nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2022‒12‒19
six papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Social Norms and Gendered Occupational Choices of Men and Women: Time to Turn the Tide? By Palffy, Patricia; Lehnert, Patrick; Backes-Gellner, Uschi
  2. On Social Norms and Observability in (Dis)honest Behavior By Huber, Christoph; Litsios, Christos; Nieper, Annika S.; Promann, Timo
  3. Social networks and resilience in emerging labor markets By Paola Tubaro
  4. The Good of Rules: An experimental study on prosocial behavior By Caserta, Maurizio; Distefano, Rosaria; Ferrante, Livio
  5. #IamLGBT: Social Networks and Coming Out By Jan Gromadzki; Przemysław Siemaszko
  6. Collaboration Between and Within Groups By Matias Iaryczower; Santiago Oliveros; Parth Parihar

  1. By: Palffy, Patricia (University of Zurich); Lehnert, Patrick (University of Zurich); Backes-Gellner, Uschi (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We analyze the relationship between social gender norms and adolescents' occupational choices by combining regional votes on constitutional amendments on gender equality with job application data from a large job board for apprenticeships. Results show that adolescent males in regions with stronger traditional social gender norms are more likely to apply for typically male occupations. This finding does not hold for females, suggesting that incentivizing men to break the norms and choose gender-atypical occupations (e.g., in healthcare) can be even more effective in accelerating advancement toward gender equality in the labor market than incentivizing women to choose STEM occupations.
    Keywords: occupational gender segregation, social norms, occupational choice
    JEL: J24 J16 I24 M59
    Date: 2022–11
  2. By: Huber, Christoph (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business); Litsios, Christos; Nieper, Annika S. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Promann, Timo
    Abstract: Transparency and observability have been shown to foster ethical decision-making as people tend to comply with an underlying norm for honesty. In a die-rolling experiment, we investigate whether observability can have detrimental effects, however, in situations implying a social norm for dishonesty. We thus introduce a norm nudge towards honesty or dishonesty and make participants' decisions observable and open to other participants' judgment in order to manipulate the observability of people's decisions as well as the underlying social norm. We find that a nudge towards honesty indeed increases the level of honesty, suggesting that such a norm nudge can successfully induce behavioral change. Our introduction of social image concerns via observability, however, does not affect honesty and does not interact with our norm nudge.
    Date: 2022–06–17
  3. By: Paola Tubaro (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, ENSAE - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse Economique - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse Economique, IP Paris - Institut Polytechnique de Paris)
    Abstract: The recent emergence of digital platforms as labor market intermediaries disrupts collective work practices, fostering fragmentation and individualized subcontracting. In these environments where isolation dominates, how do social networks operate, and how do they support social resilience? And how can we, as researchers, apprehend them? To address these questions, this chapter reviews insights from socioeconomic studies of networks, discusses their applicability to platforms, compares and contrasts them to existing evidence on platform work. The analysis confirms that overall, technologyenabled platform intermediation restrains sociability and limits interactions, but specific cases where networking has been possible highlight the fundamental advantages it may have for workers, and suggest directions for future research and policy action.
    Keywords: Labor markets,digital platforms,decent work,economic networks,formal/informal networks,multi-level networks
    Date: 2022–11
  4. By: Caserta, Maurizio; Distefano, Rosaria; Ferrante, Livio
    Abstract: In everyday life, individuals interact with relatives, friends and colleagues, share ideas and passions and cooperate with others to pursue common goals. Within each social domain, individuals recognize themselves as a group member with rights and duties to observe. Understanding the importance of social norms and encouraging mutually beneficial cooperation is crucial for societal and economic development. This paper presents an experimental study of an educational program for early adolescents of 11 years old from South Italy. The program introduces participants to institutions, civic engagement, sense of duty, and decision-making. Among other didactic activities, it includes guided tours and a role-taking game. Our results suggest that the program attendance positively affects cooperation in a one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma and altruistic behavior in a Dictator Game. Our findings contribute to the nature-nurture debate, showing that promoting prosocial behavior can be effective in pursing the common good.
    Keywords: Experimental game theory,Group Decision Making,Cooperation,Prisoner’s Dilemma,Dictator Game
    JEL: C72 C93 I20
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Jan Gromadzki; Przemysław Siemaszko
    Abstract: In recent decades, the number of people disclosing their LGBTQ identity has increased substantially. We investigate the role of peer effects in coming out decisions using a model of a game social learning via networks. We use newly collected data from two waves of a spontaneous Twitter coming out campaign to test the prediction that observing peers coming out increases the probability of an individual disclosing their LGBTQ identity. We combine data on users' pre-campaign networks with the information on the exact time of costly coming out actions to construct a time-varying measure of the exposure to peers coming out as LGBTQ. A one standard deviation increase in the exposure increases the probability of coming out by almost 20%. We also exploit the non-overlapping network structure of users' peers groups as an exogenous source of variation, and we confirm the baseline results. We argue that the estimated effects are due to changes in beliefs about the costs of disclosure.
    Keywords: LGBTQ; social networks; peer effects; social media; cultural change
    JEL: J15 D85 D74 P16 Z13
    Date: 2022–10
  6. By: Matias Iaryczower; Santiago Oliveros; Parth Parihar
    Abstract: We study the ability of multi-group teams to undertake binary projects in a decentralized environment. The equilibrium outcomes of our model display familiar features in collaborative settings, including inefficient gradualism, inaction, and contribution cycles, wherein groups alternate taking responsibility for moving the project forward. Expected delay grows more than proportionally with project size, and some welfare-enhancing projects are not completed, even as agents become arbitrarily patient. A team composed of two equally large groups can complete larger projects than a fully homogenous team, even as the difference in preferences for completion among the two groups is arbitrarily small. Moreover, if the project is sufficiently large, the two-group team always completes the project strictly faster.
    JEL: C72 D72
    Date: 2022–11

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