nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2022‒05‒23
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Does Religious Diversity Improve Trust and Performance? Evidence from Lebanon By Canaan, Serena; Deeb, Antoine; Mouganie, Pierre
  2. Does Social Capital Matter? A Study of Hit-and-Run in US Counties By Stefano Castriota; Sandro Rondinella; Mirco Tonin
  3. Fairness-based Altruism By Breitmoser, Yves; Vorjohann, Pauline
  4. The Power of Youth: Political Impacts of the "Fridays for Future" Movement By Marc Fabel; Matthias Flückiger; Markus Ludwig; Helmut Rainer; Maria Waldinger; Sebastian Wichert
  5. Bad Weather, Social Network, and Internal Migration; Case of Japanese Sumo Wrestlers 1946-1985 By Eiji Yamamura
  6. The Pitch: Some Face-to-Face Minutes to Build Trust By Fabien Guimtrandy; Thierry Burger-Helmchen
  7. Trust, social capital, and the bond market benefits of ESG performance By Amiraslani, Hami; Lins, Karl V.; Servaes, Henri; Tamayo, Ane
  8. Social Interactions, Resilience, and Access to Economic Opportunity: A Research Agenda for the Field of Computational Social Science By Theresa Kuchler; Johannes Stroebel
  9. Gender and workplace interactions: who is likely to lose? By Swati Sharma
  10. Social Capital and the Social Evaluation of Investments By Hatice Jenkins; Glenn P. Jenkins
  11. (Mis-)information technology: Internet use and perception of democracy in Africa By Joël Cariolle; Yasmine Elkhateeb; Mathilde Maurel

  1. By: Canaan, Serena (Simon Fraser University); Deeb, Antoine (University of California, Santa Barbara); Mouganie, Pierre (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: Religious divisions have long played a primary role in major conflicts throughout much of the world. Intergroup contact may increase trust between members of different religions. However, evidence on how inter-religious contact affects individuals' behavior towards one another is scarce. We examine this question in the setting of a four-year university in Lebanon, a country with a long history of deep divisions and armed conflicts between religious groups. To identify causal effects, we exploit the university's random assignment of first-year students to peer groups. We proxy students' religious backgrounds by whether they attended secular, Christian or Islamic high schools—the last of which have the most religiously homogeneous student body. Results indicate that for students from Islamic high schools, exposure to peers from different religious backgrounds decreases their enrollment in courses taught by instructors with distinctively Muslim names, suggesting that contact improves trust towards members of other religions. Moreover, we show that students from Islamic schools experience improvements in GPA when interacting with those from other groups, while exposure to Islamic students reduces secular students' academic performance.
    Keywords: diversity, religious schools, intergroup contact
    JEL: I23 J15
    Date: 2022–04
  2. By: Stefano Castriota; Sandro Rondinella; Mirco Tonin
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between social capital and the decision to flee after a fatal road accident. This event is unplanned, and the decision is taken under great emotional distress and time pressure, thus providing a test of whether social capital matters for behaviour in extreme conditions. We merge data from the universe of fatality accidents involving pedestrians in the US over the period 2000–2018 with a unique dataset on social capital measures at the county level. Using within-state-year variation, our results show that one standard deviation increase in social capital is associated with a reduction in the probability of hit-and-run of around 10.5%. The causal interpretation of this evidence is supported by a number of falsification tests based on differences in social capital endowment between the county where the accident occurs and the county where the driver resides, as well as by the IV approach proposed by Lewbel (2012). Our findings show the importance of social capital in a new context, suggesting a broad impact on pro-social behaviour and adding to the positive returns of promoting civic norms.
    Keywords: social capital, crime, hit-and-run, road accidents
    JEL: Z13 D91 K42 R41
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Breitmoser, Yves (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University); Vorjohann, Pauline (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: Why do people give when asked, but prefer not to be asked, and even take when possible? We introduce a novel analytical framework that allows us to express context dependence and narrow bracketing axiomatically. We then derive the utility representation of distributive preferences additionally obeying standard axioms such as separability and scaling invariance. Such pref- erences admit a generalized prospect-theoretical utility representation reminiscent of fairness- based altruism. As in prospect theory, the underlying preferences are reference dependent and non-convex, which directly predicts the previously irreconcilable empirical evidence on giving, sorting, and taking. We test the model quantitatively on data from seminal experiments and observe significantly improved fit in relation to existing models, both in-sample and out-of- sample.
    Keywords: Social preferences, axiomatic foundation, robustness, giving, charitable donations
    Date: 2022–05–13
  4. By: Marc Fabel; Matthias Flückiger; Markus Ludwig; Helmut Rainer; Maria Waldinger; Sebastian Wichert
    Abstract: We study the impact of the “Fridays for Future” climate protest movement in Germany on citizen political behavior and explore possible mechanisms. Over the course of 2019, large crowds of young protesters, most below voting age, skipped school to demonstrate for rapid and far-reaching measures to mitigate climate change. Based on cell phone-based mobility data and hand-collected information on almost 4,000 climate protests, we first construct a novel county ×rally-specific measure of protest participation, allowing us to map out how engagement in the climate movement evolved spatially and temporally. Then, using a variety of empirical strategies to address the issue of nonrandom protest participation, we show that the local strength of the climate movement led to more Green Party votes in state-level and national-level elections during 2019 and thereafter. We provide evidence suggesting that three mechanisms were simultaneously at play: reverse intergenerational transmission of pro-environmental attitudes from children to parents, stronger climate-related social media presence by Green Party politicians, and increased coverage of environmental issues in local media. Together our results suggest that environmental protests by those too young to vote provides some of the impetus needed to push society towards overcoming the climate trap.
    Keywords: climate protest movement, citizen political behavior
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Eiji Yamamura
    Abstract: Post-World War II , there was massive internal migration from rural to urban areas in Japan. The location of Sumo stables was concentrated in Tokyo. Hence, supply of Sumo wrestlers from rural areas to Tokyo was considered as migration. Using a panel dataset covering forty years, specifically 1946-1985, this study investigates how weather conditions and social networks influenced the labor supply of Sumo wrestlers. Major findings are; (1) inclemency of the weather in local areas increased supply of Sumo wrestlers in the period 1946-1965, (2) the effect of the bad weather conditions is greater in the locality where large number of Sumo wrestlers were supplied in the pre-war period, (3) neither the occurrence of bad weather conditions nor their interactions with sumo-wrestlers influenced the supply of Sumo wrestlers in the period 1966-1985. These findings imply that the negative shock of bad weather conditions on agriculture in the rural areas incentivized young individuals to be apprenticed in Sumo stables in Tokyo. Additionally, in such situations, the social networks within Sumo wrestler communities from the same locality are important. However, once the share of workers in agricultural sectors became very low, this mechanism did not work.
    Date: 2022–04
  6. By: Fabien Guimtrandy; Thierry Burger-Helmchen (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: The pitch is an important part of the entrepreneur–investor relationship. To come to an agreement, entrepreneurs and investors need to trust each other. However, how does trust arise between them, and how does trust evolve during the few minutes of a pitch? With the aim to develop propositions, we build on previous studies in entrepreneurship and venture funding. Therefore, we rely on the main concepts of trust useful to analyze the interpersonal relationship during a pitch: behavioral trust and transformative trust. We discuss the place of formal documents diffused prior to the pitch and the importance of the oral presentation. We conclude by suggesting testable proposition on the evolution of trust during the pitch.
    Date: 2022–04–07
  7. By: Amiraslani, Hami; Lins, Karl V.; Servaes, Henri; Tamayo, Ane
    Abstract: We investigate whether a firm’s social capital and the trust that it engenders are viewed favorably by bondholders. Using firms’ environmental and social (E&S) performance to proxy for social capital, we find no relation between social capital and bond spreads over the period 2006–2019. However, during the 2008–2009 financial crisis, which represents a shock to trust and default risk, high-social-capital firms benefited from lower bond spreads. These effects are stronger for firms with higher expected agency costs of debt and firms whose E&S efforts are more salient. During the crisis, high-social-capital firms were also able to raise more debt, at lower spreads, and for longer maturities. We find no evidence that the governance element of ESG is related to bond spreads. The gap between E&S performance of firms in the bottom and top E&S terciles has narrowed since the financial crisis, especially in the year prior to accessing the bond market.
    Keywords: ESG; CSR; sustainability; social capital; trust; corporate bonds; bond spreads; agency cost of debt; financial crisis; Springer deal
    JEL: G12 G21 G32 M14
    Date: 2022–04–14
  8. By: Theresa Kuchler; Johannes Stroebel
    Abstract: We argue that the increasing availability of digital trace data presents substantial opportunities for researchers and policy makers to better understand the importance of social networks and social interactions in fostering economic opportunity and resilience. We review recent research efforts that have studied these questions using data from a wide range of sources, including online social networking platform such as Facebook, call detail record data, and network data from payment systems. We also describe opportunities for expanding these research agendas by using other digital trace data, and discuss various promising paths to increase researcher access to the required data, which is often collected and owned by private corporations.
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Swati Sharma (Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi)
    Abstract: Workplace interactions have been identified as a valuable source of information and career advancement. This study examines workplace interaction by looking at personal ties of 1744 blue-collar workers in 2 garment manufacturing units in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi, India. Data analysis shows that men have a more expansive set of personal ties, even after controlling for variation in interpersonal and workplace-related characteristics. Women’s personal networks are smaller, clustered within their functional units and more homogeneous. While supervisors do not figure in personal networks of either gender, women are significantly less likely to mobilize interactions with supervisors for professional or personal purposes. Thus, women’s personal ties at the workplace exhibit patterns that are opposite of those identified by existing literature as instrumental for career advancement.
    Keywords: gender, workplace ties, social networks, garment manufacturing, India
    JEL: D21 D22 J40 M51 Z13
    Date: 2021–04
  10. By: Hatice Jenkins (Department of Banking and Finance Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus); Glenn P. Jenkins (Department of Economics, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada)
    Abstract: One outcome of the existence of social capital in a community is that individuals will take into consideration the welfare of other members of the community. If an investment project is undertaken that causes the poorer members of society to increase their consumption of goods and services to improve the satisfaction of their basic needs, then other members of the community who are not directly affected by the project may also experience an increase in the level of their economic welfare. This approach takes into consideration both the change in the economic welfare of the recipients of the assistance the enhances the satisfaction of basic needs in the community, and also the tastes, preferences, and economic welfare of the rest of the community. These basic needs externality can be created by investments because the project lowers the price of a good or service used to satisfy their basic needs, or by raising the incomes of the poor groups so that they now will buy more of the goods that are used to satisfy their basic needs. This paper develops a theoretical framework for the evaluation of the basic need’s externality created by the investment. It then applies this theoretical framework to the case of a project that proposes to expand the water supply in the south part of the city of Manila. We find that these externalities can be quite important. In this particular case a conservative evaluation of the basic need’s externality leads to a value that is over 4 times as large as the financial shortfall of the project.
    Keywords: social capital, basic needs, economic externalities, investment appraisal
    JEL: D61 D62 H43
    Date: 2021–08–06
  11. By: Joël Cariolle (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International); Yasmine Elkhateeb (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Cairo University); Mathilde Maurel (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of internet use as a means of accessing news on African citizens' demand for and perception of the supply of democracy. This question is addressed using cross-sectional data from the last three rounds of the Afrobarometer survey for a sample of 25 African countries between 2011 and 2018. Using an instrumental variable approach to control for the possible endogeneity bias between internet use and citizens' perceptions, we found that using the internet to get news has a negative and significant effect on the demand for and on the perceived supply of democracy. The negative effect is channeled through two main factors. The first factor is the confidence in governments and governmental institutions, which is undermined by the use of the internet. In particular, we find that this internet-induced lower confidence translates into a higher probability of engaging in street protests instead of increased political participation. The second driving factor is the (mis-)information channel. On the one hand, we show that internet users' perception of the supply of democracy negatively diverges from experts' ratings. On the other hand, we document further that internet use increases the likelihood of incoherence in the respondent's stance about her demand for democracy. Finally, we show that the negative effect we found is mitigated when the internet is complemented by traditional media sources, especially the radio, to get informed. The findings of this study suggest that internet use is not neutral and tends to undermine citizens' preferences for democracy and alter perceptions about the functioning of political institutions.
    Keywords: Internet news,democracy,Africa
    Date: 2022–03

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