nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2023‒01‒23
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Immigrant Next Door: Long-Term Contact, Generosity, and Prejudice By Leonardo Bursztyn; Thomas Chaney; Tarek Alexander; Hassan Aakaash Rao
  2. Social Capital and Monetary Policy By Rustam Jamilov
  3. Beliefs about social norms and (the polarization of) COVID-19 vaccination readiness By Silvia Angerer; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Thomas Rittmannsberger
  4. Fear, Trust and Demand for Regulation: Evidence from the Covid-19 Pandemic in Russia By Ekaterina Borisova; Timothy Frye; Koen Schoors; Vladimir Zabolotskiy
  5. Fairness of the Crowd - An Experimental Study of Social Spillovers in Fairness Decisions By Madland, Kjetil Røiseland; Strømland, Eirik
  6. Relative Deprivation and Prosocial Behavior: Evidence from South Korea By Pak, Tae-Young; Babiarz, Patryk
  7. Heroes and Villains: The Effects of Combat Heroism on Autocratic Values and Nazi Collaboration in France By Julia Cage; Anna Dagorret; Pauline Grosjean; Saumitra Jha
  8. Homophily and Transmission of Behavioral Traits in Social Networks By Bhargava, Palaash; Chen, Daniel L.; Sutter, Matthias; Terrier, Camille
  9. Turning back the clock: Beliefs about gender roles during lockdown By Anne Boring; Gloria Moroni
  10. Culture and the labor supply of female immigrants By Bredtmann, Julia; Otten, Sebastian
  11. State-to-state Trust in Post-leadership Change: Case Study of China-Japan Relations, 2009-2019 By Kong, NGUYEN To Hong

  1. By: Leonardo Bursztyn (University of Chicago, NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research [New York] - NBER - The National Bureau of Economic Research); Thomas Chaney (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Tarek Alexander (BU - Boston University [Boston], NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research [New York] - NBER - The National Bureau of Economic Research); Hassan Aakaash Rao (Harvard University [Cambridge])
    Abstract: We study how decades-long exposure to individuals of a given foreign descent shapes natives' attitudes and behavior toward that group. Using individualized donations data from large charitable organizations, we show that long-term exposure to a given foreign ancestry leads to more generous behavior specifically toward that group's ancestral country. To shed light on mechanisms, we focus on attitudes and behavior toward Arab Muslims, combining several existing large-scale surveys, cross-county data on implicit prejudice, and a newly-collected national survey. We show that greater long-term exposure: (i) decreases both explicit and implicit prejudice against Arab-Muslims, (ii) reduces support for policies and political candidates hostile toward Arab-Muslims, (iii) leads to more personal contact with Arab-Muslim individuals, and (iv) increases knowledge of Arab-Muslims and Islam in general.
    Date: 2022–03
  2. By: Rustam Jamilov (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: The U.S. have experienced a significant decline in generalized trust over the past three decades. Has this secular trend impacted central banking? Empirically, we document that states with high levels of institutional and interpersonal trust are robustly more responsive to monetary policy shocks. Theoretically, we embed a circle of trust block into the New Keynesian framework in continuous time. The calibrated model predicts that monetary policy has become 20% less effective due to the decline in trust. Our findings firm up the social capital channel of monetary non-neutrality and warn that crises of trust could lead to crises of policy inefficacy.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, trust, social capital
    JEL: E5 E7 Z1
    Date: 2022–11
  3. By: Silvia Angerer; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Thomas Rittmannsberger
    Abstract: Social norms affect a wide range of behaviors in society. We conducted a representative experiment to study how beliefs about the existing social norm regarding COVID-19 vaccination affect vaccination readiness. Beliefs about the norm are on average downward biased, and widely dispersed. Randomly providing information about the existing descriptive norm succeeds in correcting biased beliefs, thereby reducing belief dispersion. The information has no effect on vaccination readiness on average, which is due to opposite effects among women (positive) and men (negative). Fundamental differences in how women and men process the same information are likely the cause for these contrasting information effects. Control-group vaccination intentions are lower among women than men, so the information reduces polarization by gender. Additionally, the information reduces gendered polarization in policy preferences related to COVID-19 vaccination.
    Keywords: social norms, vaccination, COVID-19
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Ekaterina Borisova; Timothy Frye; Koen Schoors; Vladimir Zabolotskiy
    Abstract: Understanding demand for state regulation is a foundational issue for social science. To account for this demand, existing theories rooted in market failure and government failure have focused on various forms of trust, but have paid little attention to fear. We test how fear and trust shape demand for government regulation by drawing on especially precise measures of Covid-related regulations gathered in a survey of more than 23, 000 respondents in 61 Russian regions. We show that fear of contracting the virus is directly related to greater demand for regulation. In addition, the impact of trust is conditional on the level of fear. Higher interpersonal trust is related to lower demand for Covid-19 regulation, while higher institutional trust is associated with greater demand, but, provided fear is sufficiently great, demand for regulation will be high regardless of levels of interpersonal and institutional trust. These results inform debates about theories of regulation, identify critical scope conditions for existing research on trust and demand for regulation, and open a fruitful line of research by examining how fear of social bads shapes support for state intervention.
    Keywords: fear, trust, demand for regulation, Covid-19, Russia
    JEL: D64 H11 I12 Z13
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Madland, Kjetil Røiseland; Strømland, Eirik
    Abstract: This paper reports from a large-scale experiment conducted to study the effects of social norms on distributive decision-making. In an incentivized spectator experiment, subjects chose how to divide bonus earnings between a pair of stakeholders. Before choosing a distribution, our spectators stated their beliefs about, and received a signal about, the share of payoff-equalizing spectators in a reference group, randomly drawn from a previous study with the same distributive setting (Almås et al., 2020). This draw gives random variation in the intensity of the signal about the norm that applies in the current setting. We find a statistically significant but small effect of the number of payoff-equalizing spectators in the reference group on the probability of equalizing payoffs in the current setting. The redistribution choice is strongly correlated with spectators’ initial beliefs about the reference group. The effect of the signal about redistribution is primarily driven by the subgroup of participants who receive a large shock to their initial beliefs.
    Date: 2022–12–18
  6. By: Pak, Tae-Young; Babiarz, Patryk
    Abstract: Previous research suggests that the emotional consequences of unfavorable social comparisons determine individual attitudes and behaviors. However, few studies assessed the effect of relative deprivation on prosocial behaviors, and any evidence in the Asian context is particularly scarce. In this study, we examined the association between relative deprivation and prosociality among Korean adults. We used two complementary approaches involving experimental manipulation of relative deprivation via an online survey (Study 1) and an econometric analysis of longitudinal data (Study 2). Study 1 showed that exposure to the relative deprivation condition reduced participants’ willingness to donate, volunteer, and accept unwanted public facilities. Study 2 showed that relative disadvantage within the reference group was negatively related to the extensive and intensive margins of donating or volunteering. We conclude that relative disadvantage constitutes a major determinant of prosocial intention and behaviors among Korean adults.
    Keywords: relative deprivation; upward social comparison; donation; volunteering
    JEL: D64 D90 H40
    Date: 2022–12–12
  7. By: Julia Cage (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Anna Dagorret (Stanford University); Pauline Grosjean (UNSW - University of New South Wales [Sydney]); Saumitra Jha (Stanford University)
    Abstract: Can heroes legitimize strongly-proscribed and repugnant political behaviors? We exploit the purposefully arbitrary rotation of French regiments to measure the legitimizing effects of heroic credentials. 53% of French line regiments happened to rotate under a specific general, Philippe Pétain, during the pivotal WWI battle of Verdun (1916). Using recently declassified intelligence data on 95, 314 individuals, we find the home municipalities of regiments serving under Pétain at Verdun raised 7% more Nazi collaborators during the Pétain led Vichy regime (1940-44). The effects are similar across joining Fascist parties, German forces, paramilitaries that hunted Jews and the Resistance, and collaborating economically. These municipalities also increasingly vote for right-wing parties between the wars. The voting effects persist after WWII, becoming particularly salient during social crises. We argue these results reflect the complementary role of the heroes of Verdun in legitimizing and diffusing the authoritarian values of their former leader.
    Keywords: Heroes, Leaders, Democratic Values, Autocracy, Identity, Networks, Votes, Legitimacy
    Date: 2021–10–12
  8. By: Bhargava, Palaash (Columbia University); Chen, Daniel L. (Toulouse School of Economics); Sutter, Matthias (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Terrier, Camille (University of Lausanne)
    Abstract: Social networks are a key factor of success in life, but they are also strongly segmented on gender, ethnicity, and other demographic characteristics (Jackson, 2010). We present novel evidence on an understudied source of homophily, namely behavioral traits. Behavioral traits are important determinants of life-time outcomes. While recent work has focused on how these traits are influenced by the family environment or how they can be affected by childhood interventions, little is still known about how these traits are associated to social networks. Based on unique data that we collected using incentivized experiments on more than 2, 500 French high-school students, we find high levels of homophily across all ten behavioral traits that we study (including social, risk, competitive preferences, and aspirations). Notably, the extent of homophily depends on similarities in demographic characteristics, in particular with respect to gender. Furthermore, the larger the number of behavioral traits that students share, the higher the overall homophily. Then, using network econometrics, we show that the observed homophily is not only an outcome of endogenous network formation, but is also a result of friends influencing each others' behavioral traits. Importantly, the transmission of traits is larger when students share demographic characteristics, such as gender, have been friends for longer or are friends with more popular individuals.
    Keywords: homophily, social networks, behavioral traits, peer effects, experiments
    JEL: D85 C91 D01 D90
    Date: 2022–12
  9. By: Anne Boring (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tinbergen Institute - Tinbergen Institute, LIEPP - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po); Gloria Moroni (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tinbergen Institute - Tinbergen Institute)
    Abstract: We study the impact of lockdown measures on beliefs about gender roles. We collect data from a representative sample of 1, 000 individuals in France during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. To measure beliefs about gender roles, we use questions from the 2018 wave of the European Values Study, and match respondents from the two surveys to compare beliefs before and during lockdown. We find evidence that the lockdown period was associated with a shift towards more traditional beliefs about gender roles. The effects are concentrated among men from the most time-constrained households and from households where bargaining with a partner over sharing responsibility for household production was likely to be an issue. Finally, we find evidence that beliefs about gender equality may be a luxury good: beliefs in equal gender roles increase with household income. Overall, our results suggest that men are more likely to hold egalitarian beliefs about gender roles when these beliefs are not costly for them.
    Keywords: gender norms, household production, COVID-19, time constraints, bargaining
    Date: 2022–04–05
  10. By: Bredtmann, Julia; Otten, Sebastian
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of source-country culture on the labor supply of female immigrants in Europe. We find that the labor supply of immigrant women is positively associated with the female-to-male labor force participation ratio in their source country, which serves as a proxy for the country's preferences and beliefs regarding women's roles. This suggests that the culture and norms of their source country play an important role for immigrant women's labor supply. However, contradicting previous evidence for the U.S., we do not find evidence that the cultural effect persists through the second generation.
    Keywords: Female labor force participation, immigration, integration, cultural transmission, epidemiological approach
    JEL: J16 J22 J61
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Kong, NGUYEN To Hong
    Abstract: The concept of trust underlies an important part of various theories in International Relations, but is yet to take roots in the mainstream research. To fill this gap in the literature, this study first reviews the dominant theories on trust in sociology and psychology, and then identifies the three main approaches to trust in world politics. In order to find the factors affecting state-to-state trust, the study tests the effects of leadership turnovers on the formation of trust or mistrust between two states. In particular, the empirical research focuses on the relations between China and Japan under different leaderships from 2009 and 2019. It uses an original dataset of high-level Sino-Japanese diplomatic activities and talk content from 2009 to 2019, as extracted from the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily as well as the websites of the ministries of foreign affairs of both China and Japan. The findings highlight how interstate mistrust is likely to endure different leadership changes whereas interstate trust is unlikely to be inherited so easily between leaderships. Trust between China and Japan is found to be highly contextual and dependent on the core state interests and the political actors involved. Mutual trust, if established, can move the relationship beyond the commercial realm and into more strategic area. The study contributes not just empirical evidences on the role of trust in interstate interactions but also a systematic method to assessing such interactions.
    Date: 2021–02–09

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