nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2021‒12‒06
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Social Capital and Monetary Policy By Rustam Jamilov
  2. PeCan relief measures nudge compliance in a public health crisis? Evidence from a kinked fiscal policy rule By Claudio Deiana; Andrea Geraci; Gianluca Mazzarella; Fabio Sabatini
  3. Experts vs. policymakers in the COVID-19 policy response By Angelo Antoci; Valentina Rotondi; Fabio Sabatini; Pier Luigi Sacco; Mauro Sodini
  4. Migration and Cultural Change By Rapoport, Hillel; Sardoschau, Sulin; Silve, Arthur
  5. What Determines Social Distancing? Evidence from Advanced and Emerging Market Economies By Frederico Lima; Hibah Khan; Ms. Era Dabla-Norris
  6. Social incentive factors in interventions promoting sustainable behaviors: A meta-analysis By Phu Nguyen Van; Anne Stenger; Tuyen Tiet
  7. Religious Practice and Student Performance: Evidence from Ramadan Fasting By Hornung, Erik; Schwerdt, Guido; Strazzeri, Maurizio
  8. Resilience, Social Capital, Active Citizenship and Subjective Wellbeing: the Contribution of Generativity By Leonardo Becchetti; Gianluigi Conzo
  9. When Face Masks Signal Social Identity: Explaining the Deep Face-Mask Divide during the COVID-19 Pandemic By Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Riyanto, Yohanes E.; Wong, Erwin; Yeo, Jonathan; Chan, Qi Yu

  1. By: Rustam Jamilov
    Abstract: This paper studies the social capital channel of monetary non-neutrality in the United States. Empirically, identification is achieved by combining state-level local projections and high-frequency monetary surprises with survey data on trust, historical accounts of slavery from the 1860 Census, and the Trump vote. I find that states with high social capital - as measured by high trust towards institutions, low slavery intensity, or low Trump vote - are more responsive to monetary policy shocks. Theoretically, I embed a micro-founded circle of trust block into the New Keynesian model in continuous time. Equilibrium reduces to a four-equation NK model with distrust dampening the potency of monetary policy shocks, like in the data, and reducing the possibility of determinate equilibria. The framework also formalizes an equilibrium interaction between social capital, monetary policy and populism cycles - an exogenous decline in institutional trust boosts scepticism and weakens monetary policy.
    Keywords: Social capital, trust, monetary policy, central banking, macroeconomics, populism
    Date: 2021–10–22
  2. By: Claudio Deiana; Andrea Geraci; Gianluca Mazzarella; Fabio Sabatini
    Abstract: We show that compensation measures aimed at improving the fairness of the pandemic policy response can unintendedly nudge compliance with restrictive orders. We combine information on the distribution of resources with data tracking citizens' movements through mobile devices and navigation systems across Italian municipalities. To assess the impact of relief measures on compliance, we exploit a sharp kink schedule in the allocation of funds. The empirical analysis provides evidence that mobility decreased with transfers, suggesting that the observance of emergency rules also depends on the fairness of the pandemic policy response.
    Keywords: Compliance; Mobility; Social capital; COVID-19 policy response; Stay-at home orders; Lockdown; Regression Kink Design
    JEL: D60 H30 I38
    Date: 2021–11
  3. By: Angelo Antoci; Valentina Rotondi; Fabio Sabatini; Pier Luigi Sacco; Mauro Sodini
    Abstract: We build an evolutionary game-theoretic model of the interaction between policymakers and experts in shaping the policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Players' decisions concern two alternative strategies of pandemic management: a "hard" approach, enforcing potentially unpopular measures such as strict confinement orders, and a "soft" approach, based upon voluntary and short-lasting social distancing. Policymakers' decisions may also rely upon expert advice. Unlike experts, policymakers are sensitive to a public consensus incentive that makes lifting restrictions as soon as possible especially desirable. This incentive may conflict with the overall goal of mitigating the effects of the pandemic, leading to a typical policy dilemma. We show that the selection of strategies may be path-dependent, as their initial distribution is a crucial driver of players’ choices. Contingent on cultural factors and the epidemiological conditions, steady states in which both types of players unanimously endorse the strict strategy can coexist with others where experts and policymakers agree on the soft strategy, depending on the initial conditions. The model can also lead to attractive asymmetric equilibria where experts and policymakers endorse different strategies resulting in cyclical dynamics. This multiplicity of equilibria can explain the coexistence of contrasting pandemic countermeasures observed across countries in the first wave of the outbreak. Our results suggest that cross-country differences in the COVID-19 policy response need not be the effect of poor decision making. Instead, they can endogenously result from the interplay between policymakers and experts incentives under the local social, cultural and epidemiological conditions.
    Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Lockdown; Culture; Evolutionary game theory
    JEL: C73 H12 I18 Z10
    Date: 2021–11
  4. By: Rapoport, Hillel (Paris School of Economics); Sardoschau, Sulin (Humboldt University Berlin); Silve, Arthur (Université Laval)
    Abstract: We propose a novel perspective on migration and cultural change by asking both theoretically and empirically – and from a global viewpoint – whether migration is a source of cultural convergence or divergence between home and host countries. Our theoretical model derives distinctive testable predictions as to the sign and direction ofconvergence for various compositional and cultural diffusion mechanisms. We use the World Value Survey for 1981-2014 to build time-varying measures of cultural similarity for a large number of country pairs and exploit within country-pair variation over time. Our results support migration-based cultural convergence, with cultural remittances as its main driver. In other words and in contrast to the populist narrative, we find that while immigrants do act as vectors of cultural diffusion, this is mostly to export the host country culture back home.
    Keywords: migration, cultural change, globalization
    JEL: F22 O15 Z10
    Date: 2021–10
  5. By: Frederico Lima; Hibah Khan; Ms. Era Dabla-Norris
    Abstract: The health and economic consequences of COVID-19 are closely tied to individual compliance with recommended protective behaviors. We examine the determinants of this compliance using survey data from the COVID Behavior Tracker for 29 advanced and emerging market economies between March and December 2020. Social distancing behaviors vary significantly by age, gender, occupation, and individual beliefs about COVID-19. In addition, those who trust their government’s response to COVID-19 are significantly more likely to adopt recommended behaviors and to self-isolate if advised, highlighting the need for well-coordinated actions on the health and economic fronts. We also find that mobility restrictions, such as stay-at-home orders, and mask mandates are associated with reduced social interactions and persistent increases in compliance. Together, these drivers account for over two-thirds of the regional differences in compliance, confirming their important role in increasing social distancing and containing the pandemic.
    Keywords: mask mandate; recommended behavior; government policy; COVID behavior tracker; social interaction; COVID-19; Aging; Employment; Asia and Pacific; Northern Europe; Southern Europe
    Date: 2021–05–01
  6. By: Phu Nguyen Van; Anne Stenger; Tuyen Tiet
    Abstract: Based on a meta-analysis, this paper highlights the strength and relevance of several social incentive factors concerning pro-environmental behaviors, including social influence, network factors (like network size, network connection and leadership), trust in others, and trust in institutions. Firstly, our results suggest that social influence is necessary for the emergence of pro-environmental behaviors. More specifically, an internal social influence (i.e., motivating people to change their perceptions and attitudes) is essential to promote pro-environmental behaviors. Secondly, network connection encourages pro-environmental behaviors, meaning that the effectiveness of a conservation policy can be improved if connections among individuals are increased. Finally, trust in institutions can dictate individual behaviors to shape policy design and generate desired policy outcomes.
    Keywords: Meta-analysis; Network; Pro-environmental behavior; Social influence; Social incentive; Trust
    JEL: D91 Q50
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Hornung, Erik (University of Cologne); Schwerdt, Guido (University of Konstanz); Strazzeri, Maurizio (University of Bern)
    Abstract: We investigate how the intensity of Ramadan affects educational outcomes by exploiting spatio-temporal variation in annual fasting hours. Longer fasting hours are related to increases in student performance in a panel of TIMMS test scores (1995–2019) across Muslim countries but not other countries. Results are confirmed in a panel of PISA test scores (2003–2018) allowing within country-wave comparisons of Muslim to non-Muslim students across Europe. We provide evidence consistent with the hypothesis that a demanding Ramadan during adolescence affects educational performance by facilitating formation of social capital and social identity via increased religious participation and shared experiences among students.
    Keywords: social identity, Ramadan, religious participation, religion, education, social capital, PISA, TIMMS
    JEL: I21 Z12 J24 O15
    Date: 2021–10
  8. By: Leonardo Becchetti (DEF and CEIS, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"); Gianluigi Conzo (Università di Roma "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: We define generativity as the combination of creativity and care for others wellbeing. Based on John Stuart Mill, Robert Kennedy and Antonio Genovesi quotes we test several research hypotheses on the available waves of the European Social Survey and find that generativity is associated positively and significantly with subjective wellbeing (under the different dimensions of life satisfaction and positive affect), resilience, interpersonal trust, active citizenship and participation to political elections. Our findings are robust across survey waves, gender, age, education splits and significant in estimates considering only individuals living in the same country. With an IV approach we provide evidence that the investigated nexus hides a direct causality link from all our the dependent variables.
    Keywords: generativity, subjective wellbeing, resilience, social capital, active citizenship.
    JEL: I31 O15 Z13
    Date: 2021–11–05
  9. By: Powdthavee, Nattavudh (University of Warwick); Riyanto, Yohanes E. (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore); Wong, Erwin (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore); Yeo, Jonathan (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore); Chan, Qi Yu (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
    Abstract: With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging and the vaccination program still rolling out, there continues to be an immediate need for public health officials to better understand the mechanisms behind the deep and perpetual divide over face masks in America. Using a random sample of Americans (N=615), following a pre-registered experimental design and analysis plan, we first demonstrated that mask wearers were not innately more cooperative as individuals than non-mask wearers in the Prisoners' Dilemma (PD) game when information about their own and the other person's mask usage was not salient. However, we found strong evidence of in-group favouritism among both mask and non-mask wearers when information about the other partner's mask usage was known. Non-mask wearers were 23 percentage points less likely to cooperate than mask wearers when facing a mask-wearing partner, and 26 percentage points more likely to cooperate than mask wearers when facing a non-mask-wearing partner. Our analysis suggests social identity effects as the primary reason behind people's decision whether to wear face masks during the pandemic.
    Keywords: face mask, COVID-19, cooperation, social identity, prisoners' dilemma
    JEL: C9 I1
    Date: 2021–09

This nep-soc issue is ©2021 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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