract: Can social norms affect fundamental patterns of behavior such as income effects? Studies of determinants of giving to charities and other individuals yield a wide range of income-effect estimates. We conduct two experiments to first test whether the effect of income on charitable giving depends on whether the income is earned and then test whether any difference in the effects by income source can be explained by social norms. Our first experiment induces random variation in both earned income and windfall bonuses and shows that only bonuses increases charitable donations. The second experiment uses an incentivized coordination game to investigate whether social norms can explain this donation pattern. Perceptions of what most people would consider a morally appropriate donation depend on the amount of income and whether it is a windfall. The norms elicited in the second experiment match the donation patterns in the first experiment both overall and across subject demographics, pointing to social norms as a key determinant of charitable giving.
    Keywords: charitable, donation, warm glow, social preferences, income effect, experiment
    JEL: D01 D64 A13
    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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