nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2022‒07‒11
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Policy-making, trust and the demand for public services: Evidence from a nationwide family planning program By Gianmarco León-Ciliotta; Dijana Zejcirovic; Fernando Fernandez
  2. The Origins of Elite Persistence: Evidence from Political Purges in Post-World War II France By Toke Aidt; Jean Lacroix; Pierre-Guillaume Méon
  3. Economic Integration and the Transmission of Democracy By Giacomo Magistretti; Marco Tabellini
  4. Tax morale and social capital: an empirical investigation among European citizens By Alessandro Cascavilla Author-Name-First Alessandro; Jordi Ripollés; Andrea Morone
  5. Mobile Internet Access and the Desire to Emigrate By Joop Age Harm Adema; Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara
  6. Comparing data gathered in an online and a laboratory experiment using the Trustlab platform By Nobuyuki Hanaki; Takahiro Hoshino; Kohei Kubota; Fabrice Murtin; Masao Ogaki; Fumio Ohtake; Naoko Okuyama
  7. Composite effects of human, natural and social capitals on sustainable food-crop farming in Sub-Saharan Africa By Tuan Nguyen-Anh; Chinh Hoang-Duc; Tuyen Tiet; Phu Nguyen-Van; Nguyen To-The

  1. By: Gianmarco León-Ciliotta; Dijana Zejcirovic; Fernando Fernandez
    Abstract: Trust in institutions is a key driver of the demand for government services, and in turn, the way these services are delivered affects trust. We study a large-scale family planning campaign in which more than 300,000 Peruvian women were sterilized. Many of these are alleged to have been performed without appropriate or informed consent. Using a difference-in-difference strategy, we show that subsequent disclosures about the alleged sterilizations reduced usage of contraceptive methods, pre-natal and birth delivery services, and -more generally- the demand for medical services and that child health worsened as a result. The results persist for at least 17 years after the information disclosure and are mainly driven by those who strongly supported the government at baseline, i.e. disappointed voters, and not by those who share demographic characteristics with the alleged victims. Learning about government mistreatment of citizens undermined trust in institutions. Our results highlight the relevance of how policies are implemented and communicated to citizens for ensuring their long-term success.
    Keywords: trust, public policy, reproductive health
    JEL: O10 I14 I18 N36
    Date: 2022–06
  2. By: Toke Aidt; Jean Lacroix; Pierre-Guillaume Méon
    Abstract: This paper studies a new mechanism that allows political elites from a non-democratic regime to survive a democratic transition: connections. We document this mechanism in the transition from the Vichy regime to democracy in post-World War II France. The parliamentarians who had supported the Vichy regime were purged in a two-stage process where each case was judged twice by two different courts. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, we show that Law graduates, a powerful social group in French politics with strong connections to one of the two courts, had a clearance rate that was 10 percentage points higher than others. This facilitated the persistence of that elite group. A systematic analysis of 17,589 documents from the defendants' dossiers is consistent with the hypothesis that the connections of Law graduates to one of the two courts were a major driver of their ability to avoid the purge. We consider and rule out alternative mechanisms.
    Keywords: purges, political transitions, elite persistence, connections
    JEL: D73 K40 N44 P48
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Giacomo Magistretti; Marco Tabellini
    Abstract: In this paper, we study if exposure to the institutions of trade partners changes individuals' attitudes towards democracy and favors the process of democratization. We combine survey data with country-level measures of democracy from 1960 to 2015, and exploit the improvement in air, relative to sea, transportation to derive a time-varying instrument for trade. Relying on within-country variation across cohorts, we find that individuals who grew up when their country was more integrated with democracies are, at the time of the survey, more supportive of democracy. In line with the change in citizens' preferences, economic integration with democratic partners has a large, positive effect on a country's democracy score. Instead, economic integration with non-democratic partners has no impact on either individuals' attitudes or countries' institutions. We provide evidence consistent with the transmission of democratic capital from more to less democratic countries.
    JEL: F14 F15 P16
    Date: 2022–05
  4. By: Alessandro Cascavilla Author-Name-First Alessandro (Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain and Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Italy); Jordi Ripollés (Institute of International Economics and Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain); Andrea Morone (Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Italy)
    Abstract: Despite the extensive literature examining determinants of tax morale, little is still known about the relationship between the associational involvement of citizens and their willingness to pay taxes. Given the insights offered by the social capital literature regarding the role of voluntary organisations in shaping civic engagement, this study sets out to empirically investigate how membership of different types of associations could influence individual tax morale in Europe. With this in mind, we exploit the information available in the fifth wave of the European Values Study (EVS, 2017) for citizens of 34 countries. Unlike previous studies on tax morale, we classify the types of voluntary associations depending on their potential to build out-group “bridging” or in-group “bonding” social ties. In this study, to carry out the classification, three alternative approaches are considered which are based on the socio-demographic heterogeneity within associations, the interconnections between them, and a combination of both. Our findings show that, after controlling for different individual characteristics and country-specific unobserved heterogeneity, those survey respondents involved in bridging associations tend to exhibit higher levels of tax morale, while the opposite is found for bonding associations. The results are quite robust for the three approaches and different estimation strategies, including an instrumentalvariables methodology. In view of our findings, policies aimed at incentivising volunteering activities in more connected associations and in those that include more heterogeneous members seem appropriate to promote the public spiritedness of citizens.
    Keywords: tax morale; social capital; volunteering
    JEL: C25 H26
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Joop Age Harm Adema; Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara
    Abstract: In this paper, we present theory and global evidence on how mobile internet access affects desire and plans to emigrate. Our theory predicts that mobile internet access increases desire and plans to emigrate. Our empirical analysis combines survey data on 617,402 individuals from 2,120 subnational districts in 112 countries with data on worldwide 3G mobile internet rollout from 2008 to 2018. We show that an increase in mobile internet access increases the desire and plans to emigrate. Instrumenting 3G rollout with pre-existing 2G infrastructure suggests that the effects are causal. The effect on the desire to emigrate is particularly strong in high-income countries and for above-median-income individuals in lower-middle-income countries. In line with our theory, an important mechanism appears to be that access to the mobile internet lowers the cost of acquiring information on potential destinations. In addition to this, increased internet access reduces perceived material well-being and trust in government. Using municipal-level data from Spain, we also document that 3G rollout increased actual emigration flows.
    Keywords: migration aspirations, migration intentions, internet access
    JEL: F20 L86 D83
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Nobuyuki Hanaki; Takahiro Hoshino; Kohei Kubota; Fabrice Murtin; Masao Ogaki; Fumio Ohtake; Naoko Okuyama
    Abstract: This paper compares the results of an experiment conducted both in the laboratory and online with participants recruited from the same subject pool using the Trustlab platform. This platform has been used to obtain incentivized and internationally comparable behavioral economics measures of altruism, cooperation, reciprocity, trust, and trustworthiness, employing representative samples in many countries. We find little significant difference between the results from sessions conducted in the laboratory and online. While the existing literature shows that the choice between laboratory and online experiments can cause differences in results in some cases, our findings support the hypothesis that they do not cause differences in the behavioral economics measures when using the Trustlab platform.
    Date: 2022–03
  7. By: Tuan Nguyen-Anh; Chinh Hoang-Duc; Tuyen Tiet; Phu Nguyen-Van; Nguyen To-The
    Abstract: This study analyzes the spontaneous impact of human, social and natural capital on food crop technical efficiency (TE) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Our study contributes to the literature by adopting the meta-analysis method to investigate the relationship between TE and the three groups of capitals to better shed light on the TE in SSA regions. Our results highlight that social capital is the most critical factor among the three groups of capitals in promoting farming productivity. In particular, agriculture efficiency benefits from increasing people’s trust in institutions and the frequency of extension visits. Natural capital like temperature and elevation is essential in determining the farming TE in SSA regions. Outstandingly, our results also indicate that calorie intake, a proxy of labor quality, should be improved to achieve better productivity.
    Keywords: Farming technical efficiency; Human capital; Meta-analysis; Natural capital; Social capital; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: D91 Q12 Q18
    Date: 2022

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