nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2022‒07‒25
eight papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Trust towards migrants By Nestor Gandelman; Diego Lamé
  2. The role of unobservable characteristics in friendship network formation. By Pablo Brañas-Garza; Lorenzo Ductor; Jaromir Kovarik
  3. Perceived Temperature, Trust and Civil Unrest in Africa By Gabriel Aboyadana; Marco Alfano
  4. Fighting Populism on Its Own Turf: Experimental Evidence By Vincenzo Galasso; Massimo Morelli; Tommaso Nannicini; Piero Stanig
  5. Country, culture or competition: What drives attitudes towards immigrants in Sub-Saharan Africa? By Becker, Malte; Krüger, Finja; Heidland, Tobias
  6. The effects of induced emotions on environmental preferences and behavior: an experimental study By Lisette Ibanez; Sébastien Roussel
  7. The role of social capital in territorial development: the case of a French post-industrial region By Anna Gerke; Yan Dalla Pria
  8. Universalism: Global Evidence By Alexander W. Cappelen; Benjamin Enke; Bertil Tungodden

  1. By: Nestor Gandelman (Universidad ORT Uruguay. Facultad de Administración y Ciencias Sociales. Departmento de Economía); Diego Lamé
    Abstract: Using a standard trust game, we elicit trust and reciprocity measures in a representative sample of adult players in Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay, a country that exhibits relatively better levels of tolerance towards migrants than other Latin American countries. We find no statistically significant differences in trust levels of Uruguayans towards countrymen versus migrants. In reciprocity, we find only marginally significant differences attributable to the nationality of the players.
    Keywords: Trust, Reciprocity, Experimental games, Migrations
    JEL: C9 J15
    Date: 2021–09
  2. By: Pablo Brañas-Garza (Universidad de Loyola Andalucia); Lorenzo Ductor (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Jaromir Kovarik (‡Universidad del País Vasco UPV/EHU and University of West Bohemia)
    Abstract: Inbreeding homophily is a prevalent feature of human social networks with important individual and group-level social, economic, and health consequences. The literature has proposed an overwhelming number of dimensions along which human relationships might sort, without proposing a unified empirically-grounded framework for their categorization. We exploit rich data on a sample of University freshmen with very similar characteristic - age, race and education- and contrast the relative importance of observable vs. unobservables characteristics in their friendship formation. We employ Bayesian Model Averaging, a methodology explicitly designed to target model uncertainty and to assess the robustness of each candidate attribute while predicting friendships. We show that, while observable features such as assignment of students to sections, gender, and smoking are robust key determinants of whether two individuals befriend each other, unobservable attributes, such as personality, cognitive abilities, economic preferences, or socio-economic aspects, are largely sensible to the model specification, and are not important predictors of friendships.
    Keywords: editorial boards, journals, concentration, power, busyness, innovation, impact
    JEL: D8 D85 J7 J16 O30
    Date: 2022–07–06
  3. By: Gabriel Aboyadana (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde and School of Education, University of Glasgow); Marco Alfano (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, University College London)
    Abstract: This paper documents a significant effect of short-term temperature fluctuations on attitudes towards institutions and on civil unrest in Africa. Combining attitudinal survey and climate data, we calculate temperature as perceived by respondents via an algorithm that combines different meteorological variables. The results show that daily temperature anomalies at the location of interview increase self-reported mistrust in government and intentions to vote for opposition parties. Effects are particularly strong in poor countries where temperature anomalies also increase self-reported intentions to protest. Accordingly, we find that temperature anomalies also increase incidences of protests and riots. Evidence suggests that effects are not driven by changes in agricultural incomes.
    Keywords: Climate, Trust, Conflict
    JEL: D74 Q54 N57
    Date: 2021–04
  4. By: Vincenzo Galasso; Massimo Morelli; Tommaso Nannicini; Piero Stanig
    Abstract: We evaluate how traditional parties may respond to populist parties on issues that are particularly fitting for populist messages. The testing ground is the 2020 Italian referendum on the reduction of members of Parliament. We implement a large-scale field experiment, with almost one million impressions of programmatic advertising, and a survey experiment. Our treatments are an informative video on the likely costs of cutting MPs, aimed at deconstructing the populist narrative, and a reducing trust video aimed at attacking the credibility of populist politicians. Our field experiment shows that the latter video is more effective at capturing the viewers’ attention. It decreases the turnout rate and, albeit less, the “Yes” votes (in favor of cutting MPs). We present a theoretical framework based on trust in traditional parties and information acquisition to account for our findings and provide additional predictions. In the survey experiment, both (unskippable) videos reduce the “Yes” votes and increase the share of undecided. Confirming the theory, for voters of traditional parties the effects are concentrated among people with low information, while for voters of populist parties previous information plays no role. Our findings show that campaign messages should target not only demographic characteristics but also trust attitudes.
    Keywords: field experiment, programmatic advertisement, electoral campaign
    JEL: D72 C93
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Becker, Malte; Krüger, Finja; Heidland, Tobias
    Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming an increasingly important destination for international migration. The region hosts immigrants from other African countries and from other parts of the world, such as China. Given high poverty levels and weak social security systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, host populations might fear increasing competition for resources and labor, potentially resulting in negative attitudes towards immigrants. We provide the first systematic study of attitudes towards immigrants in Sub-Saharan African countries that uses a causal framework. Using a survey experiment in Uganda and Senegal, we study both attitudes towards immigrants in general and towards specific immigrant groups. In particular, we focus on Chinese immigrants, whose increasing presence in Africa is seen by many as the most important contemporary geopolitical shift involving the continent. We find that attitudes towards immigrants are mainly driven by sociotropic cultural and sociotropic economic concerns. Furthermore, immigrants from China are perceived less positively and economically more threatening than immigrants in general.
    Keywords: attitudes towards immigration,China in Africa,migration,experiment,conjoint
    JEL: F22 O15 O55
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Lisette Ibanez (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement); Sébastien Roussel (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement)
    Abstract: Communication policies employed by policymakers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) often appeal to the emotions to persuade people to adopt virtuous behavior. The aim of this paper is to study the impact of induced emotions on pro-environmental behavior (PEB). We design a three-stage laboratory experiment. In the first stage, we determine the level of the subjects' environmental awareness. In the second stage, subjects read scripts that place them in realistic hypothetical scenarios designed to induce specific emotions. We implement a 2 x 2 in-between design by varying both the valence and social dimension of the four emotional states induced: happiness, sadness, pride and shame. In the third stage, subjects play a modified dictator game in which the recipient is an environmental non-governmental organization (ENGO). We show that the emotional states of subjects can influence PEB. In particular, negative emotions significantly reduce the average individual amount of donations made to ENGOs. We also find that the precise impact of the emotional states is more complex and appears to be dependent on individuals' characteristics and awareness for environmental issues. For instance, in positive emotional states, men donate significantly less than women. In addition, a high level of environmental awareness increases donations in subjects experiencing shame and decreases their likelihood to donate when feeling pride. Also, we observe behavioral consistency for negative emotions and rather compensatory behavior for positive emotions.
    Keywords: Emotions,Happiness,Prosocial Behavior,Dictator game,Educational attainment,Decision making,Experimental economics,advertising
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Anna Gerke (Audencia Recherche - Audencia Business School); Yan Dalla Pria (IDHES - Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Économie et de la Société - ENS Paris Saclay - Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay - UEVE - Université d'Évry-Val-d'Essonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - UP8 - Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Date: 2022–05–25
  8. By: Alexander W. Cappelen; Benjamin Enke; Bertil Tungodden
    Abstract: This paper presents a new set of stylized facts about the global variation in universalism, leveraging hypothetical money allocation tasks deployed in representative samples of 64,000 people from 60 countries. Our data reveal large variation in universalism within and across countries, which almost entirely reflects heterogeneity in people’s moral views regarding how to treat different types of relationships. These moral views vary systematically with age, gender and religiosity. Universalism is strongly predictive of relevant outcomes such as civic engagement and left-wing economic and social policy views, in particular in the rich West. Across countries, universalism varies with the economic, political and religious organization of societies. We provide tentative evidence that experience with democracy makes people more universalist. Overall, our results show that moral universalism shapes and is shaped by politico-economic outcomes across the globe.
    Keywords: universalism, morality, culture
    Date: 2022

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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.