nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2020‒04‒13
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Bowling with Trump: Economic Anxiety, Racial Identification, and Well-Being in the 2016 Presidential Election By Fabian, Mark; Breunig, Robert; De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel
  2. Terrorism, Political Opinions, and Election Outcomes: Evidence from Europe By Peri, Giovanni; Rees, Daniel I.; Smith, Brock
  3. Distance in Bank Lending: The Role of Social Networks By Oliver Rehbein; Simon Rother
  4. Economic, pro-social and pro-environmental factors influencing participation in an incentive-based conservation program in Bolivia By Manon Authelet; Julie Subervie; Patrick Meyfroidt; Niguel Asquith; Driss Ezzine-de Blas
  5. The Benefits of Adult Learning: Work-Related Training, Social Capital, and Earnings By Jens Ruhose; Stephan L. Thomsen; Insa Weilage
  6. Norm Compliance in an Uncertain World By Toke Fosgaard; Lars Gårn Hansen; Erik Wengström
  7. The Legacy of the Missing Men The Long-Run Impact of World War I on Female Labor Force Participation By Victor Gay
  8. Labor Force Participation of Married Female Immigrants: Evidence from a Low Female-LFPR Host Country By LIU Yang; HAGIWARA Risa
  9. Calling from the outside: The role of networks in residential mobility By Konstantin Büchel; Maximilian V. Ehrlich; Diego Puga; Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal
  10. Do Workers Discriminate against Their Out-group Employers? Evidence from the Gig Economy By Asad, Sher Afghan; Banerjee, Ritwik; Bhattacharya, Joydeep
  11. Culture and Gender Allocation of Tasks: Source Country Characteristics and the Division of Non-Market Work among US Immigrants By Francine D. Blau; Lawrence M. Kahn; Matthew Comey; Amanda Eng; Pamela Meyerhofer; Alexander Willén

  1. By: Fabian, Mark (Brookings Institution); Breunig, Robert (Australian National University); De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: We use well-being data from the Gallup Daily Poll and a measure of racial animus derived from Google search data to explain why racial identification became politically salient in the 2016 Presidential Election. We find that the oft-observed positive relationship between racial animus and Trump's vote share is eliminated by introducing an interaction between racial animus and a measure of the basic psychological need for relatedness. We also find that rates of worry have a strong and significant positive association with Trump's vote share, but this is offset by high levels of relatedness. Together, these two results imply that racial voting behavior in 2016 was driven by a desire for in-group affiliation as a way of buffering against economic and cultural anxiety. Such behavior is well established in laboratory studies in self-determination theory and worldview defense theory. We find no effect on Trump's performance from social capital or exposure to trade shocks. This suggests that the economic roots of Trump's success may be overstated and that the need for relatedness is a key underlying driver of contemporary political trends in the US.
    Keywords: well-being, voting, racialized economics, nativism, Trump
    JEL: D72 F1 I0 I3 P16
    Date: 2020–02
  2. By: Peri, Giovanni (University of California, Davis); Rees, Daniel I. (University of Colorado Denver); Smith, Brock (Montana State University)
    Abstract: There is surprisingly little evidence on how terror attacks impact elections. With only a few exceptions, previous studies in this literature have focused on a particular country or attack, limiting their generalizability. Ours is the first comprehensive, multi-country examination of the effects of terror attacks on political opinions and election outcomes. The results provide little evidence that terror attacks are systematically related to Europeans' attitudes towards immigrants and how much trust they have in government. International terror attacks are, however, associated with an increase in the vote share received by nationalistic parties in Europe. These results are relevant to the ongoing debate among academics over the effectiveness of terror attacks.
    Keywords: terrorism, elections, nationalism, terror attack
    JEL: D72 D74
    Date: 2020–03
  3. By: Oliver Rehbein; Simon Rother
    Abstract: This paper provides empirical evidence that banks leverage social connections as an information channel. Using county-to-county friendship-link data from Facebook, we find that strong social ties increase loan volumes, especially if screening incentives are large. This effect is distinct from physical and cultural distances. Physical distance becomes significantly less relevant when accounting for social connections. Moreover, sufficiently strong social ties prevent cultural differences from constituting a lending barrier. The effect of social connectedness is more supply-side driven for small banks but demand-side driven for large banks. To bolster identification, we exploit highway connections, historical travel costs, and the quasi-random staggered introduction of Facebook as instruments. Our results reveal the important role of social connectedness as an information channel, speak to the nature of borrowing constraints, and point toward implications for bank-lending strategies and anti-trust policies.
    Keywords: bank lending, social networks, information frictions, culture, distance
    JEL: D82 D83 G21 O16 L14 Z13
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Manon Authelet (Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech [Gembloux] - Université de Liège); Julie Subervie (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Patrick Meyfroidt (ELI - Earth and Life Institute [Louvain-La-Neuve] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain); Niguel Asquith (John F. Kennedy School of Government - Harvard University [Cambridge]); Driss Ezzine-de Blas (Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement)
    Abstract: The effectiveness of incentive-based conservation programs depends on how they influence and interact with multiple motivations of the participants. Here, we studied an incentive-based program for forest conservation in Bolivia – called "Reciprocal Water Agreements" – that mixes material compensations with pro-social and pro-environmental motivations as a way to reduce crowding-out of intrinsic motivations and to increase participation. Based on a sample of 424 households who were offered the program, we analysed econometrically the households' characteristics that influenced (i) the probability of participation in the program, (ii) the intensity of the participation, measured as the area allocated in the agreement, and (iii) the modality of participation, measured as the probability of participation in the different types of agreements. We found that economic factors favoured participation of better-off households owning property titles, more forested land with lower conservation opportunity cost, more agricultural tools and access to off-farm income. In addition, both pro-social factors – a deeper or older integration into social networks, and greater compliance to social norms of reciprocity, but also weaker institutional trust – as well as pro-environmental factors – including awareness of environmental problems, greater knowledge about solutions to environmental problems and a perceived positive balance of gains and losses in ecosystem services – also influenced positively the probability of participation and the area involved in the program. Finally, we found that participation into more restrictive agreements was enabled by a stronger sense of individual responsibility towards environmental problems and a weaker perceived control over environmental behaviours. Our results highlight the factors that could increase uptake and factors on which the program might focus in order to have a greater impact on pro-environmental behaviours. They also suggest that incentive-based program can be designed to take advantage of pro-social and pro-environmental motivations as strongly as of economic ones.
    Keywords: Motivations,participation,incentive-based conservation program,forest conservation,South America,Bolivia.
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Jens Ruhose; Stephan L. Thomsen; Insa Weilage
    Abstract: We propose a regression-adjusted matched difference-in-differences framework to estimate pecuniary and non-pecuniary returns to adult education. This approach combines kernel matching with entropy balancing to account for selection bias and sorting on gains. Using data from the German SOEP, we evaluate the effect of work-related training, which represents the largest portion of adult education in OECD countries, on individual social capital and earnings. As the related literature, we estimate positive monetary returns to work-related training. In addition, training participation increases participation in civic, political, and cultural activities while not crowding out social participation. Results are robust against a variety of potentially confounding explanations. These findings imply positive externalities from work-related training over and above the well-documented labor market effects.
    Keywords: social capital, earnings, work-related training, matched difference-in-differences approach, entropy balancing
    JEL: J24 I21 M53
    Date: 2019–04
  6. By: Toke Fosgaard (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Lars Gårn Hansen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Erik Wengström (Department of Economics, Lund University; Department of Finance and Economics, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki)
    Abstract: In many situations, social norms govern behavior. While the existence of a norm may be clear to someone entering the situation, it is often less clear precisely what behavior is required in order to comply with the norm. We investigate how people react to uncertainty about the prevailing norm using a modified version of the dictator game. Since the behavioral effects of social norms are tightly linked to the degree of anonymity in a situation, we also vary the extent to which subjects’ behavior is observable. We find that when behavior is anonymous, uncertainty about which norm guides partners reduces aggregate norm compliance. However, when others can observe behavior, introducing a small degree of norm uncertainty increases aggregate norm compliance. This implies that norm uncertainty may actually facilitate interaction as long as behavior is observable and uncertainty is sufficiently small. We also document that reactions to norm uncertainty are heterogeneous with one group of people reacting to norm uncertainty by increasing compliance (over-compliers), while another group reacts by reducing compliance (under-compliers). The main effect of increased observability operates through the intensive margin of the under-compliers; they reduce their negative reaction to norm uncertainty when their actions become more visible.
    Keywords: Social norms, Uncertainty, Audience
    JEL: C92 D9
    Date: 2020–03
  7. By: Victor Gay (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, IAST - Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse)
    Abstract: This paper explores the pathways that underlie the diffusion of women's participation in the labor force across generations. I exploit a severe exoge-nous shock to the sex ratio, World War I in France, which generated a large inflow of women in the labor force after the war. I show that this shock to female labor transmitted to subsequent generations until today. Three mechanisms of intergenerational transmission account for this result: parental transmission, transmission through marriage, and transmission through local social interactions. Beyond behaviors, the war also permanently altered beliefs toward the role of women in the labor force. (JEL J16, J22, N34, Z13)
    Keywords: Social norm,Military fatalities,Female labor force participation,Female labor supply,Intergenerational transmission,World War I,Gender norms,Economic History,Culture
    Date: 2019–04
  8. By: LIU Yang; HAGIWARA Risa
    Abstract: The study provides novel evidence regarding labor force participation rate (LFPR) of married female immigrants, by examining immigrants who live in a comparatively low female-LFPR host country (Japan), which differs from previous studies which concentrated on immigrants in comparatively high female-LFPR host countries. First, the results indicate an important role of source-country culture in determining their labor participation rate. In particular, the two widely used proxies of culture, namely country-average social attitudes and LFPRs in source countries, significantly affect the LFPR of female immigrants who have lived in Japan for five years or more. Furthermore, both wife's and husband's source-country culture have significant estimated effects on LFPR, with larger estimates for the wife's than the husband's). This not only supports previous findings on wife's culture in high female LFPR host countries, but also provides new evidence on the effect from the husband's source-country culture. Other significant influences on LFPR of long-term female migrants include education, husband's education level and employment, having young children, living with 85- year- or- older family members, which are consistent with the theoretical model of labor supply. Second, controlling for individual characteristics, the study finds that female immigrants' LFPR does not decrease compared with their first few years in Japan, even though Japan has a lower female LFPR than their source countries. On the contrary, their LFPRs tend to increase above the levels of their first few years in the country. The study explains it as a larger positive effect from economic assimilation (i.e., adapting to economic opportunities and local labor markets), than the typical negative effect from cultural assimilation (i.e., influenced by negative attitudes towards women's work in the host country).
    Date: 2020–03
  9. By: Konstantin Büchel (University of Bern); Maximilian V. Ehrlich (University of Bern); Diego Puga (CEMFI, Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros); Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Using anonymised cellphone data, we study the role of social networks in residential mobility decisions. Individuals with few local contacts are more likely to change residence. Movers strongly prefer places with more of their contacts closeby. Contacts matter because proximity to them is itself valuable and increases the enjoyment of attractive locations. They also provide hard-to-find local information and reduce frictions, especially in home-search. Local contacts who left recently or are more central are particularly influential. As people age, proximity to family gains importance relative to friends.
    Keywords: Social networks, residential mobility.
    JEL: R23 L14
    Date: 2019–03
  10. By: Asad, Sher Afghan (Iowa State University); Banerjee, Ritwik (Indian Institute of Management); Bhattacharya, Joydeep (Iowa State University)
    Abstract: We study possible worker-to-employer discrimination manifested via social preferences in an online labor market. Specifically, we ask, do workers exhibit positive social preferences for an out-race employer relative to an otherwise-identical, own-race one? We run a well-powered, model-based experiment wherein we recruit 6,000 workers from Amazon's M-Turk platform for a real-effort task and randomly (and unobtrusively) reveal to them the racial identity of their non-fictitious employer. Strikingly, we find strong evidence of race-based altruism – white workers, even when they do not benefit personally, work relatively harder to generate more income for black employers. Self-declared white Republicans and Independents exhibit significantly more altruism relative to Democrats. Notably, the altruism does not seem to be driven by race-specific beliefs about the income status of the employers. Our results suggest the possibility that pro-social behavior of whites toward blacks, atypical in traditional labor markets, may emerge in the gig economy where associative (dis)taste is naturally muted due to limited social contact.
    Keywords: discrimination, worker-to-employer, social preferences, taste-based discrimination, Gig Economy, mechanical turk, Structural Behavioral Economics
    JEL: J71 D91 C93
    Date: 2020–02
  11. By: Francine D. Blau; Lawrence M. Kahn; Matthew Comey; Amanda Eng; Pamela Meyerhofer; Alexander Willén
    Abstract: There is a well-known gender difference in time allocation within the household, which has important implications for gender differences in labor market outcomes. We ask how malleable this gender difference in time allocation is to culture. In particular, we ask if US immigrants allocate tasks differently depending upon the characteristics of the source countries from which they emigrated. Using data from the 2003-2017 waves of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), we find that first-generation immigrants, both women and men, from source countries with more gender equality (as measured by the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index) allocate tasks more equally, while those from less gender equal source countries allocate tasks more traditionally. These results are robust to controls for immigration cohort, years since migration, and other own and spouse characteristics. There is also some indication of an effect of parent source country gender equality for second-generation immigrants, particularly for second-generation men with children. Our findings suggest that broader cultural factors do influence the gender division of labor in the household.
    Keywords: Housework, childcare, gender, immigration, time allocation
    JEL: J13 J15 J16 J22
    Date: 2020

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