nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2020‒02‒03
twelve papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Social Media and Xenophobia: Evidence from Russia By Leonardo Bursztyn; Georgy Egorov; Ruben Enikolopov; Maria Petrova
  2. Peer Effects in Networks: a Survey By Yann Bramoullé; Habiba Djebbari; Bernard Fortin
  3. Are groups really more dishonest than individuals? By Castillo, Geoffrey; Choo, Lawrence; Grimm, Veronika
  4. Cost-Benefit Analysis and Public Sector Trust By Stiglitz, Edward H.; Library, Cornell
  5. How do we choose whom to trust? The effect of social networks on trust By Federica Alberti; Anna Conte; Daniela T. Di Cagno; Emanuela Sciubba
  6. The effect of social networks on migrants' labor market integration: a natural experiment By Gerxhani, Klarita; Kosyakova, Yuliya
  7. Other-regarding preferences and redistributive politics By Epper Thomas; Fehr Ernst; Senn Julien
  8. Exploring public engagement with missing person appeals on Twitter By Solymosi, Reka; Petcu, Oana; Wilkinson, Jack
  9. Diversity and neighbourhood satisfaction By Langella, Monica; Manning, Alan
  10. The Economic Preferences of Cooperative Managers By Alves, Guillermo; Blanchard, Pablo; Burdin, Gabriel; Chávez, Mariana; Dean, Andrés
  11. Neighbourhood Deprivation, Life Satisfaction and Earnings: Comparative Analyses of Neighbourhood Effects at Bespoke Scales By Knies, Gundi; Melo, Patricia C.; Zhang, Min
  12. How social interactions matter when distance dies? By Minoru Osawa; Jos\'e M. Gaspar

  1. By: Leonardo Bursztyn; Georgy Egorov; Ruben Enikolopov; Maria Petrova
    Abstract: We study the causal effect of social media on ethnic hate crimes and xenophobic attitudes in Russia using quasi-exogenous variation in social media penetration across cities. Higher penetration of social media led to more ethnic hate crimes, but only in cities with a high pre-existing level of nationalist sentiment. Consistent with a mechanism of coordination of crimes, the effects are stronger for crimes with multiple perpetrators. We implement a national survey experiment and show that social media persuaded young and low-educated individuals to hold more xenophobic attitudes, but did not increase respondents' openness to expressing these views. Our results are consistent with a simple model of social learning where penetration of social networks increases individuals' propensity to meet like-minded people.
    JEL: D7 H0 J15
    Date: 2019–12
  2. By: Yann Bramoullé (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Habiba Djebbari (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France. and IZA); Bernard Fortin (Laval University (Economics Department), CRREP, CIRANO and IZA.)
    Abstract: We survey the recent, fast-growing literature on peer effects in networks. An important recurring theme is that the causal identification of peer effects depends on the structure of the network itself. In the absence of correlated effects, the reflection problem is generally solved by network interactions even in non-linear, heterogeneous models. By contrast, microfounda-tions are generally not identified. We discuss and assess the various approaches developed by economists to account for correlated effects and network endogeneity in particular. We classify these approaches in four broad categories: random peers, random shocks, structural endogeneity and panel data. We review an emerging literature relaxing the assumption that the network is perfectly known. Throughout, we provide a critical reading of the existing literature and identify important gaps and directions for future research.
    Keywords: social networks, peer effects, identification, causal effects, randomization, measurement errors
    JEL: C31 C21 C90
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Castillo, Geoffrey; Choo, Lawrence; Grimm, Veronika
    Abstract: Groups are often found to be more rational than individuals. In lying games, this implies that groups are more dishonest. We scrutinise this conclusion in a setup where there are true moral concerns associated with dishonest behaviour. In contrast to prior studies, we do not find groups to be more dishonest than individuals when a passive third party, such as a charity, is harmed by the dishonest behaviour. Instead, we find that groups can help to moderate the extent of dishonest behaviour.
    Keywords: dishonesty,group decisions,communication,social norms
    JEL: C91 C92 D71
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Stiglitz, Edward H.; Library, Cornell
    Abstract: Eighty percent of Americans believe that government is run for “a few big interests” rather than the public interest. Rooted in notions of social welfare, cost-benefit analysis might be seen as an analytical procedure to flush out and discourage at least the most egregious abuses in lawmaking authority, thereby encouraging citizens to view their government as essentially pursuing some plausible notion of the public interest. Yet the extent to which cost-benefit analysis might fill this trust-building role is an unaddressed issue. Here, I conduct an experiment based on a (de)regulatory action in the environmental context to examine whether cost-benefit analysis might yield trust dividends. I find that cost-benefit analysis produces large increases in public sector trust, but only when paired with reasonableness review, and only among “elites.” This pattern of findings suggests that, without more, an agency declaration of cost justification is not credible, but that it may be made so through a form of reasonableness review. I discuss the contours of such review, and highlight perils if review is overly aggressive.
    Date: 2017–12–22
  5. By: Federica Alberti (Portsmouth Business School); Anna Conte (Sapienza University of Rome); Daniela T. Di Cagno (LUISS Guido Carli University); Emanuela Sciubba (Birkbeck University of London)
    Abstract: Our social lives are governed by trust. But how do we choose whom to trust? In this work, based on a laboratory experiment, we explore whether building relationships in a social network increases individuals' level of trust. We find that social interactions direct trust, but their impulse is not sufficiently strong to result beneficial.
    Keywords: Social network, Trust, Lab experiment
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D82 D85
    Date: 2020–01–24
  6. By: Gerxhani, Klarita; Kosyakova, Yuliya (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Empirically identifying the causal effect of social networks on migrants' economic prospects is a challenging task due to the non-random residential sorting of migrants into locations with greater opportunities for (previous) connections. Our study addresses this selection-bias issue by using a unique natural-experimental dataset of refugees and other migrants that were exogenously allocated to their first place of residence by German authorities. The empirical results reveal a positive causal effect of social networks on migrants' transition rate to the first job, but only if the networks are mobilized for the job search." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: F22 L14 J61 R23
  7. By: Epper Thomas; Fehr Ernst; Senn Julien
    Abstract: Increasing inequality and associated egalitarian sentiments have again put redistribution on the political agenda. Support for redistribution may also be affected by altruistic and egalitarian preferences, but knowledge about the distribution of these preferences in the broader population and how they relate to political support for redistributive policies is still scarce. In this paper, we take advantage of Swiss direct democracy, where people voted several times in national plebiscites on strongly redistributive policies, to study the link between other-regarding preferences and support for redistribution in a broad sample of the Swiss population. Based on a recently developed non-parametric clustering procedure, we identify three disjunct groups of individuals with fundamentally different other-regarding preferences: (i) a large share of inequality averse people, (ii) a somewhat smaller yet still large share of people with an altruistic concern for social welfare and the worse off, and (iii) a considerable minority of primarily selfish individuals. Controlling for a large number of determinants of support for redistribution, we document that inequality aversion and altruistic concerns play an important role for redistributive voting that is particularly pronounced for above-median income earners. However, the role of these motives differs depending on the nature of redistributive proposals. Inequality aversion has large and robust effects in plebiscites that demand income reductions for the rich, while altruistic concerns play no significant role in these plebiscites.
    Keywords: Social preferences, altruism, inequality aversion, preference heterogeneity, demand for redistribution
    JEL: D31 D72 H23 H24
    Date: 2020–01
  8. By: Solymosi, Reka; Petcu, Oana; Wilkinson, Jack
    Abstract: Police agencies globally are seeing an increase in reports of people going missing. These people are often vulnerable, and their safe and early return is a key factor in preventing them from coming to serious harm. One approach to quickly find missing people is to disseminate appeals for information using social media. Yet despite the popularity of twitter-based missing person appeals, presently little is known about how to best construct these messages to ensure they are shared far and wide. This paper aims to build an evidence-base for understanding how police accounts tweet appeals for information about missing persons, and how the public engage with these tweets by sharing them. We analyse 1,008 Tweets made by Greater Manchester Police between the period of 2011 and 2018 in order to investigate what features of the tweet, the twitter account, and the missing person are associated with levels of retweeting. We find that tweets with different choice of image, wording, sentiment, and hashtags vary in how much they are retweeted. Tweets that use custody images have lower retweets than Tweets with regular photos, while tweets asking the question “have you seen...?” and asking explicitly to be retweeted have more engagement in the form of retweets. These results highlight the need for conscientious, evidence-based crafting of missing appeals, and pave the way for further research into the causal mechanisms behind what affects engagement, to develop guidance for police forces worldwide.
    Date: 2020–01–27
  9. By: Langella, Monica; Manning, Alan
    Abstract: This article investigates the impact of ethnic diversity on individuals' satisfaction with their neighbourhoods. It uses panel data and a variety of empirical methods to control for potential endogeneity of diversity and of location choices. We find that a higher white share raises overall satisfaction with the neighbourhood in our (overwhelming white) sample, but has no significant impact on generalised trust or other commonly used measures of social capital. We suggest that part of the impact of diversity on overall neighbourhood satisfaction may be through an effect on fear of crime, though we find no effect on actual crime.
    Keywords: neighborhood satisfaction; social capital; diversity; deprivation; ES/M010341/1
    JEL: R1 Z10
    Date: 2019–11–01
  10. By: Alves, Guillermo; Blanchard, Pablo; Burdin, Gabriel; Chávez, Mariana; Dean, Andrés
    Abstract: A growing body of research has been investigating the role of management practices and managerial behaviour in conventional private firms and public sector organizations. However, little is known about managers’ behavioural profile in noninvestorowned firms. This paper aims to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive behavioural characterization of managers employed in cooperatives. We gathered incentive-compatible measures of risk preferences, time preferences, reciprocity, altruism, and trust from 196 Uruguayan managers (half of them employed in worker cooperatives) and 92 first-year undergraduate students. To do this, we conducted a high-stakes lab-in-thefield experiment in which participants played a series of online experimental games and made incentivised decisions.
    Keywords: Competitividad, Investigación socioeconómica, Liderazgo, Productividad,
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Knies, Gundi; Melo, Patricia C.; Zhang, Min
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of neighbourhood deprivation on individual subjective and objective wellbeing for England and Wales. Our identification strategy combines rich longitudinal information on individual characteristics, family background and initial job conditions with panel data estimators and sample restrictions, which address residential sorting bias and neighbourhood-specific confounding effects. Our findings suggest that the effect of neighbourhood deprivation on life satisfaction and wages is not a genuine causal effect, but largely explained by strong spatial sorting mechanisms. We also find that the results overall do not vary by the bespoke spatial scale used to operationalize neighbourhoods.
    Date: 2020–01–28
  12. By: Minoru Osawa; Jos\'e M. Gaspar
    Abstract: We consider an economic geography model with two inter-regional proximity structures, one due to trade linkages and the other due to social interactions. We investigate how the network structure of social interactions, or the social proximity structure, affects the timing of endogenous agglomeration and the spatial distribution of workers across regions. Endogenous agglomeration emerges when inter-regional trade and/or social interactions incur high transportation costs, and the uniform dispersion occurs when these costs become negligibly small (i.e., when distance dies). In many-region geography, the network structure of social proximity emerges as the determinant of the geographical distribution of workers when trade becomes freer. If social proximity is governed by geographical distance (as in ground transportation), a mono-centric concentration emerges. If geographically distant pairs of regions are ``socially close'' (due to, e.g., passenger transportation modes with strong distance economy such as regional airlines), then geographically multi-centric spatial distribution can be sustainable.
    Date: 2020–01

This nep-soc issue is ©2020 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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