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

  1. Measuring Socially Appropriate Social Preferences By Carpenter, Jeffrey P.; Robbett, Andrea
  2. In Someone Else’s Shoes : Promoting Prosocial Behavior Through Perspective Taking By Chatruc,Marisol Rodríguez; Rozo Villarraga,Sandra Viviana
  3. Proximity, Similarity, and Friendship Formation: Theory and Evidence By A. Arda Gitmez; Rom\'an Andr\'es Z\'arate
  4. The Effect of Social Media on Elections: Evidence from the United States By Thomas Fujiwara; Karsten Müller; Carlo Schwarz
  5. Long-Term Effects of the 1923 Mass Refugee Inflow on Social Cohesion in Greece By Murard,Elie
  6. Forced Migration, Social Cohesion and Conflict: The 2015 Refugee Inflow in Germany By Albarosa,Emanuele; Elsner,Benjamin
  7. Historical pathogen prevalence and the radius of trust By Pantelis Kammas; Vassilis Sarantides
  8. Do Gender Norms Become Less Traditional with Displacement ? The Case of Colombia By Rubiano Matulevich,Eliana Carolina
  9. Norm-Signalling Punishment By Daniele Nosenzo; Erte Xiao; Nina Xue
  10. How Do Gender Norms Shape Education and Domestic Work Outcomes ? The Case of Syrian RefugeeAdolescents in Jordan By Krafft,Caroline Gould; Ragui,Assaad; Pastoor,Isabel
  11. The Times Have Changed: Tracking the Evolution of Gender Norms over Time By Kuhn, Andreas
  12. Culture, Children and Couple Gender Inequality By Jessen, Jonas
  13. The Geography of Child Penalties and Gender Norms: Evidence from the United States By Henrik Kleven

  1. By: Carpenter, Jeffrey P. (Middlebury College); Robbett, Andrea (Middlebury College)
    Abstract: We extend the literature structurally estimating social preferences by accounting for the desire to adhere to social norms. Our representative agent is strongly motivated by norms and failing to account for this causes us to overestimate how much agents care about helping those who are worse off. We endogenously identify latent preference types that replicate previous estimates; however, accounting for the normative appropriateness of decisions reveals different motives. Rather than being mostly altruistic, participants are better described as strong altruists or norm followers. Our results (which are robust to moral wiggle room) thus recast prior findings in a new light.
    Keywords: experiment, social norms, social preferences, altruism, moral wiggle room, structural estimation, finite mixture models
    JEL: C91 D01 D91 D63 D30 C49
    Date: 2022–09
  2. By: Chatruc,Marisol Rodríguez; Rozo Villarraga,Sandra Viviana
    Abstract: Can taking the perspective of an out-group reduce prejudice and promote prosociality Buildingon insights from social psychology, this paper studies the case of Colombian natives and Venezuelan immigrants. Thiswas done by conducting an online experiment in which natives were randomly assigned either to play an online game thatimmersed them in the life of a Venezuelan migrant or to watch a documentary about Venezuelans crossing the border onfoot. Relative to a control group, both treatments increased altruism towards Venezuelans and improved some attitudes,but only the game significantly increased self-reported trust.
    Keywords: Gender and Development,Indigenous Communities,Indigenous Peoples Law,Indigenous Peoples,Educational Sciences,Labor Markets
    Date: 2021–11–30
  3. By: A. Arda Gitmez; Rom\'an Andr\'es Z\'arate
    Abstract: Can proximity make friendships more diverse? To address this question, we propose a learning-driven friendship formation model to study how proximity and similarity influence the likelihood of forming social connections. The model predicts that proximity affects more friendships between dissimilar than similar individuals, in opposition to a preference-driven version of the model. We use an experiment at selective boarding schools in Peru that generates random variation in the physical proximity between students to test these predictions. The empirical evidence is consistent with the learning model: while social networks exhibit homophily by academic achievement and poverty, proximity generates more diverse social connections.
    Date: 2022–10
  4. By: Thomas Fujiwara (Princeton University and NBER); Karsten Müller (National University of Singapore); Carlo Schwarz (Università Bocconi)
    Abstract: We study how social media affects election outcomes in the United States. We use variation in the number of Twitter users across counties induced by early adopters at the 2007 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, a key event in Twitter’s rise to popularity. We show that this variation is unrelated to observable county characteristics and electoral outcomes before the launch of Twitter. Our results indicate that Twitter lowered the Republican vote share in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, but had limited effects on Congressional elections and previous presidential elections. Evidence from survey data, primary elections, and a text analysis of millions of tweets suggests that Twitter’s relatively liberal content may have persuaded voters with moderate views to vote against Donald Trump.
    Keywords: voting behavior, elections
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2022–09
  5. By: Murard,Elie
    Abstract: After the 1919–1922 Greco-Turkish conflict, 1.2 million Greek Orthodox were forcibly displacedfrom Turkey to Greece, increasing the host population by 20 percent within a few months. Refugees were pro-vided withfarmland, new houses and schools, and were granted the Greek citizenship. This paper analyses the long-term socialintegration of refugees and the effect of their resettlement on social cohesion. Combining historical and modernpopulation censuses and surveys, this paper finds that, by the 2000s, refugees display a high rate of intermarriagewith Greek natives, report levels of trust in others and in institutions similar to natives, and exhibit higherpolitical and civic participation. At the community level, places with a higher share of refugees in 1928 are morelikely to have at least one sport association 80 years later. There is no impact on political fragmentation nor oncrime. The historical refugees’ integration starkly contrasts with the social marginalization of recent Albanianimmigrants who, unlike the former, neither spoke Greek nor had the same religion as locals upon arrival. These resultssuggest that early investments in inclusion policies can be effective at fostering refugees’ assimilation, at least whennewcomers and locals have similar cultural profiles.
    Keywords: Indigenous Peoples,Indigenous Communities,Indigenous Peoples Law,Educational Sciences,Armed Conflict,Social Cohesion
    Date: 2022–01–26
  6. By: Albarosa,Emanuele; Elsner,Benjamin
    Abstract: In 2015, Germany welcomed close to one million asylum seekers and refugees from Syria,Afghanistan, the Western Balkans and elsewhere. Although the country was often praised for its welcome culture, theinflow has spurred a debate about identity, social cohesion and the limits of multiculturalism. This paper analyzes theeffect of this inflow on various dimensions of social cohesion. To separate causation from correlation, itexploits the fact that asylum seekers in Germany are allocated to local areas based on an area’s tax revenues andpopulation several years prior. Therefore, the allocation is unrelated to current economic, political or socialconditions. Based on survey data as well as data scraped from newspapers, the paper documents two sets of results.First, it finds no effect on self-reported indicators of trust and perceived fairness, and a small negative effect onand attitudes towards immigrants. In contrast, it finds that the refugee inflow led to an increased incidence ofanti-immigrant violence that lasted for about two years. This increase is larger in areas with higher unemploymentand greater support for right-wing parties.
    Keywords: Social Cohesion,International Migration,Migration and Development,Human Migrations & Resettlements,Crime and Society,Indigenous Peoples Law,Indigenous Peoples,Indigenous Communities,Rural Labor Markets,Labor Markets
    Date: 2022–01–26
  7. By: Pantelis Kammas (Athens University of Economics and Business, Patission 76, Athens 10434, Greece); Vassilis Sarantides (Athens University of Economics and Business, Patission 76, Athens 10434, Greece)
    Abstract: What explains the emergence of cooperation among individuals and what determines the range of situations in which humans cooperate? In this study, we build on the pathogen stress hypothesis to explore the role of infectious diseases on the radius of trust (i.e., on whether trust was restricted towards a narrow circle of familiar others or, in contrast, involved a much wider circle of strangers) in different societies through the years. Our analysis develops and employs both contemporary and historical measures of radius of trust and takes place along four layers, namely at: (i) cross-country level, (ii) cross-country individual level, (iii) pre-industrial ethic group level, and (iv) using data on second-generation migrants. Empirical findings across all layers of analysis clearly indicate that historical pathogen prevalence is robustly and negatively associated with the radius of trust that the reference point of in-groups is restricted to the closest circle of familiar others. In other words, lethal disease environments seem to increase the distance between out-group and in-group trust, decreasing consequently the radius of people who are deemed trustworthy.
    Keywords: pathogens; radius of trust; persistence
    JEL: N00 Z10
    Date: 2022–10
  8. By: Rubiano Matulevich,Eliana Carolina
    Abstract: Conflict-induced displacement is associated with loss of human and physical capital andpsychological trauma. Households and social structures that produce and reproduce gender norms are disrupted, providingopportunities for change. This paper operationalizes a definition of gender norms that brings together thebehaviors and attitudes of displaced and non-displaced women using household survey data for Colombia. The results of atwo-step estimation involving kernel-based propensity score matching and multilevel linear regression models show thatgender norms condoning violence against women relax with displacement, while those that limit women’s economicopportunities become more rigid. The findings also reveal a misalignment between attitudes and behaviors in otherdomains. Displaced women have less rigid patriarchal attitudes, but their ability to decide about contraceptionand their own earnings decreases following displacement.
    Keywords: Gender and Development,Health Care Services Industry,Social Conflict and Violence,Anthropology,Gender and Social Development
    Date: 2021–10–28
  9. By: Daniele Nosenzo (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University); Erte Xiao (Monash University); Nina Xue (Monash University)
    Abstract: The literature on punishment and prosocial behavior has presented conflicting findings. In some settings, punishment crowds out prosocial behavior and backfires, in others, however, it promotes prosociality. We examine whether the punisher’s motives can help reconcile these results through a novel experiment in which the agent’s outcomes are identical in two environments, but in one punishment is self-serving (i.e., potentially benefits the punisher) while in the other it is other-regarding (i.e., potentially benefits a third party). We find that self-regarding punishment reduces the social stigma of selfish behavior, while other-regarding punishment does not. As a result, self-serving punishment is less effective at encouraging compliance and is more likely to backfire compared to other-regarding punishment. Our findings have implications for the design of punishment mechanisms and highlight the importance of the punisher’s motives in the norm-signalling function of punishment.
    Keywords: Punishment, norms, stigma, crowd out, experiment
    JEL: C91 C72 D02
    Date: 2022–10–19
  10. By: Krafft,Caroline Gould; Ragui,Assaad; Pastoor,Isabel
    Abstract: Forced displacement has disrupted Syrian refugees’ lives and exposed them to new communitiesand norms. This paper assesses how gender norms shape the lives of Syrian refugee adolescent girls in Jordan, usingnationally representative data. Factor analysis is used to summarize a variety of beliefs and behavioral aspects ofnorms: gender role attitudes, justification of domestic violence, decision making, and mobility. The paper comparesthese outcomes by sex, nationality, and for adolescents versus adults. It complements the data on individual beliefsand behaviors with family and community beliefs and behaviors as proxies for others’ expectations and behaviors.The paper then examines how own, family, and community gender norms relate to two key adolescent outcomes: domesticwork and enrollment in school. The findings show that while gender role attitudes are similar across generations andnationalities, Syrian adolescent girls are particularly restricted in their mobility. Nonetheless, they have similareducational outcomes as boys and, after accounting for differences in socioeconomic status, as Jordanian girls.While gender inequality in domestic work is substantial, higher levels of own and mother’s decision making predictlower domestic workloads, illustrating the linkages between different dimensions of gender norms and social and economic outcomes.
    Keywords: Gender and Development,Social Cohesion,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2021–10–28
  11. By: Kuhn, Andreas (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training)
    Abstract: Data on job advertisements from 1950 up to 2020 reveal that there was a significant change among Swiss employers' stated preferences regarding their prospective employees' gender. More specifically, the proportion of gender-neutral job posts increased from 5 to almost 95 percent within the observation period. To further corroborate and contextualize this finding, I complement it with time series on the relative frequency of several specific queries, such as equality between men and women, from Google's German language book corpus. These additional series are broadly consistent with the evolution of the share of gender-neutral job posts. However, it also appears that there are two distinct narratives, one concerned with the personal sphere, identity and intimate relationships, the other with the political and public realm. Interestingly, the narrative on personal relations set off considerably earlier than the change in the proportion of gender-neutral job ads. Overall, the evidence from the different data series shows that gender norms have changed substantively, yet in a complex manner, over the past decades.
    Keywords: social norms, gender norms, gender equality, job advertisements, narratives, cultural change, Google books
    JEL: D91 J16
    Date: 2022–10
  12. By: Jessen, Jonas (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt / Oder)
    Abstract: This paper examines how culture impacts within-couple gender inequality. Exploiting the setting of Germany's division and reunification, I compare child penalties of East Germans who were socialised in a more gender egalitarian culture to West Germans socialised in a gender-traditional culture. Using a household panel, I show that the long-run child penalty on the female income share is 23.9 percentage points for West German couples, compared to 12.9 for East German couples. The arrival of children also leads to a greater increase in the female share of housework and child care for West Germans. I add to the main findings by using time-use diary data from the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and reunified Germany, which provides a rare insight into gender inequality in the GDR and allows me to compare the effect of having children in the GDR to the effects in East and West Germany after reunification. Lastly, I show that attitudes towards maternal employment are more egalitarian among East Germans, but that the arrival of children leads to more traditional attitudes for both East and West Germans. The findings confirm that socialisation has a strong impact on child penalties and that family policies may have an impact on gender inequality through social learning in the long run.
    Keywords: cultural norms, gender inequality, child penalty
    JEL: J16 J22 D1
    Date: 2022–09
  13. By: Henrik Kleven (Princeton University)
    Abstract: This paper develops a new approach to estimating child penalties based on cross-sectional data and pseudo-event studies around child birth. The approach is applied to US data and validated against the state-of-the-art panel data approach. Child penalties can be accurately estimated using cross-sectional data, which are widely available and give more statistical power than typical panel datasets. Five main empirical findings are presented. First, US child penalties have declined significantly over the last five decades, but almost all of this decline occurred during the earlier part of the period. Child penalties have been virtually constant since the 1990s, explaining the slowdown of gender convergence during this period. Second, child penalties vary enormously over space. The employment penalty ranges from 12% in the Dakotas to 38% in Utah, while the earnings penalty ranges from 21% in Vermont to 61% in Utah. Third, child penalties correlate strongly with measures of gender norms. The evolution of child penalties mirrors the evolution of gender progressivity over time, with a greater fall in child penalties in states where gender progressivity has increased more. Fourth, an epidemiological study of gender norms using US-born movers and foreign-born immigrants is presented. The child penalty for US movers is strongly related to the child penalty in their state of birth, adjusting for selection in their state of residence. Parents born in high-penalty states (such as Utah or Idaho) have much larger child penalties than those born in low-penalty states (such as the Dakotas or Rhode Island), conditional on where they live. Similarly, the child penalty for foreign immigrants is strongly related to the child penalty in their country of birth. Immigrants born in high-penalty countries (such as Mexico or Iran) have much larger child penalties than immigrants born in low-penalty countries (such as China or Sweden). Evidence is presented to show that these effects are not driven by selection. Finally, immigrants assimilate to US culture over time: A comparison of child penalties among first-generation and later-generation immigrants shows that differences by country of origin eventually disappear.
    Keywords: Child Penalties, Panel Data Approach, Children, Immigrants, United States
    JEL: C23 J13
    Date: 2022–07

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