nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2020‒02‒24
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Peer Networks and Entrepreneurship: A Pan-African RCT By Vega-Redondo, Fernando; Pin, Paolo; Ubfal, Diego; Benedetti-Fasil, Cristiana; Brummitt, Charles; Rubera, Gaia; Hovy, Dirk; Fornaciari, Tommaso
  2. “Us” and “Them”: Prosocial attitudes between refugees and host communities exposed to armed conflict: Experimental evidence from Northern Uganda By Adong, Annet; Kirui, Oliver Kiptoo; Achola, Jolly
  3. Civic legacies of wartime governance By Justino Patricia; Stojetz Wolfgang
  4. The Wage Premium of Communist Party Membership: Evidence from China By Wang, Hongjian; Nikolov, Plamen; Acker, Kevin
  5. Drivers of Cultural Participation of Immigrants: Evidence from an Italian Survey By Bertacchini, Enrico; Venturini, Alessandra; Zotti, Roberto
  6. Dynamic effects of enforcement on cooperation By Roberto Galbiati; Emeric Henry; Nicolas Jacquemet
  7. Social networks, role models, peer effects, and aspirations By Mani Anandi; Riley Emma
  8. Information and Social Norms: Experimental Evidence on the Labor Market Aspirations of Saudi Women By Monira Essa Aloud; Sara Al-Rashood; Ina Ganguli; Basit Zafar
  9. Trust in Government Institutions and Tax Morale By Antonios M. Koumpias; Gabriel Leonardo; Jorge Martinez-Vazquez
  10. Social embeddedness in stakeholder networks and legislators' policy preferences: The case of German livestock policy By Grunenberg, Michael; Henning, Christian H. C. A.
  11. Youth Employability and Peacebuilding in Post-conflict Côte d’Ivoire: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial By Assi JoseÌ Carlos Kimou; ZieÌ Ballo; Ismahel Abdoul Barry

  1. By: Vega-Redondo, Fernando (Universidad de Alicante); Pin, Paolo (Bocconi University); Ubfal, Diego (Bocconi University); Benedetti-Fasil, Cristiana (European University Institute); Brummitt, Charles (Harvard University); Rubera, Gaia (Bocconi University); Hovy, Dirk (Bocconi University); Fornaciari, Tommaso (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: Can large-scale peer interaction foster entrepreneurship and innovation? We conducted an RCT involving almost 5,000 entrepreneurs from 49 African countries. All were enrolled in an online business course, and the treatment involved random assignment to either face-to-face or virtual (Internet-mediated) interaction. We find positive treatment effects on both the submission of business plans and their quality, provided interaction displays some intermediate diversity. Network effects are also significant on both outcomes, although diversity plays a different role for each. This shows that effective peer interaction can be feasibly implemented quite broadly but must also be designed carefully, in view of the pursued objectives.
    Keywords: social networks, peer effects, entrepreneurship, innovation, semantic analysis
    JEL: C93 D04 D85 O12 O31 O35
    Date: 2019–12
  2. By: Adong, Annet; Kirui, Oliver Kiptoo; Achola, Jolly
    Abstract: We examine prosocial attitudes between refugees and host communities exposed to armed conflict and living in close proximity in Northern Uganda. By conducting trust and dictator games in the field, we test if there are in-group preferences or parochialism regarding trust, trustworthiness and altruism and whether parochial tendencies change with remoteness. We find that refugees show out-group preferences for reciprocating trust and altruism with increasing remoteness from district headquarters while members of the host communities show parochial preferences for trust although this changes with increasing remoteness. Refugees also do not perceive that their partners might expect them to discriminate along social identities of being refugee or host while hosts believe that their partners expect them to show parochial preferences. We conclude that refugees do not consider the social differentiation of “us refugees” and “them host” in their interactions as much as hosts do particularly in areas remote from urban areas which offer opportunities for increased interactions. The results are crucial to the policy arena in humanitarian contexts where concerns for the assistance of the vulnerable displaced people are high.
    Keywords: Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2020–02–17
  3. By: Justino Patricia; Stojetz Wolfgang
    Abstract: In conflict zones around the world, both state and non-state actors deliver governance at local levels. This paper explores the long-term impact of individual exposure to ‘wartime governance’ on social and political behaviour.We operationalize wartime governance as the local policy choices and practices of a ruling actor. Building on detailed ethnographic and historical insights, we use survey data and a natural experiment to show that involvement in wartime governance by armed groups makes Angolan war veterans more likely to participate in local collective action twelve years after the end of the war.This effect is underpinned by a social learning mechanism and a shift in political preferences, but has no bearing on political mobilization at the national level or social relations within the family. Our study documents an important institutional legacy of civil wars and exposes challenges and opportunities for bottom-up approaches to post-conflict state-building and local development.
    Keywords: local development,state-building,Civil conflict,Conflict,wartime governance
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Wang, Hongjian (State University of New York); Nikolov, Plamen (State University of New York); Acker, Kevin (The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and The Hopkins-Nanjing Center)
    Abstract: Social status and political connections may confer large economic benefits on an individual. Previous studies focused on China have examined the relationship between Communist Party membership and earnings and found a positive correlation. However, the correlation could be partly or totally spurious. Using data from three surveys spanning three decades, we estimate the causal effect of Chinese Communist Party membership on monthly earnings in China. We find that, on average, membership in the Communist Party of China increases monthly earnings and the wage premium has grown in recent years. We explore potential causes and discover evidence that improvements in social networks and social rank, acquisition of job-related qualifications, and greater life satisfaction likely play important roles in increased earnings.
    Keywords: wage premium, political status, China, Communist Party
    JEL: D31 J31 P2
    Date: 2019–12
  5. By: Bertacchini, Enrico; Venturini, Alessandra (University of Turin); Zotti, Roberto (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The paper aims to explore the drivers of immigrants' participation to cultural and leisure activities in host countries. First, we discuss how the main analytical approaches on cultural participation can be extended to incorporate factors specific to migrants' characteristics and behaviour, namely dimensions of proximity to the native population's culture and the level of integration in the host society. Secondly, we investigate migrants' propensity for consumption of cultural and leisure activities using data of a special national survey on Income and Living conditions (2011-2012) on foreign households in Italy. Italy represents an interesting case because it is a recent immigration country, making the analysis particularly suitable for studying the behaviour of first-generation immigrants. Our findings suggest that language proficiency, duration of stay and intention to remain in the host country significantly increase the probability to access various types of leisure and cultural activities. Interestingly, after controlling for standard individual predictors, several dimensions of an immigrant's cultural background and proximity with the culture of the host society still significantly explain variation in cultural participation rates, confirming that cultural differences play a role in migrants' cultural consumption choice.
    Keywords: cultural participation, migrants, cultural proximity, Italy
    JEL: Z11 J15 J61
    Date: 2019–12
  6. By: Roberto Galbiati (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Emeric Henry (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Nicolas Jacquemet (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: In situations where social payoffs are not aligned with private incentives, enforcement with fines can be a way to sustain cooperation. In this paper we show, by the means of a lab experiment , that past fines can have an effect on current behavior even when no longer in force. We document two mechanisms: a) past fines affect directly individuals' future propensity to cooperate; b) when fines for non cooperation are in place in the past, individuals experience higher levels of cooperation from partners and, consistent with indirect reciprocity motives, are in turn nicer towards others once these fines have been removed. This second mechanism is empirically prevalent and, in contrast with the first, induces a snowball effect of past enforcement. Our results can inform the design of costly enforcement policies.
    Keywords: experiments,Laws,social values,cooperation,learning,spillovers,persistence of institutions,repeated games
    Date: 2018–12
  7. By: Mani Anandi; Riley Emma
    Abstract: We review the literature on pathways through which social networks may influence social mobility in developing countries.We find that social networks support members in tangible waysâ۠via access to opportunities for migration, credit, trading relationships, information on jobs, and new technologiesâ۠as well as in intangible ways, such as shaping their beliefs, hopes, and aspirations, through role models and peers. Nevertheless, networks can disadvantage non-members, typically the poor and marginalized.Recent evidence suggests a range of policy tools that could help mitigate disadvantages faced by excluded groups: temporary incentives to encourage experimentation into new regions, occupations, or technologies, and role modelsâ۠real and virtualâ۠to mitigate psychosocial challenges faced by marginalized groups.Targeting large fractions of marginalized groups simultaneously could increase the effectiveness of such policies by leveraging the influence of existing social networks.
    Keywords: geographic labour mobility,Social networks,Migration,Behavioral economics,cultural economics,human resources
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Monira Essa Aloud; Sara Al-Rashood; Ina Ganguli; Basit Zafar
    Abstract: How important are social constraints and information gaps in explaining the low rates of female labor force participation (FLFP) in conservative societies that are undergoing social change? To answer this question, we conducted a field experiment embedded in a survey of female university students at a large public university in Saudi Arabia. We randomly provided one subset of individuals with information on the labor market and aspirations of their female peers (T1), while another subset was provided with this information along with a prime that made the role of parents and family more salient (T2). We find that expectations of working among those in the Control group are quite high, yet students underestimate the expected labor force attachment of their female peers. We show that information matters: relative to the Control group, expectations about own labor force participation are significantly higher in the T1 group. We find little evidence that dissemination of information is counteracted by local gender norms: impacts for the T2 group are significant and often larger than those for T1 group. However, T2 leads to higher expectations of working in Education - a sector that is socially more acceptable for women.
    JEL: D80 D83 J10 J20 Z10
    Date: 2020–01
  9. By: Antonios M. Koumpias (Department of Social Sciences, University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA); Gabriel Leonardo (International Center for Public Policy, Georgia State University, USA); Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (International Center for Public Policy, Georgia State University, USA)
    Abstract: What actions do governments around the world take that may affect individuals’ trust in the government that positively influence tax morale (or a positive attitude toward tax compliance)? This paper researches which are the most salient government institutions that breed individual trust and the extent to which this trust ends up increasing citizens’ tax morale. We use cross-country survey information from the World Values Survey and the Freedom House spanning 92 countries and six survey waves during the period 1981-2014. Conditional on the level of political rights and civil liberties, we confirm prior evidence that trust in government organizations positively influences tax morale. More importantly, our findings show that it is trust in output government organizations that implement and deliver public goods and services to the citizenry that has a significantly larger impact on tax morale as compared to citizens’ trust in input-side organizations, such as the legislative and the executive branches of the government that design policy. We also exploit periods of democratic transitions, when large variations in trust may be present, to assess the role of trust in government organizations for tax morale using a treatment effects model. Our results reveal a robust, positive impact of negative democratic transitions on tax morale.
    Date: 2020–02
  10. By: Grunenberg, Michael; Henning, Christian H. C. A.
    Abstract: In a world of increasing complexity, politicians have only limited information about the relationship of policies and the outcomes. They often make use of simplified heuristics, i.e. policy beliefs. Hence, an influence opportunity for interest groups occurs: informational lobbying. It complements classic lobbying strategies, e.g. vote buying or campaign spending. Providing expert knowledge allows interest groups to influence legislators towards the preferred policy position. Aside from so-called "approved votes", German parliamentarians generally follow parliamentary group's discipline. Thus, experts' role within parliamentary groups is crucial. They deal with key issues and represent the parliamentary group in the committees. Furthermore, they work out the group's positions on these specific issues. They are the starting point for interest groups to disseminate their information and hence influence the legislators' positions. An exemplary field of complexity is the agricultural sector. In particular, livestock production is challenged by questions of sustainability, i.e. public expectations towards animal welfare, producers and consumers' welfare as well as ecological consequences. Importance of animal welfare is demonstrated by the ongoing debate about piglet castration or husbandry system standards. This raises two questions: First, to what extend are stakeholders able to gain direct access to politicians? Second, how can they use this structure to influence policy decisions? Using a social network approach, we first investigate the structure of three networks: exchange of expert knowledge, political support and informal social ties. In particular, we put emphasis on the connection between parliamentary actors and other stakeholders from society, i.e. interest groups. This refers to the first question. Second, we apply a model of political exchange using information and lobbying networks. Following Henning et al. (2019), this model not only includes political exchange, but also belief updating. Moreover, it considers direct as well as indirect ties. This analysis step serves to answer the second question.
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Assi JoseÌ Carlos Kimou (UniversiteÌ FeÌ lix-Houphouët-Boigny); ZieÌ Ballo (UniversiteÌ FeÌ lix-Houphouët-Boigny); Ismahel Abdoul Barry (UniversiteÌ FeÌ lix-Houphouët-Boigny)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of alternative economic opportunities for the youth in consolidating positive peace. Using data from randomized control trial from a cash-for-work program for unskilled youngsters, with no opportunities in the labor market, we capture the causal effect of employment on social cohesion and trust in institutions in post-conflict Côte d'Ivoire. We estimate the short term and midterm impacts of the program from a sample of 4,160 youngsters randomly drawn including 3,125 beneficiaries and 1,035 in the control group in 16 municipalities nationwide. We also include in the analysis the prediction of youth behavior in favor of peace conditional to their participation in the program by running a LASSO model. In the short term, participation in the program decreases the odds to trust out-community youth by 29% and the odds to trust colleagues by 16%. In the long term, having a paid-job significantly increases the likelihood to attend community meeting by 20%, trust in family members by 17% and trust in colleagues by 25%. Further, participation in the program is found to significantly predict behavior to peace. Lastly, while training in entrepreneurship negatively predict social cohesion, training in paid-job positively predict attitude to peace.
    Keywords: Refugees, Randomized control trial, peacebuilding, youth employment, Côte d'Ivoire JEL Classification:
    Date: 2019–05

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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