nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2022‒01‒17
twelve papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Effects of Social Capital on Government Performance and Turnover: Theory and Evidence from Italian Municipalities By Bracco, Emanuele; Liberini, Federica; Lockwood, Ben; Porcelli, Francesco; Redoano, Michela; Sgroi, Daniel
  2. Broadband Internet and Social Capital By Geraci, Andrea; Nardotto, Mattia; Reggiani, Tommaso; Sabatini, Fabio
  3. Cultural Identity and Social Capital in Italy By Bracco, Emanuele; Liberini, Federica; Lockwood, Ben; Porcelli, Francesco; Redoano, Michela; Sgroi, Daniel
  4. Past Exposure to Macroeconomic Shocks and Populist Attitudes in Europe By Despina Gavresi; Anastasia Litina
  5. Effects of Emigration on Gender Norms in Countries of Origin By Leonid V. Azarnert; Slava Yakubenko
  6. Changing gender norms across generations: Evidence from a paternity leave reform By Lidia Farré; Cristina Felfe; Libertad González Luna; Patrick Schneider
  7. Of housewives and feminists: Gender norms and intra-household division of labour By Luise Görges
  8. Gender Norms and the Motherhood Employment Gap By Simone MORICONI; Núria RODRIGUEZ-PLANAS
  9. Immigrant peers in the class: responses among natives and the effects on long-run revealed preferences By Holmlund, Helena; Lindahl, Erica; Roman, Sara
  10. Home Alone: Widows' Well-Being and Time By Adena, Maja; Hamermesh, Daniel S.; Myck, Michal; Oczkowska, Monika
  11. Heterophily, Stable Matching, and Intergenerational Transmission in Cultural Evolution By Hiller, Victor; Wu, Jiabin; Zhang, Hanzhe
  12. Does Online Salience Predict Charitable Giving? Evidence from SMS Text Donations By Carlo Perroni; Kimberley Ann Scharf; Oleksandr Talavera; Linh Vi

  1. By: Bracco, Emanuele (Universita di Verona); Liberini, Federica (University of Bath); Lockwood, Ben (University of Warwick); Porcelli, Francesco (ESRC CAGE Centre & Universita di Bari); Redoano, Michela (University of Warwick); Sgroi, Daniel (University of Warwick, IZA & ESRC CAGE Centre)
    Abstract: This paper makes three contributions. First, it presents a theoretical analysis of how social capital, formalized as trust in politicians, impacts on government performance and turnover, employing a political agency model with both moral hazard and adverse selection. Second, it presents novel measures of both local government performance and on social capital at the Italian municipality level, using administrative data and an online survey respectively. Third, empirical results are consistent with the main predictions of the theory; higher social capital improves both the discipline and selection effects of elections (performance both in the first and final terms in office), but also increases turnover of incumbent mayors.
    Keywords: Social Capital ; Voting ; Elections ; Government Efficiency JEL Classification: H41 ; H72 ; D72
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Geraci, Andrea; Nardotto, Mattia; Reggiani, Tommaso (Cardiff Business School); Sabatini, Fabio
    Abstract: We study the impact of broadband penetration on social capital in the UK. Our empirical strategy exploits a technological feature of the telecommunication infrastructure that generated substantial variation in the quality of Internet access across households. The speed of a domestic connection rapidly decays with the distance of a userÕs line from the networkÕs node serving the area. Merging information on the topology of the network with geocoded longitudinal data about individual social capital from 1997 to 2017, we show that access to fast Internet caused a significant decline in civic and political engagement. Overall, our results suggest that broadband penetration crowded out several dimensions of social capital.
    Keywords: ICT, broadband infrastructure, networks, Internet, social capital, civic capital.
    JEL: D91 L82 Z13
    Date: 2021–12
  3. By: Bracco, Emanuele (Universita di Verona); Liberini, Federica (University of Bath); Lockwood, Ben (University of Warwick); Porcelli, Francesco (ESRC CAGE Centre & Universita di Bari); Redoano, Michela (University of Warwick); Sgroi, Daniel (University of Warwick, IZA & ESRC CAGE Centre)
    Abstract: Italy became one nation only relatively recently and as such there remains significant regional variation in trust in government and society (so-called “social capital”) as well as in language and diet. In an experiment conducted across three Italian cities we exploit variation in family background generated through internal migration and make use of novel measures of social capital, language and diet to develop a new index of cultural heritage. Our new index predicts social capital, while self-reported identity does not. The missing link between the past and current identity seems to come through grandparents (especially maternal grandmothers) who have a strong role in developing the cultural identity of their grandchildren.
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Despina Gavresi; Anastasia Litina
    Abstract: This paper explores the interplay between past exposure to macroeconomic shocks and populist attitudes. We document that individuals who experienced a macroeconomic shock during their impressionable years (between 18 and 25 years of age), are currently more prone to voting for populist parties, and manifest lower trust both in national and European institutions. We use data from the European Social Survey (ESS) to construct the differential individual exposure to macroeconomic shocks during impressionable years. Our findings suggest that it is not only current exposure to shocks that matters (see e.g., Guiso et al. (2020)) but also past exposure to economic recessions, which has a persistent positive effect on the rise of populism. Interestingly, the interplay between the two, i.e., past and current exposure to economic shocks, has a mitigating effect on the rise of populism. Individuals who were exposed to economic shocks in the past are less likely to manifest populist attitudes when faced with a current crisis, as suggested by the experience-based learning literature.
    Keywords: macroeconomic shocks, trust, attitudes, populism
    JEL: D72 E60 F68 P16 Z13
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Leonid V. Azarnert; Slava Yakubenko
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of emigration on gender norms in countries of migrants’ origin. We use an instrumental variable strategy that allows us to estimate a causal effect of emigration on gender inequality. Our findings suggest that emigration to countries with low (high) levels of gender inequality is associated with promotion of more (less) progressive gender norms. These effects are observed for a wide range of indicators and are robust to inclusion of a set of control variables. Moreover, countries with high levels of gender inequality benefit from this process disproportionately more. Based on the provided evidence we argue that this effect is channelled through “cultural remittances”.
    Keywords: migration, gender, cultural remittances
    JEL: F22 F63 J16
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Lidia Farré; Cristina Felfe; Libertad González Luna; Patrick Schneider
    Abstract: Direct exposure to counter-stereotypical behaviors early in life has been put forward as a promising way to change gender norms across generations. We ask to which extent public policy designed to promote counter-stereotypical behavior among parents influences gender norms for their children. Specifically, we combine the national-level introduction of paternity leave in Spain with a unique, large-scale lab-in-the-field experiment conducted with children born around the policy change. We provide causal evidence that, at age 12, children whose fathers were eligible for paternity leave exhibit more egalitarian attitudes towards gender roles and are more supportive of mothers and fathers being equally engaged in the labor market and in the home. They also engage more in counter-stereotypical day-to-day behaviors and expect to deviate from the male-breadwinner model in the future.
    Keywords: Gender role attitudes, paternity leave, social norms
    JEL: J08 J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2022–01
  7. By: Luise Görges (Leuphana University of Lüneburg)
    Abstract: To investigate the role of gender norms in household specialisation choices, I conduct a lab experiment with real hetero-sexual couples playing a battle of the sexes game. The salience of gender norms varies across treatments: the Norm group chooses between strategies labelled as a family specialisation game (Career vs. Family), the Neutral group chooses A vs. B. Women respond strongly to the salience of Norms; they opt for Career at a significantly lower rate compared to Neutral, regardless of familiarity with their partner. By contrast, men’s response is weak and heterogeneous across partner and stranger pairings. Additional analyses suggest that the pattern is not explained by differential beliefs, but is consistent with marriage market motives, i.e. some men may want to signal progressive gender attitudes to their partner.
    Keywords: Experiment, labour division, battle of the sexes, norms, gender
    JEL: D13 J16 J22
    Date: 2021–04
  8. By: Simone MORICONI (IESEG School of Management, Univ. Lille, CNRS, UMR 9221 - LEM - Lille Économie Management, F-59000 Lille, France); Núria RODRIGUEZ-PLANAS (City University of New York, Queens College and The Graduate Center, and Barnard College at Columbia University)
    Abstract: Using individual-level data from the European Social Survey, we study the relevance of gender norms in accounting for the motherhood employment gap across 186 European NUTS2 regions (over 29 countries) for the 2002-2016 period. The gender norm variable is taken from a question on whether “men should have more right to a job than women when jobs are scarce” and represents the average extent of disagreement (on a scale 1 to 5) of women belonging to the “grandmothers” cohort. We address the potential endogeneity of our gender norms measure with an index of the degree of reproductive health liberalization when grandmothers were 20 years old. We also account for the endogeneity of motherhood with the level of reproductive health liberalization when mothers were 20 years old. We find a robust positive association between progressive beliefs among the grandmothers’ cohort and mothers’ likelihood to work while having a small child (0 to 5 years old) relative to similar women without children. No similar association is found among men. Our analysis underscores the role of gender norms and maternal employment, suggesting that non-traditional gender norms mediate on the employment gender gap mainly via motherhood.
    Keywords: : gender norms, motherhood employment gap, instrumenting for motherhood
    JEL: J16 J22
    Date: 2021–12
  9. By: Holmlund, Helena (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Lindahl, Erica (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Roman, Sara (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: We investigate whether exposure to immigrant peers at school affects natives’ future interactions with ethnic minorities. Identification is based on variation in immigrant exposure across cohorts within school catchment areas in Sweden. We document that natives respond to immigrants by changing school and develop an IV strategy that accounts for such endogenous responses. Our results show that minority exposure at the extensive margin increases the probability that natives form inter-ethnic romantic partnerships, which is suggestive of altered preferences for interacting with immigrants. We also find that minority exposure affects women’s educational choices and family formation decisions in a family-oriented direction.
    Keywords: contact hypothesis; peer effects; intermarriage
    JEL: I20 J12 J15
    Date: 2021–11–15
  10. By: Adena, Maja (WZB - Social Science Research Center Berlin); Hamermesh, Daniel S. (Barnard College); Myck, Michal (Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA); Oczkowska, Monika (Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA)
    Abstract: Losing a partner is a life-changing experience. We draw on numerous datasets to examine differences between widowed and partnered older women and to provide a comprehensive picture of well-being in widowhood. Most importantly, our analysis accounts for time use in widowhood, an aspect which has not been studied previously. Based on data from several European countries we trace the evolution of well-being of women who become widowed by comparing them with their matched non-widowed 'statistical twins' and examine the role of an exceptionally broad set of potential moderators of widowhood's impact on well-being. We confirm a dramatic decrease in mental health and life satisfaction after the loss of partner, followed by a slow recovery. An extensive set of controls recorded prior to widowhood, including detailed family ties and social networks, provides little help in explaining the deterioration in well-being. Unique data from time-diaries kept by older women from several European countries and the U.S. tell us why: the key factor behind widows' reduced well-being is increased time spent alone.
    Keywords: widowhood, well-being, social networks, time use
    JEL: I31 I19 J14
    Date: 2021–11
  11. By: Hiller, Victor (Universite Paris II Pantheon-Assas (LEMMA), Paris, France); Wu, Jiabin (Department of Economics, University of Oregon, Eugune, OR); Zhang, Hanzhe (Michigan State University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We demonstrate that marital preferences, the marriage market, and intergenerational transmission mechanisms must be jointly considered to gain a more complete picture of cultural evolution. We characterize cultural processes in settings with different combinations of (i) homophilic and heterophilic marital preferences, (ii) men-optimal or women-optimal stable matching scheme, and (iii) familial, societal, and rational forces of intergenerational transmission. First, with perfect vertical transmission in homogamies and oblique transmission in heterogamies, the presence of even a small fraction of heterophilic proposers leads to complete cultural homogeneity; cultural heterogeneity arises only when proposers are all homophilic. Notably, a stable matching scheme that is optimal for a gender in the short run can lead to suboptimal outcomes for them in the long run. Second, when transmission in heterogamies incorporates Darwinian consideration, persistent or temporary cycles between cultural homogeneity and heterogeneity may arise. Third, with imperfect vertical transmission in homogamies, heterophilic preferences and heterogamies play a significant role in the determination of cultural distribution; cultural substitutability is neither sufficient nor necessary for cultural heterogeneity. Finally, we discuss our model's implications for matriarchal and patriarchal societies, the evolution of gender roles as well as cultural assimilation and identity formation of minorities and immigrants.
    Keywords: cultural evolution; marital preferences; stable matching; intergenerational cultural transmission; imitative dynamics; evolutionary game theory
    JEL: C73 C78 D10 Z10
    Date: 2021–12–31
  12. By: Carlo Perroni; Kimberley Ann Scharf; Oleksandr Talavera; Linh Vi
    Abstract: We explore the link between online salience 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 in online searches for words that appear in those charities’ mission statements. The results suggest that an increase in the online salience 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: H41 D12 D64
    Date: 2021

This nep-soc issue is ©2022 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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