nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2021‒02‒15
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Changes in Social Network Structure in Response to Exposure to Formal Credit Markets By Abhijit Banerjee; Emily Breza; Arun G. Chandrasekhar; Esther Duflo; Matthew O. Jackson; Cynthia Kinnan
  2. The Family Origin of the Math Gender Gap Is a White Affluent Phenomenon By Dossi, Gaia; Figlio, David N.; Giuliano, Paola; Sapienza, Paola
  3. Good news for whom? The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine announcement reduced political trust By Heap, Shaun P. Hargreaves; Koop, Christel; Matakos, Konstantinos; Unan, Asli; Weber, Nina Sophie
  4. Intergenerational Transmission of Culture among Immigrants: Gender Gap in Education among First and Second Generations By NoghaniBehambari, Hamid; Tavassoli, Nahid; noghani, farzaneh
  5. No inventor is an island: social connectedness and the geography of knowledge flows in the US By Diemer, Andreas; Regan, Tanner
  6. Socio-Economic Attitudes in the Era of Social Distancing and Lockdowns By Kerim Peren Arin; Juan A. Lacomba; Francisco Lagos; Ana I. Moro-Egido; Marcel Thum
  7. Online Salience and Charitable Giving: Evidence from SMS Donations By Perroni, Carlo; Scharf, Kimberley; Talavera, Oleksandr; Vi, Linh
  8. Can Digitalization Help Deter Corruption in Africa? By Rasmané Ouedraogo; Amadou N Sy
  9. In a Class of Their Own: Using Cultural Capital to Win Jurisdiction By Ranganathan, Aruna; Hurwitz, Joshuamorris

  1. By: Abhijit Banerjee; Emily Breza; Arun G. Chandrasekhar; Esther Duflo; Matthew O. Jackson; Cynthia Kinnan
    Abstract: Formal financial institutions can have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts on informal lending and information networks. We first study 75 villages in Karnataka, 43 of which were exposed to microfinance after we first collected detailed network data. Networks shrink more in exposed villages. Links between households that were unlikely to ever borrow from microfinance are at least as likely to disappear as links involving likely borrowers. We replicate these surprising findings in the context of a randomized controlled trial in Hyderabad, where a microfinance institution randomly selected neighborhoods to enter first. Four years after all neighborhoods were treated, households in early-entry neighborhoods had credit access longer and had larger loans. We again find fewer social relationships between households in early-entry neighborhoods, even among those ex-ante unlikely to borrow. Because the results suggest global spillovers, which are inconsistent with standard models of network formation, we develop a new dynamic model of network formation that emphasizes chance meetings, where efforts to socialize generate a global network-level externality. Finally, we analyze informal borrowing and the sensitivity of consumption to income fluctuations. Households unlikely to take up microcredit suffer the greatest loss of informal borrowing and risk sharing, underscoring the global nature of the externality.
    JEL: D13 D85 L14 O12 Z13
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Dossi, Gaia (London School of Economics); Figlio, David N. (Northwestern University); Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Sapienza, Paola (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: Previous research has shown that norms around the role of women in society could help explain the gender gap in mathematics and that these norms could be transmitted within the family. Using data from the Florida Department of Education combined with birth certificates we uncover important heterogeneity in the transmission of gender biases within the family. We find that gender role norms can explain the lower performance of girls in mathematics only in relatively affluent White families, whereas they do not apparently matter for the performance of Black girls.
    Keywords: gender gap in mathematics, cultural transmission
    JEL: A13 I20 J16 Z1
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Heap, Shaun P. Hargreaves; Koop, Christel; Matakos, Konstantinos; Unan, Asli; Weber, Nina Sophie
    Abstract: The announcement of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine success on 9 November 2020 led to a global stock market surge. But how did the general public respond to such good news? We report results of a nation-wide natural experiment in the US and the UK on how the vaccine news influenced citizens' government evaluations, anxiety, beliefs and elicited behaviors. While most outcomes were unaffected by the news, trust in government and elected politicians (and their competency) saw a significant decline in both countries. As the news did not concern the government, and the government did not have time to act on the news, our results suggest a dispositional response to positive news more likely to be explained by a form of the psychological mechanism of motivated reasoning. They also offer a novel insight regarding the association between trust in government and compliance with its policies: anxiety might explain both.
    Date: 2021–01–19
  4. By: NoghaniBehambari, Hamid; Tavassoli, Nahid; noghani, farzaneh
    Abstract: This paper illustrates the intergenerational transmission of the gender gap in education among first and second-generation immigrants. Using the Current Population Survey (1994-2018), we find that the difference in female-male education persists from the home country to the new environment. A one standard deviation increase of the ancestral country’s female-male difference in schooling is associated with 17.2% and 2.5% of a standard deviation increase in the gender gap among first and second generations, respectively. Since gender perspective in education uncovers a new channel for cultural transmission among families, we interpret the findings as evidence of cultural persistence among first generations and partial cultural assimilation of second generations. Moreover, Disaggregation into country-groups reveals different paths for this transmission: descendants of immigrants of lower-income countries show fewer attachments to the gender opinions of their home country. Average local education of natives can facilitate the acculturation process. Immigrants residing in states with higher education reveal a lower tendency to follow their home country attitudes regarding the gender gap.
    Keywords: Gender Gap, Immigration, Human Capital, Education, Assimilation
    JEL: I2 J15 J16 Z13
    Date: 2020–12–31
  5. By: Diemer, Andreas; Regan, Tanner
    Abstract: Do informal social ties connecting inventors across distant places promote knowledge flows between them? To measure informal ties, we use a new and direct index of social connectedness of regions based on aggregate Facebook friendships. We use a well-established identification strategy that relies on matching inventor citations with citations from examiners. Moreover, we isolate the specific effect of informal connections, above and beyond formal professional ties (co-inventor networks) and geographic proximity. We identify a significant and robust effect of informal ties on patent citation. Further, we find that the effect of geographic proximity on knowledge flows is entirely explained by informal social ties and professional networks. We also show that the effect of informal social ties on knowledge flows: has become increasingly important over the last two decades, is higher for older or `forgotten' patents, is more important for
    Keywords: knowledge flows; diffusion; social connectedness; informal networks
    JEL: O33 R12 Z13
    Date: 2020–11
  6. By: Kerim Peren Arin; Juan A. Lacomba; Francisco Lagos; Ana I. Moro-Egido; Marcel Thum
    Abstract: We examine the impact of the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide movement restrictions on socio-economic attitudes in four European countries (France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom). We conducted large-scale surveys while the pandemic rapidly spread before and after nationwide lockdowns were implemented. We investigate the impact in three different categories of attitudes: i) economic perceptions (economic insecurity and views on globalization); ii) political attitudes (trust in domestic and international institutions, populism and immigration); and iii) social aspects (authoritarianism and loneliness). We find that overall, the pandemic/social-distancing, but not the lockdowns, has increased economic insecurity, loneliness, and acceptance of authoritarianism while decreasing support for globalization. On the bright side, there is a sensible increase in trust in domestic institutions. We also document that the pandemic had heterogeneous and disproportional effects both at the country level and at the demographic group level. In terms of societal groups, our results suggest that the aggregate results are mostly driven by a number of groups, most notably women, families with children, and the labor force.
    Keywords: lockdown, Covid-19, Europe, economic insecurity, globalization, trust, populism, authoritarianism, social loneliness
    JEL: D70 H11 H12 H41 I18
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Perroni, Carlo (University of Warwick); Scharf, Kimberley (University of Birmingham and CEPR); Talavera, Oleksandr (University of Birmingham); Vi, Linh (University of Birmingham)
    Abstract: We explore the link between online attention and charitable donations. Using a unique dataset on phone text donations that includes detailed information on the timing of cash gifts to charities, we link donations to time variation online searches for words that appear in those charities’ mission statements. The results suggest that an increase in the online salience to donors of the activities pursued by different charities affects the number and volume of donations made to those charities and to charities that pursue different goals. We uncover evidence of positive own salience effects and negative cross salience effects on donations.
    Keywords: Charitable Donations, Online Search, News Shocks JEL Classification: H41, D12, D64
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Rasmané Ouedraogo; Amadou N Sy
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of digitalization on the perception of corruption and trust in tax officials in Africa. Using individual-level data from Afrobarometer surveys and several indices of digitalization, we find that an increase in digital adoption is associated with a reduction in the perception of corruption and an increase in trust in tax officials. Exploiting the exogeneous deployment of submarine cables at the local level, the paper provides evidence of a negative impact of the use of Internet on the perception of corruption. Yet, the paper shows that the dampening effect of digitalization on corruption is hindered in countries where the government has a pattern of intentionally shutting down the Internet, while countries that successfully promote information and communication technology (ICT) enjoy a more amplified effect.
    Keywords: Corruption;Digitalization;Public employment;Public financial management (PFM);Education;WP,tax official,online service,intentional disruption,DAI government,government action,simple average
    Date: 2020–05–29
  9. By: Ranganathan, Aruna (Stanford U); Hurwitz, Joshuamorris (Stanford U)
    Abstract: A central project for occupational groups is acquiring and defending jurisdiction; scholars have investigated abstract knowledge, material resources, and social connections as channels by which this is accomplished. We propose a new mechanism, cultural capital, for winning jurisdiction, and delineate a process model that shows how it is used in each of the critical stages: searching for new opportunities, acquiring support of external audiences like customers, and convincing incumbents to relinquish their hold on tasks. We demonstrate this process, and the role of cultural capital within it, with an ethnography of a craft cluster in India where jurisdiction shifted from indigenous artisans to outsider designers. In this cluster, possession of theory, money, and friends were insufficient to accomplish the observed jurisdictional transfer. Instead, this phenomenon is best explained by differentials in cultural capital between the jurisdictional challengers and the incumbent craftsmen. By focusing the cultural repertoires associated with the class backgrounds prevalent within an occupational group, we reinvigorate the study of class while presenting an under-explored source of occupational power for winning jurisdiction, which may provide additional analytical leverage over existing mechanisms.
    Date: 2020–08

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