nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2022‒03‒28
eight papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Hate Crime Increases with Minoritized Group Rank By Mina Cikara; Vasiliki Fouka; Marco Tabellini
  2. Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Persuasion By Roland Bénabou; Armin Falk; Jean Tirole
  3. Gender differences in tolerance for women's opinions and the role of social norms By Ryo Takahashi
  4. Public disclosure of tax information. Compliance tool or social network? By Daniel Reck; Joel Slemrod; Trine Vattø
  5. Commuting to work and gender-conforming social norms: evidence from same-sex couples By Sonia Oreffice; Dario Sansone
  6. Vaccination, life expectancy, and trust: Patterns of COVID-19 vaccination rates around the world By Rughinis, Cosima; Vulpe, Simona Nicoleta; Flaherty, Michael G.; Vasile, Sorina
  7. Public Trust in Nonprofit Organizations (NPOs): Aggregation levels of NPO trust at stakeholder side and conceptual objects of trust at NPO side By Willems, Jurgen
  8. Collaboration in Bipartite Networks By Chih-Sheng Hsieh; Michael D König; Xiaodong Liu; Christian Zimmermann

  1. By: Mina Cikara (Harvard University); Vasiliki Fouka (Stanford University); Marco Tabellini (Harvard Business School, Business, Government and the International Economy Unit)
    Abstract: People are on the move in unprecedented numbers within and between countries. How does demographic change affect local intergroup dynamics? In complement to accounts that emphasize stereotypical features of groups as determinants of their treatment, we propose the group reference dependence hypothesis: violence and negative attitudes toward each minoritized group will depend on the number and size of other minoritized groups in a community. Specifically, as groups increase or decrease in rank in terms of their size (e.g., to largest minority within a community), discriminatory behavior and attitudes toward them should change accordingly. We test this hypothesis for hate crimes in U.S. counties between 1990 and 2010 and attitudes in the U.S. and U.K. over the last two decades. Consistent with this prediction, we find that, as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian, and Arab populations increase in rank relative to one another, they become more likely to be targeted with hate crimes and more negative attitudes. The rank effect holds above and beyond group size/proportion, growth rate, and many other alternative explanations. This framework makes novel predictions about how demographic shifts may affect coalitional structures in the coming years and helps explain previous findings in the literature. Our results also indicate that attitudes and behaviors toward social categories are not intransigent or driven only by features associated with those groups, such as stereotypes.
    Keywords: hate crimes, prejudice, minority, reference dependence, demographics, rank and position, prejudice and bias, crime and corruption,
    Date: 2020–10
  2. By: Roland Bénabou (Princeton University); Armin Falk (University of Bonn); Jean Tirole (University of Toulouse Capitole)
    Abstract: We study the production and circulation of arguments justifying actions on the basis of morality. By downplaying externalities, exculpatory narratives allow people to maintain a positive image while acting selfishly. Conversely, responsibilizing narratives raise both direct and reputational stakes, fostering prosocial behavior. These rationales diffuse along a linear network, through both costly signaling and strategic disclosure. The norms that emerge reflect local correlation in agents’ incentives (reputation versus influence concerns), with low mixing generating both a polarization of beliefs across groups and less moral behavior on average. Imperatives (general precepts) constitute an alternative mode of moral influence. We analyze their costs and benefits relative to those of narratives, and when the two will be used as substitutes or complements.
    Keywords: Moral behavior, narratives, imperatives, rules, excuses, responsibility, networks, viral transmission, influence, reputation, disclosure, communication, social norms
    JEL: D62 D64 D78 D83 D85 D91 H41 K42 L14 Z13
    Date: 2020–04
  3. By: Ryo Takahashi (Graduate School of Economics, Waseda University, 1-6-1 Nishiwaseda Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Japan.)
    Abstract: This study empirically examines gender differences in tolerance for opinions and identifies how social norms for gender equality mitigate gender differences in tolerance for women’s opinions by conducting online randomized experiments in Japan. In this experiment, we asked the participants to evaluate the agreement score for ten anonymous statements and implemented two types of random interventions: disclosing the gender of the statement poster and providing information on social norms for gender equality. The results of both cross-sectional and panel data analyses showed that people significantly reduced the agreement score for women’s opinions compared to men’s and non-gender-disclosure opinions. Meanwhile, the negative impact of female gender disclosure was neutralized when participants were provided with information on gender norms. These results suggest that people are likely to be less tolerant of women’s opinions in general, while such gender differences are mitigated through social norms.
    Keywords: Social norms, gender bias, online randomized experiment, Japan
    JEL: C91 J16 D91 C99
    Date: 2022–03
  4. By: Daniel Reck; Joel Slemrod; Trine Vattø (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: We conduct the first-ever study of actual searches done in a public tax disclosure system, analyzing about one million searches done in 2014 and 2015 in Norway. We characterize the social network these searches comprise, including its degree of homophily and reciprocation, and the demographics of targets and searchers. About one-fourth of searches occur within identifiable household and employment networks. Most searchers target people similar to themselves—homophily in network parlance—but young, low-income searchers also target older, successful people and celebrities. A causal research design based on the timing of searches relative to tax filing uncovers no evidence that, upon discovering they were targeted, targets subsequently increase their reported income. The evidence suggests that social comparisons motivate the bulk of searches rather than tax compliance. However, public disclosure may deter evasion even when compliance-motivated searches are rare in equilibrium.
    Keywords: Public disclosure; social network; tax compliance
    JEL: H26 D83 D85
    Date: 2022–03
  5. By: Sonia Oreffice; Dario Sansone
    Abstract: We analyze work commute time by sexual orientation of partnered or married individuals, using the American Community Survey 2008-2019. Women in same-sex couples have a longer commute to work than working women in different-sex couples, whereas the commute to work of men in same-sex couples is shorter than the one of working men in different-sex couples, also after controlling for demographic characteristics, partner characteristics, location, fertility, and marital status. These differences are particularly stark among married couples with children: on average, about 3 minutes more one-way to work for married mothers in same-sex couples, and almost 2 minutes less for married fathers in same-sex couples, than their corresponding working parents in different-sex couples. These gaps among men and women amount to 50 percent, and 100 percent, respectively, of the gender commuting gap estimated in the literature. Within-couple gaps in commuting time are also significantly smaller in same-sex couples. We interpret these differences as evidence that it is gender-conforming social norms boosted by parenthood that lead women in different-sex couples to specialize into jobs with a shorter commute while their male partners or spouses hold jobs with a longer commute.
    Date: 2022–02
  6. By: Rughinis, Cosima; Vulpe, Simona Nicoleta; Flaherty, Michael G.; Vasile, Sorina
    Abstract: We estimate patterns of covariation between COVID-19 vaccination rates and a set of widely used indicators of human, social, and economic capital across 146 countries in July 2021 and February 2022. About 70% of the variability in COVID-19 vaccination rates worldwide can be explained by differences in the Human Development Index (HDI) and, specifically, in life expectancy at birth, one year after the campaign debut. Trust in doctors and nurses adds predictive value beyond the HDI, clarifying controversial discrepancies between vaccination rates in countries with similar levels of human development and vaccine availability. Cardiovascular disease deaths, an indicator of general health system effectiveness, and infant measles immunization coverage, an indicator of country-level immunization effectiveness, are also significant, though weaker, predictors of COVID-19 vaccination success. The metrics of economic inequality, perceived corruption, poverty, and inputs into the health system have strong bivariate correlations with COVID-19 vaccination but no longer remain statistically significant when controlling for the HDI. Our analysis identified the contours of a social structure that sustains life and is reproduced through this process. COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be part of the Matthew effect of accumulating advantages and aggravating disadvantages that the pandemic inflicted on societies and communities across the world. At the same time, the remaining variability in vaccination success that cannot be pinned down through these sets of metrics points to a considerable scope for collective and individual agency in a time of crisis. The mobilization and coordination in the vaccination campaigns of citizens, medical professionals, scientists, journalists, and politicians, amon
    Keywords: vaccination; COVID-19; life expectancy; trust; social structure; human development index
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2022–02
  7. By: Willems, Jurgen
    Abstract: Public trust in nonprofit organizations (NPOs) is the extent that stakeholders consider nonprofit organizations reliable and truthful to what they do and communicate. Concretely, this means that stakeholders believe that nonprofits’ acts conform to their goals, including that these nonprofit organizations do not produce profit for personal and/or private gains (Hansmann, 1987). The public aspect of public trust in nonprofit organizations focuses on the aggregated trust perceptions – or shared cognition – from several relevant stakeholder groups, like beneficiaries, donors, funders, volunteers, employees, and collaboration partners, such as government agencies, businesses, and other nonprofit organizations. Hence, individual stakeholders can trust NPOs to a different extent, depending on various factors, such as their concrete stakeholder role towards the organization, earlier experiences, personal needs and preferences, and access to information about the nonprofit organization (Becker et al., 2020). The aggregated concept of public trust in nonprofits is the extent to which these individual trust perceptions are shared within larger stakeholder groups.
    Date: 2021–09–29
  8. By: Chih-Sheng Hsieh (Department of Economics, National Taiwan University); Michael D König (Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), London); Xiaodong Liu (Department of Economics, University of Colorado Boulder); Christian Zimmermann (Department of Economic Research, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of collaboration on research output. First, we build a micro-founded model for scientific knowledge production, where collaboration between researchers is represented by a bipartite network. The Nash equilibrium of the game incorporates both the complementarity effect between collaborating researchers and the substitutability effect between concurrent projects of the same researcher. Next, we propose a Bayesian MCMC procedure to estimate the structural parameters, taking into account the endogenous participation of researchers in projects. Finally, we illustrate the empirical relevance of the model by analyzing the coauthorship network of economists registered in the RePEc Author Service. The estimated complementarity and substitutability effects are both positive and significant when the endogenous matching between researchers and projects is controlled for, and are downward biased otherwise. To show the importance of correctly estimating the structural model in policy evaluation, we conduct a counterfactual analysis of research incentives. We find that the effectiveness of research incentives tends to be understated when the complementarity effect is ignored and overstated when the substitutability effect is ignored.
    Keywords: bipartite networks, coauthorship networks, research collaboration, spillovers, economics of science
    Date: 2022–02

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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