nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2022‒02‒07
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Clubs and Networks in Economics Reviewing By Scott E. Carrell; David N. Figlio; Lester R. Lusher
  2. Vaccination Policy and Trust By Jelnov, Artyom; Jelnov, Pavel
  3. Trust and Public Support for the Colombian Peace Agreement By Esmeralda Lopez
  4. Exposure to COVID-19 is associated with increased altruism, particularly at the local level By Grimalda, Gianluca; Buchan, Nancy R.; Ozturk, Orgul G.; Pinate, Adriana C.; Urso, Giulia; Brewer, Marilynn B.
  5. The Role of Social Capital for Teacher Professional Learning and Student Achievement: A Systematic Literature Review By Demir, Ema K.
  6. Community organization and armed group behaviour: Evidence from Colombia By Margarita Gáfaro; Ana María Ibáñez; Patricia Justino
  7. Overcoming Barriers to Service Access: Refugees’ Professional Support Service Utilization and the Impact of Human and Social Capital By Ellen Heidinger
  8. Inconsistent response behavior: A potential pitfall in modeling the link between educational attainment and social network characteristics By Marina Lagemann; Peter Winker
  9. Exploring the Hidden Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Role of Urbanization By K. Peren Arin; Juan A.; Francisco Lagos; Ana I. Moro-Egido; Marcel Thum
  10. The Disparate Effect of Nudges on Minority Groups By Maya Haran Rosen; Orly Sade
  11. How Do Disasters Change Inter-Group Perceptions? Evidence from the 2018 Sulawesi Earthquake By Yuzuka Kashiwagi; Yasuyuki Todo

  1. By: Scott E. Carrell; David N. Figlio; Lester R. Lusher
    Abstract: The network of economists who publish in leading journals is generally perceived as small, exclusive, and tightly knit. We study how author-editor and author-reviewer network connectivity and “match” influences editor decisions and reviewer recommendations of economic research at the Journal of Human Resources (JHR). Our empirical strategy employs several dimensions of fixed effects to overcome concerns of endogenous assignment of papers to editors and reviewers in order to identify causal impacts. Results show that clubs and networks play a large role in influencing both editor and reviewer decisions. Authors who attended the same PhD program, were ever colleagues with, are affiliates of the same NBER program(s), or are more closely linked via coauthorship networks as the handling editor are significantly more likely to avoid a desk rejection. Likewise, authors from the same PhD program or who previously worked with the reviewer are significantly more likely to receive a positive evaluation. We also find that sharing “signals” of ability, such as publishing in “top five”, attending a high ranked PhD program, or being employed by a similarly ranked economics department significantly influences editor decisions and/or reviewer recommendations.
    JEL: A11
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Jelnov, Artyom (Ariel University); Jelnov, Pavel (Leibniz University of Hannover)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between trust and vaccination. We show theoretically that vaccination rates are higher in countries with more transparent and accountable governments. The mechanism that generates this result is the lower probability of a transparent and accountable government to promote an unsafe vaccine. Empirical evidence supports this result. We find that countries perceived as less corrupt and more liberal experience higher vaccination rates. Furthermore, they are less likely to adopt a mandatory vaccination policy. One unit of the Corruption Perception Index (scaled from 0 to 10) is associated with a vaccination rate that is higher by one percentage point (pp) but with a likelihood of compulsory vaccination that is lower by 10 pp. In addition, Google Trends data show that public interest in corruption is correlated with interest in vaccination. The insight from our analysis is that corruption affects not only the supply but also the demand for public services.
    Keywords: vaccination, corruption, COVID-19
    JEL: I18
    Date: 2021–12
  3. By: Esmeralda Lopez (University of North Texas, United States)
    Abstract: The 2016 Colombian peace agreement failed by a narrow margin when put to a public vote, but a month later, the legislature bypassed the need for public support officially ending the 52-year armed conflict between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia [FARC]. Today, few promises of the agreement have come to fruition, leaving Colombia’s rural population in need and causing some ex-combatants to return to the FARC. While some attributed failure of the peace agreement to low voter turnout, a better understanding of the public’s lack of support for the peace agreement is needed. This study uses logistic regression to analyze 2016 survey data from the Latin American Public Opinion Project to examine how institutional trust correlates with predicting support for the Colombian peace agreement. Variables such as public opinion regarding trust in government institutions (the legislature, executive, judiciary, and elections) and trust in the FARC, including a belief that the FARC will demobilize, are included within the study. The model supports the hypothesis that greater trust in institutions increases the probability that the respondent will support the peace agreement. Five of the six variables are statistically significant, and the trust in the national legislature variable is approaching significance. Future studies related to this topic should include greater analysis of Colombia’s rural population who was most affected by forced displacement and other forms of violence during the conflict.
    Keywords: Colombia, armed conflict, peace agreement, public opinion, trust
    Date: 2021–08
  4. By: Grimalda, Gianluca; Buchan, Nancy R.; Ozturk, Orgul G.; Pinate, Adriana C.; Urso, Giulia; Brewer, Marilynn B.
    Abstract: Theory posits that situations of existential threat will enhance prosociality in general and particularly toward others perceived as belonging to the same group as the individual (parochial altruism). Yet, the global character of the COVID-19 pandemic may blur boundaries between ingroups and outgroups and engage altruism at a broader level. In an online experiment, participants from the U.S. and Italy chose whether to allocate a monetary bonus to a charity active in COVID-19 relief efforts at the local, national, or international level. The purpose was to address two important questions about charitable giving in this context: first, what influences the propensity to give, and second, how is charitable giving distributed across different levels of collective welfare? We found that personal exposure to COVID-19 increased donations relative to those not exposed, even as levels of environmental exposure (numbers of cases locally) had no effect. With respect to targets of giving, we found that donors predominantly benefitted the local level; donations toward country and world levels were half as large. Social identity was found to influence charity choice in both countries, although an experimental manipulation of identity salience did not have any direct effect.
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Demir, Ema K. (University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: This systematic review synthesises research on social capital in relation to teachers and teacher professional learning between the years 2004-2019. The study was guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) Statement and the Weight of Evidence framework for quality and relevance appraisal. After applying eligibility criteria, 66 empirical items were included in the final review. The review finds that social capital among teachers has been associated with five categories of outcomes: 1) teacher professional development, 2) the implementation of change, 3) the introduction of new and beginning teachers, 4) teacher retention and job satisfaction, and 5) improved student achievement. These have, in turn, been associated with the implicit outcome of promoting educational equity. A synthesis of enablers and barriers to building social capital among teachers identifies the pervasive role of organisational structures for moderating the relationship between social capital and these outcomes. Findings indicate that different organisational structures may foster different social capital dimensions, such as bonding, bridging, and linking. More research is needed on the relationship between these dimensions and schools' organisational structure to promote the desired outcomes of teacher social capital identified in this review.
    Keywords: Social capital; teacher professional learning; student achievement; organisational structures; educational equity
    Date: 2022–01–07
  6. By: Margarita Gáfaro; Ana María Ibáñez; Patricia Justino
    Abstract: This paper investigates how armed groups affect the organization of local communities during armed conflict in Colombia. We estimate the effect of communities' exposure to armed groups with an econometric specification that takes into account individual and municipality-year fixed effects and an instrumental variable approach that exploits variations in the presence of armed groups in rural communities induced by the peace negotiations with members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army.
    Keywords: Armed conflict, Institutions, Colombia
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Ellen Heidinger
    Abstract: After arriving in a new country, refugees are most often dependent on professional support to reestablish their livelihood. It is however well documented that refugees face barriers when seeking access to services aimed at facilitating their settlement and integration. This study examines refugees’ support service needs and their actual utilization and investigates the impact of social and human capital on support service utilization. Employing data from the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees, this paper highlights the diversity of refugees’ support service needs as well as large differences in utilization in eight different domains. It furthermore provides evidence for an overall positive association between predictors of human and social capital and service utilization in general and additionally reveals differences in service domains. While language proficiency is positively associated with service utilization across all service domains in the sample, previous work experience in the country of origin especially increased utilization of services related to employment and the labor market. The analyses additionally find a positive association of inter-ethnic networks, whereas intra-ethnic connections are negatively associated with service utilization across a variety of domains. These findings are especially relevant since they support the hypothesis of exclusive host community knowledge, which benefits those refugees engaging with individuals outside their own ethnic network in their efforts regarding integrational outcomes. The findings of this study accentuate the need to acknowledge the diversity in refugees’ service needs as well as the barriers to service utilization that only well-equipped refugees seem to be able to overcome.
    Keywords: refugees, service utilization, professional support services, human capital, social capital
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Marina Lagemann (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen); Peter Winker (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen)
    Abstract: An important role is ascribed to students’ social networks in explaining both social and ethnic differentials in educational achievement and attainment. For example, students’ social networks are assumed to influence their probability of success by providing educationally-relevant resources and by promoting effort and educational investments. The direction and strength of the network’s effect on students’ educational success is assumed to depend on the network’s precise characteristics, such as educational and migration background. As track selection by school performance (as is the case in Germany) goes hand in hand with a segregation of students by characteristics like social and migration background, it can be assumed that educational success itself has an influence on the social resources students have access to at later stages of their educational careers. Given the complexity of instruments commonly applied in self-administered questionnaires to assess students’ social resources, the quality of data on measures of network characteristics is likely to depend on the respondents’ abilities. As regards the estimation of the association between network characteristics and educational success, biased measurement of social network characteristics apparently constitutes a challenge as spurious correlation may be observed between measures of educational achievement and network characteristics if the bias systematically correlates with education. We report empirical findings on a complex instrument used in a self-administered questionnaire applied in the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) to 9th-graders in the classroom, which was designed to measure the social resources young people have at their disposal at the point of transition from general into vocational education. The data allows identifying population subgroups who face particularly strong difficulties in completing the relevant set of questions in a consistent way. Specifically, this selection can be shown to be significantly correlated with different measures of educational achievement as well as with the respondents’ migration background. As the network characteristics we investigate, i.e., the network members’ educational and migration background, have been found to correlate with students’ educational success, ignoring this selection can be shown to heavily bias estimates of the association between educational achievement and social network characteristics.
    Keywords: Social networks; network characteristics; network composition; social resources; answering behavior; cognitive skills; measurement bias; migration background; educational success; educational attainment
    Date: 2022
  9. By: K. Peren Arin (Zayed University, UAE.); Juan A. (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Francisco Lagos (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Ana I. Moro-Egido (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Marcel Thum (TU Dresden.)
    Abstract: We examine the role of residential environments (urban/rural) in understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions in nationwide movement on several socioeconomic attitudes. We conducted large-scale surveys in four European countries (France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom) before and after nationwide lockdowns were implemented. We investigate how the pandemic affected; i) economic (economic insecurity), ii) political (trust in domestic and international institutions), and iii) social attitudes (loneliness), by controlling for the degree of urbanization, obtained from the geocodes of the survey respondents. Our results show that taking the degree of urbanization into account is not only relevant but is also essential. Compared to urban areas, in rural areas lockdowns led to a greater increase of economic insecurity and to a greater decrease in trust in domestic institutions. We also show that these results are particularly valid for women and households with children.
    Keywords: Lockdown, COVID-19, Urban-rural Differences, Economic Insecurity, Trust, Social Loneliness.
    JEL: C21 D90 H12 I31 R19
    Date: 2022–01–31
  10. By: Maya Haran Rosen (Bank of Israel); Orly Sade
    Abstract: We use an experiment in Israel to compare the effect of short text messages sent via mobile phones on the actions of minority groups versus the general population regarding the âSavings for Every Childâ program. Financial institutions and regulators are increasingly using digital text messages to raise awareness or encourage participation in programs and initiatives. We study the effect of these messages on individual behavior, and the size of this effect for different segments of the population. Our unique setting and proprietary data reveal that the text message had an overall positive effect, but a significantly smaller effect on minority groups. By combining our proprietary data with a dedicated survey, we provide additional insights on potential barriers (low digital literacy, low financial literacy, and low trust) that contribute to the differential effect. The research points to the importance of using specific measures that focus on minorities in order to raise the success of government initiatives.
    Date: 2021–12
  11. By: Yuzuka Kashiwagi (Waseda University and National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience); Yasuyuki Todo (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University, 1-6-1 Nishiwaseda Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Japan.)
    Abstract: This study investigates whether and how natural disasters affect intergroup perceptions, particularly focusing on subjective expectations for dependability on other groups in emergencies. We conduct a household survey in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, which has experienced religious conflicts and was heavily hit by the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake. Our estimation results from the survey data indicate that individuals who suffered from the earthquake exhibit higher expectations for access to emergency support from other religious groups in the future. As a possible mechanism of this change, we show that the direct and indirect experience of actual cooperation between groups after the earthquake contribute to the higher expectations of sufferers. We also find heterogeneity in the effect of the earthquake on intergroup perception, depending on, for example, the types of damage and past experiences.
    Keywords: disasters, subjective expectations, helping networks, weak ties.
    JEL: D1 O12 D83 D91 H84 Q54
    Date: 2021–02

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