nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2022‒02‒14
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Strangers and Foreigners: Trust and Attitudes toward Citizenship By Graziella Bertocchi; Angelo Dimico; Gian Luca Tedeschi
  2. The social and political consequences of wartime sexual violence: New evidence from list experiments in three conflict-affected populations By Carlo Koos; Richard Traunmüller
  3. Social Ties and the Influence of Public Policies on Individual Opinions: The Case of Same-Sex Marriage Laws By Sylvie Blasco; Eva Moreno Galbis; Jeremy Tanguy
  4. Social networks and agricultural performance: A multiplex analysis of interactions among Indian rice farmers By Konda, Bruhan; González‐Sauri, Mario; Cowan, Robin; Yashodha, Yashodha; Chellattan Veettil, Prakashan
  5. Diffusion of agricultural innovations in Guinea-Bissau: From learning to doing By Rute Martins Caeiro
  6. In whom we trust more? Heterogeneous effects of government assistance on trust in local officials in the Philippines By Joseph J. Capuno
  7. The politicized pandemic: Ideological polarization and the behavioral response to COVID-19 By Gianluca Grimalda; Fabrice Murtin; David Pipke; Louis Putterman; Matthias Sutter
  8. The impact of noise and topology on opinion dynamics in social networks By Stern, Samuel; Livan, Giacomo
  9. Other-regarding Preferences and Redistributive Politics By Ernst Fehr; Thomas Epper; Julien Senn

  1. By: Graziella Bertocchi; Angelo Dimico; Gian Luca Tedeschi
    Abstract: We analyze the relationship between natives' attitudes towards citizenship acqui- sition for foreigners and trust. Our hypothesis is that, in sub-Saharan Africa, the slave trade represents the deep factor behind contemporary attitudes toward citi- zenship, with more intense exposure to historical slave exports for an individual's ethnic group being associated with contemporary distrust for strangers, and in turn opposition to citizenship laws that favor the inclusion of foreigners. Wefind that individuals who are more trusting do show more positive attitudes towards the ac- quisition of citizenship at birth for children of foreigners, that these attitudes are also negatively related to the intensity of the slave trade, and that the underlying link between trust and the slave trade is cofirmed. Alternative factors- conflict, kinship, and witchcraft beliefs|that, through trust, may ffect attitudes toward citizenship, are not generating the same distinctive pattern of linkages emerging from the slave trade.
    Keywords: Citizenship, Trust, Slave Trade, Migration, Ethnicity, Conflict, Kinship, Witchcraft.
    JEL: J15 K37 N57 O15 Z13
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Carlo Koos; Richard Traunmüller
    Abstract: Wartime sexual violence is widespread across conflict zones and thought to leave a disastrous legacy for survivors, communities, and nations. Yet, systematic studies on i) the prevalence and ii) the social and political consequences of wartime sexual violence are fraught with severe data limitations. Based on individual-level survey evidence from three conflict-affected populations in Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Sri Lanka, we make two contributions.
    Keywords: Wartime sexual violence, List experiment, Post-conflict, Civic participation, Ethnic relations, Trust, War, Violence
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Sylvie Blasco (GAINS - Groupe d'Analyse des Itinéraires et des Niveaux Salariaux - UM - Le Mans Université, IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit - Institute of Labor Economics); Eva Moreno Galbis (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université); Jeremy Tanguy (IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - USMB [Université de Savoie] [Université de Chambéry] - Université Savoie Mont Blanc)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates if same-sex marriage (SSM) laws, approved in several European Union countries over the past decades, have contributed to favor gay-friendly opinions among people depending on their social interactions. We propose a dyadic model in which individuals learn about the social norm conveyed by a law through strong and weak ties. We show that the relative importance of these social ties in shaping individuals' opinions depends on the alignment between the law and the local social norm. Using the 2002–2016 European Social Surveys, we test the theoretical predictions with a pseudo-panel dynamic difference-in-difference setting relying on the progressive adoption of SSM in European countries. We show that strong ties induce a lower increase in gay-friendly opinions following the adoption of SSM when the law is aligned with the local social norm. When the law clashes with this norm, strong ties induce a larger increase.
    Date: 2022–03–01
  4. By: Konda, Bruhan (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); González‐Sauri, Mario (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); Cowan, Robin (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); Yashodha, Yashodha (International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), India); Chellattan Veettil, Prakashan (International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), India)
    Abstract: Most network studies in agriculture examine uni-dimensional connections between individuals to understand the effect of social networks on outcomes. However, in most real-world scenarios, network members' exchanges happen through multiple relationships and not accounting for such multi-dimensional interconnections may lead to biased estimate of social network effects. This study aims to unravel the consequences of not accounting such multidimensional networks by investigating the individual and joint effects of multiple connections (relationships) that exist among households on agricultural output. We use census data from three villages of Odisha, India that enables us to account for three types of relationships viz. information networks (knowledge sharing), credit networks (resource sharing) and friendship (social bonding) between households. We estimate the social network effect by combining both econometric (IV regression) and network (directed networks) techniques to address the problems of endogeneity. The joint effect of multiple networks is estimated using the multiplex network framework. We find that information flows are crucial to improve agricultural output when networks are accounted individually. However, the joint effect of all three networks using multiplex shows a significantly positive influence, indicating complementarity across relationships. In addition, we found evidence for the mediating role of interpersonal relationships (friendship network) in enhancing gains from the information flow.
    Keywords: Agriculture production, Social network, Multiplex networks, knowledge sharing, Resource sharing, Friendship
    JEL: C26 D83 O13 Q12
    Date: 2021–07–21
  5. By: Rute Martins Caeiro
    Abstract: This paper analyses the pathways of technology diffusion through social networks, following the experimental introduction of new technologies in Guinea-Bissau. In the context of an agricultural extension project, we document both the direct effects of this intervention and subsequent diffusion from trainees to the wider community. In order to test for social learning, we exploit a detailed census of households and social connections across different social dimensions.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Technology, Knowledge diffusion, Social networks, Technological innovations, Learning
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Joseph J. Capuno (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)
    Abstract: Does identification with dominant ethnic groups lead individuals to diverge in their preferences for redistribution? This paper contributes to the comparative analysis of the role of ethnic background in shaping attitudes towards government's role in reducing income inequalities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, where nearly half-a­billion people live and belong to more than sixty ethnic groups. Using a pool of nationally­representative survey data from the five Southeast Asian countries, we first classified the respondents by population dominance of the ethnic groups they claim to belong, and then examine for differences across members of dominant ethnic groups in their preferences for government redistribution. Relative to the biggest ethnic group, the second biggest ethnic group is found to have less preference for redistribution, after controlling for other factors. No systematic differences in their redistributive preferences are found, however, between the biggest ethnic group and other smaller groups. The results are fairly robust even after accounting for the possible moderating effects of income status, trust in government and in people, subjective social mobility, concerns about social fairness, and views on the importance of fate in one's life. Moreover, the results hold out even in the sub-sample of low-income people for whom economic considerations more than ethnicity are expected to determine their redistributive preferences. Notwithstanding the importance of shared norms or beliefs in aligning he social choices of people with same ethnic or racial background, our results suggest their population sizes, which possibly reflect their relative influence over domestic policies, also matter.
    Keywords: Government assistance; trust in officials; satisfaction with performance; treatment effects; Philippines
    JEL: H31 H49 D72
    Date: 2021–08
  7. By: Gianluca Grimalda (Kiel Institute for the World Economy; Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University of Duisburg-Essen; Jaume I University); Fabrice Murtin (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)); David Pipke (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Louis Putterman (Brown University); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, University of Cologne, University of Innsbruck, IZA, and CESifo)
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between political attitudes and prosociality in a survey of a representative sample of the U.S. population during the first summer of the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that an experimental measure of prosociality correlates positively with adherence to protective behaviors. Liberal political ideology predicts higher levels of protective behavior than conservative ideology, independently of the differences in prosociality across the two groups. Differences between liberals and conservatives are up to 4.4 times smaller in their behavior than in judging the government’s crisis management. This result suggests that U.S. Americans are more polarized on ideological than behavioral grounds.
    Keywords: Polarization, Ideology, Trust in politicians, COVID-19, Prosociality, Health behavior, Worries
    JEL: D01 D72 D91 I12 I18 H11 H12
    Date: 2022–01–20
  8. By: Stern, Samuel; Livan, Giacomo
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of noise and topology on opinion diversity in social networks. We do so by extending well-established models of opinion dynamics to a stochastic setting where agents are subject both to assimilative forces by their local social interactions, as well as to idiosyncratic factors preventing their population from reaching consensus. We model the latter to account for both scenarios where noise is entirely exogenous to peer influence and cases where it is instead endogenous, arising from the agents' desire to maintain some uniqueness in their opinions. We derive a general analytical expression for opinion diversity, which holds for any network and depends on the network's topology through its spectral properties alone. Using this expression, we find that opinion diversity decreases as communities and clusters are broken down. We test our predictions against data describing empirical influence networks between major news outlets and find that incorporating our measure in linear models for the sentiment expressed by such sources on a variety of topics yields a notable improvement in terms of explanatory power.
    Keywords: network science; opinion dynamics; social networks; PSRC Early Career Fellowship in Digital Economy (grant no. EP/ N006062/1
    JEL: C1
    Date: 2021–04–07
  9. By: Ernst Fehr; Thomas Epper (LEM - Lille économie management - UMR 9221 - UA - Université d'Artois - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IÉSEG School Of Management [Puteaux]); Julien Senn
    Abstract: Increasing inequality and associated egalitarian sentiments have again put redistribution on the political agenda. Other-regarding preferences may also affect support for redistribution, but knowledge about their distribution in the broader population and how they are associated with political support for redistributive policies is still scarce. In this paper, we take advantage of Swiss direct democracy, where people voted several times on strongly redistributive policies in national plebiscites, to study the link between other-regarding preferences and support for redistribution in a broad sample of the Swiss population. We document that inequality aversion and altruistic concerns play a quantitatively large positive role in the support for redistribution, in particular for more affluent individuals. In addition, previously identified key motives underlying opposition to redistribution-such as the belief that effort is an important driver of individual success-play no role for selfish individuals but are highly relevant for altruistic and egalitarian individuals. Finally, while inequality averse individuals display strong support for policies that primarily aim at reducing the incomes of the rich, altruistic individuals are considerably less supportive of such policies. Thus, knowledge about the fundamental properties and the distribution of individuals' other-regarding preferences provides a deeper understanding about who is likely to support specific redistributive policies.
    Keywords: Social Preferences,Altruism,Inequality Aversion,Preference Heterogeneity,Demand for Redistribution
    Date: 2022–01–02

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