nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2022‒11‒14
five papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Online Versus Offline: Which Networks Spur Protests? By Niklas Potrafke; Felix Roesel
  2. Mobile Internet and the Rise of Political Tribalism in Europe By Marco Manacorda; Guido Tabellini; Andrea Tesei
  3. Immigrant bilingualism in the German labour market: Between human capital, social networks, and ethnic marginalisation By Markowsky, Eva; Wolf, Fridolin; Schäfer, Marie
  4. Informal Institution Meets Child Development: Clan Culture and Child Labor in China By Tang, Can; Zhao, Zhong
  5. Party On: The Labor Market Returns to Social Networks in Adolescence By Adriana Lleras-Muney; Matthew Miller; Shuyang Sheng; Veronica Sovero

  1. By: Niklas Potrafke; Felix Roesel
    Abstract: Does social media or offline social cohesion overcome collective action problems more effectively when both types of networks are prevalent? We investigate non-violent protests against a place-based economic reform in Austria—a country where one in two citizens uses Facebook but also one in two citizens is a member of a local club or civic organization. Our results show that protests spread more in places with strong offline networks as measured by real-life networks like village, folklore, or dialect clubs. We do not find that social media penetration intensifies local protests, a finding corroborated by microdata.
    Keywords: online and offline networks, social media, social cohesion, civic organizations, social capital, protest, economic reform, populism
    JEL: D71 D72 Z20
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Marco Manacorda; Guido Tabellini; Andrea Tesei
    Abstract: We study the political effects of the diffusion of mobile Internet between 2007 and 2017, using data on electoral outcomes and on mobile Internet signal across the 84,564 municipalities of 22 European countries. We find that access to mobile Internet increased voters’ support for right-wing populist parties and for parties running on extreme socially conservative platforms, primarily in areas with greater economic deprivation. Using survey data, we also show that mobile Internet increased communitarian attitudes, such as nationalism and dislike of strangers and minorities. We conclude that mobile Internet benefitted right-wing populist parties because, in line with findings in social psychology, it fostered offline tribalism.
    Keywords: populism, communitarianism, Europe, mobile Internet
    JEL: D72 D91 L86
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Markowsky, Eva; Wolf, Fridolin; Schäfer, Marie
    Abstract: We compare the earnings of monolingual and competent bilingual immigrants in Germany. A joint discussion of language skills as human capital or social capital and theories of ethnic marginalisation leads us to expect heterogeneous returns to bilingualism. To track this potential divergence, we differentiate effects by gender, language group, immigrant density in respond- ents' areas of residence, and communication intensity of their occupations. Doing so reveals sizeable differences in the returns to bilingualism. We find positive effects for the largest immigrant community in Germany, the Turkish population, while other language groups do not seem to benefit from retaining their heritage language. Individuals with a Turkish migration background have higher earnings when proficient in their heritage language and German. We discuss how the size of the immigrant community and the bilingualism premium might be related and pursue two alternative explanations: Specialised labour demand due to the wide dissemination of the Turkish-speaking population in Germany and ethnic social networks that are open only to those with proficiency in the heritage language. Our data indicate that both are important but operate in gender-specific ways. Turkish bilingual men experience an earnings premium only in occupations with high communication intensity, while there is no statistical relationship for women. The social capital channel is also much more potent for men, while bilingual German-Turkish women do not seem to profit from heritage-language networks for labour market success to the same degree. We discuss differences by gender in activating social capital and cultural influences as drivers of this gap.
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Tang, Can (Renmin University of China); Zhao, Zhong (Renmin University of China)
    Abstract: Using a national representative sample, the China Family Panel Studies, this paper explores the influences of clan culture, a hallmark of Chinese cultural history, on the prevalence of child labor in China. We find that clan culture significantly reduces the incidence of child labor and working hours of child laborer. The results exhibit strong boy bias, and are driven by boys rather than girls, which reflects the patrilineal nature of Chinese clan culture. Moreover, the impact is greater on boys from households with lower socioeconomic status, and in rural areas. Clan culture acts as a supplement to formal institutions: reduces the incidence of child labor through risk sharing and easing credit constraints, and helps form social norms to promote human capital investment. We also employ an instrument variable approach and carry out a series of robustness checks to further confirm the findings.
    Keywords: informal institution, clan culture, child labor, China
    JEL: J22 J81 O15
    Date: 2022–10
  5. By: Adriana Lleras-Muney; Matthew Miller; Shuyang Sheng; Veronica Sovero
    Abstract: We investigate the returns to adolescent friendships on earnings in adulthood. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we document that individuals make investments to accumulate friends in addition to educational investments. Our model implies that these investments determine educational attainment and the number of friends, both of which generate returns in the labor market. Because both education and friendships are jointly determined, OLS estimates of their returns are biased. To estimate the causal returns to friendships, we implement a novel procedure that assumes the returns to schooling range from 5 to 15% (as the literature has documented), and instrument for friendships using homophily (similarity) measures to obtain bounds on the returns to friendships. We find that having one more friend in adolescence increases earnings between 7 and 12%. We also investigate which friendships matter and the mechanisms by which friendships affect earnings.
    Date: 2022–10

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