nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2021‒03‒29
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Immigrant Next Door: Exposure, Prejudice, and Altruism By Leonardo Bursztyn; Thomas Chaney; Tarek Alexander Hassan; Aakaash Rao
  2. Family Ties and the Pandemic: Some Evidence from Sars-CoV-2 By Digialleonardo, Luca; Mare, Mauro; Motroni, Antonello; Porcelli, Francesco
  3. Learning about Farming: Innovation and Social Networks in a Resettled Community in Brazil By Margherita Comola; Carla Inguaggiato; Mariapia Mendola
  4. How Entry into Parenthood Shapes Gender Role Attitudes: New Evidence from Longitudinal UK Data By Elena Grinza; Francesco Devicienti; Mariacristina Rossi; Davide Vannoni
  5. Gender and Social Networks on Bank Boards By Ann L. Owen; Judit Temesvary; Andrew Wei
  6. Women’s Voice on Redistribution: from Gender Norms to Taxation By Monica Bozzano; Paola Profeta; Riccardo Puglisi; Simona Scabrosetti
  7. Power and the money, money and the power: A network analysis of donations from American corporate to political leaders. By James Rockey; Nadia Zakir
  8. Trauma Propagation in Social Networks By D, Sadish
  9. The effect of social distancing on the reach of an epidemic in social networks. By Gutin, Gregory; Hirano, Tomohiro; Hwang, Sung-Ha; Neary, Philip R; Toda, Alexis Akira
  10. Social interactions and the prophylaxis of SI epidemics on networks By Géraldine Bouveret; Antoine Mandel
  11. End the lockdown? Why restrictions are being lifted too fast for some and not fast enough for others By Diehl, Claudia; Wolter, Felix

  1. By: Leonardo Bursztyn; Thomas Chaney; Tarek Alexander Hassan; Aakaash Rao
    Abstract: We study how decades-long exposure to individuals of a given foreign descent shapes natives' attitudes and behavior toward that group, exploiting plausibly exogenous shocks to the ancestral composition of US counties. We combine several existing large-scale surveys, cross-county data on implicit prejudice, a newly-collected national survey, and individualized donations data from large charitable organizations. We first show that greater long-term exposure to Arab-Muslims: i) decreases both explicit and implicit prejudice against Arab-Muslims, ii) reduces support for policies and political candidates hostile toward Arab-Muslims, iii) increases charitable donations to Arab countries, iv) leads to more personal contact with Arab-Muslim individuals, and v) increases knowledge of Arab-Muslims and Islam in general. We then generalize our analysis, showing that exposure to any given foreign ancestry leads to more altruistic behavior toward that group.
    JEL: D83 D91 J15 P16 Z1
    Date: 2021–02
  2. By: Digialleonardo, Luca; Mare, Mauro; Motroni, Antonello; Porcelli, Francesco
    Abstract: This paper provides an empirical analysis of the relationship between the strength of family ties and the spread of Sars-CoV-2. The dataset is constructed for a cross-section of 63 countries combining different data sources, to cover seven dimensions: the spread of the virus, family ties, trust and religion, policies implemented to stop the outbreak, status of the economy, geography, demography. We observe a robust positive relationship between family ties and the contagion rate across the world; in particular, the attitude of parents towards the wellbeing for their children is the main force that drives the positive correlation with the contagion. Instead, the respect toward parents (the variable love-parents) seems to be a component of the family ties which negatively correlates with the diffusion of Sars-CoV-2, leading to the final quadratic relationship between the overall family ties strength and the spread of the virus. Moreover, as expected, we find a significant negative correlation between religion and trust and the number of infected people. As conclusive evidence, we observe that the death rate, as well as the recovery rate, are not affected by the strength of family ties and other social capital variables. What matters, in this case, are structural variables like GPD, number of hospital beds per capita, life expectance, median age and geographical location.
    Keywords: Keywords: Family Ties, Social Capital, Sars-CoV-2, Pandemic JEL classification: A13, I12, I18
    JEL: A12 I12 I18 Z12
    Date: 2021–03
  3. By: Margherita Comola (University Paris-Saclay and Paris School of Economics); Carla Inguaggiato (University of Bern, Centre for Development and Environment); Mariapia Mendola (University of Milano{Bicocca and IZA)
    Abstract: We study the role of social learning in the diffusion of cash crops in a resettled village economy in northeastern Brazil. We combine detailed geo-coded data on farming plots with dyadic data on social ties among settlers, and we leverage natural exogenous variation in network formation induced by the land occupation movement and the agrarian reform. By using longitudinal data on farming decisions over 15 years we find consistent evidence of significant peer effects in the decision to farm new cash fruits (pineapple and passion fruit). Our results suggest that social diffusion is heterogeneous along observed plot and crop characteristics, i.e. farmers growing water-sensitive crop are more likely to respond to the actions of peers with similar water access conditions.
    Keywords: Technology Adoption, Agrarian Reform, Social Networks, Peer Effects, Brazil
    JEL: C45 D85 J15 O33 Q15
    Date: 2021–02–09
  4. By: Elena Grinza; Francesco Devicienti; Mariacristina Rossi; Davide Vannoni
    Abstract: The attitudes of people about how paid and unpaid work should be divided between the members of a couple (gender role attitudes) determine the economic and social outcomes of women to a great extent. It is thus important to understand how the gender role attitudes of people are formed and evolve. In this paper, we concentrate on one of the most path breaking events in life: becoming a parent. Using rich longitudinal data from the UK and fixed-effects regressions, we first show that, in general, entry into parenthood significantly shifts the gender role attitudes of women toward more traditional positions, but leaves men unaffected. We then show that prenatal attitudes are crucial in driving the change in attitudes of new parents. We find a substantial traditionalization of gender role attitudes for new parents who had more progressive prenatal attitudes, with no distinction between the sexes. Conversely, no significant attitude change is observed for parents with more conservative prenatal attitudes after entering into parenthood. Novel moderating analyses also show that the traditionalization of attitudes for progressive individuals, after they become parents, becomes substantially stronger as the experience of (and exposure to) traditional postnatal arrangements in the division of paid and unpaid work increases.
    Keywords: Gender role attitudes, entry into parenthood, gender identity, cognitive dissonance, gendered institutions and gender stereotypes, Understanding Society data set.
    JEL: J16 J13 D02
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Ann L. Owen; Judit Temesvary; Andrew Wei
    Abstract: We examine the effect of the social networks of bank directors on board gender diversity and compensation using a unique, newly compiled dataset over the 1999-2018 period. We find that within-board social networks are extensive, but there are significant differences in the size and gender composition of social networks of male vs female bank directors. We also find that samegender networks play an important role in determining the gender composition of bank boards. Finally, we show that those connected to male directors receive higher compensation, but we find no evidence that connections to female directors are influential in determining pay and bonuses.
    Keywords: Bank boards; Social networks; Gender; Gender diversity
    JEL: G21 G34 J16
    Date: 2021–03–22
  6. By: Monica Bozzano (Università di Pavia); Paola Profeta (Università Bocconi, Axa Research Lab on Gender Equality, Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policies Università Bocconi); Riccardo Puglisi (Università di Pavia); Simona Scabrosetti (Università di Pavia, Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policies Università Bocconi)
    Abstract: Gender norms, i.e. the role of men and women in the society, are a fundamental channel through which culture may influence preferences for redistribution and public policies. We consider both cross-country and individual level evidence on this mechanism. We find that in countries that are historically more gender-equal the tax system today is more redistributive. At the individual level, we find that in more gender equal countries gender differences in redistributive preferences are significantly larger. This effect is driven by women becoming systematically more favorable to redistribution, while there are no significant changes for men. Interestingly, there is no gender-based difference in preferences for redistribution among left-leaning citizens, while this difference is significant among moderates in the expected direction: ideologically moderate women are more favorable to redistribution than moderate men, and this effect is even stronger among right-leaning individuals.
    Keywords: gender inequality, comparative public finance, tax mix, institutions, historical origins
    JEL: H10 H20 N30 Z18
    Date: 2021–03
  7. By: James Rockey (University of Birmingham); Nadia Zakir (University of Leicester)
    Abstract: American corporate and political elites are connected by the donations that the latter receive from the former. Using a novel dataset, this paper analyzes these connections as a social network. This analysis uncovers the changing structure of this network, and thus of the changing nature of money in US politics. In particular, beyond the well understood increase in the scale of donations, we document how donation patterns have become more polarized and more concentrated. We show that the determinants of this network's structure have remained broadly constant over time. Donors associated with the same firm or industry are substantially more likely to donate to the same candidates in all the elections we study. Likewise, politicians serving on the same congressional committees have been consistently more likely to receive campaign funds from the same donors. Yet, there has been a transformation in the concentration of donations on a small number of donors and recipients connected with a small number of committees and a small number of industries. This concentration is reflected in substantial increases in the power (centrality) of the most important donors and politicians.
    Keywords: Donations, Campaign Contributions, Networks
    JEL: D72 L14
    Date: 2021–03
  8. By: D, Sadish
    Abstract: I present evidence that rises in the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic in one location increased internet searches indicative of mental disorders in another location that is spatially separated but socially connected.
    Keywords: Mental Health, Social Networks, Covid-19
    JEL: I1
    Date: 2021–03–07
  9. By: Gutin, Gregory; Hirano, Tomohiro; Hwang, Sung-Ha; Neary, Philip R; Toda, Alexis Akira
    Abstract: How does social distancing affect the reach of an epidemic in social networks? We present Monte Carlo simulation results of a susceptible-infected-removed with social distancing model. The key feature of the model is that individuals are limited in the number of acquaintances that they can interact with, thereby constraining disease transmission to an infectious subnetwork of the original social network. While increased social distancing typically reduces the spread of an infectious disease, the magnitude varies greatly depending on the topology of the network, indicating the need for policies that are network dependent. Our results also reveal the importance of coordinating policies at the 'global' level. In particular, the public health benefits from social distancing to a group (e.g. a country) may be completely undone if that group maintains connections with outside groups that are not following suit.
    Keywords: BA scale-free networks, Infectious subnetwork, SIRwSD model, Social distancing, WS small-world networks, q-bio.PE, physics.soc-ph, Fluids & Plasmas, Applied Economics
    Date: 2021–03–03
  10. By: Géraldine Bouveret (NTU - Nanayang Technological University - Nanayang Technological University); Antoine Mandel (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We investigate the containment of epidemic spreading in networks from a normative point of view. We consider a susceptible/infected model in which agents can invest in order to reduce the contagiousness of network links. In this setting, we study the relationships between social efficiency, individual behaviours and network structure. First, we characterise individual and socially efficient behaviour using the notions of communicability and exponential centrality. Second, we show, by computing the Price of Anarchy, that the level of inefficiency can scale up to linearly with the number of agents. Third, we prove that policies of uniform reduction of interactions satisfy some optimality conditions in a vast range of networks. In setting where no central authority can enforce such stringent policies, we consider as a type of second-best policy the implementation of cooperation frameworks that allow agents to subsidise prophylactic investments in the global rather than in the local network. We then characterise the scope for Pareto improvement opened by such policies through a notion of Price of Autarky, measuring the ratio between social welfare at a global and a local equilibrium. Overall, our results show that individual behaviours can be extremely inefficient in the face of epidemic propagation but that policy can take advantage of the network structure to design welfare improving containment policies.
    Keywords: Network,Price of Anarchy,Epidemic Spreading,Public Good
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Diehl, Claudia; Wolter, Felix
    Abstract: Trust matters more than self-interest: That is the result of an online survey we conducted among roughly 4,800 participants in April and May 2020. Individual attitudes towards easing restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic are not primarily shaped by whether people fear economic or family-related consequences for themselves or for society. Rather, it is perceived infringements on basic rights that motivate respondents to demand that restrictions be lifted. Respondents from East Germany and those who tend not to trust public institutions in the first place are especially critical of the containment measures. The discussion about easing restrictions, therefore, is not so much about the varying degrees to which individuals are affected, but rather about the degree of trust in public institutions generally.
    Date: 2020

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