nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2023‒02‒27
sixteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Is There Hope after Despair? An Analysis of Trust among China's Cultural Revolution Survivors By Tani, Massimiliano; Cheng, Zhiming; Torgler, Benno
  2. The long-term impact of religion on social capital: lessons from post-war Czechoslovakia By Štěpán Mikula; Tommaso Reggiani; Fabio Sabatini
  3. Persecution and Escape By Sascha O. Becker; Volker Lindenthal; Sharun Mukand; Fabian Waldinger
  4. Does money strengthen our social ties? Longitudinal evidence of lottery winners By Costa-Font, Joan; Powdthavee, Nattavudh
  5. The legacies of authoritarian repression on civil society By Laia Balcells; Francisco Villamil
  6. Trust and social preferences in times of acute health crisis By Fortuna Casoria; Fabio Galeotti; Marie Claire Villeval
  7. Norms, Emotions, and Culture in Human Cooperation and Punishment: Theory and Evidence By Sanjit Dhami; Mengxing Wei
  8. The Dynamics of Networks and Homophily By Matthew O. Jackson; Stephen M. Nei; Erik Snowberg; Leeat Yariv
  9. 'Ten pound touts': post-conflict trust and the legacy of counterinsurgency in Northern Ireland By Kristin M. Bakke; Kit Rickard
  10. Mind the framing when studying social preferences in the domain of losses By Armenak Antinyan; Luca Corazzini; Miloš Fišar; Tommaso Reggiani
  11. Accounting for the long-term stability of the welfare-state regimes in a model with distributive preferences and social norms By Gilles Le Garrec
  12. Home alone: Widows' Well-Being and Time By Maja Adena; Daniel Hamermesh; Michal Myck; Monika Oczkowska
  13. In Gov we Trust : Are Trust and Political Ideology Important Factors of Public Acceptance for Environmental Policies? By Catherine Benjamin; Sebastian Irigoyen; David Masclet
  14. Corporate Culture and Organizational Fragility By Elliott, M.; Golub, B.; Leduc, M. V.
  15. Identity conflict, ethnocentrism and social cohesion By Matteo Sestito
  16. Pastoral conflicts and (dis)trust: Evidence from Nigeria using an instrumental variable approach By Tuki, Daniel

  1. By: Tani, Massimiliano (University of New South Wales); Cheng, Zhiming (University of New South Wales); Torgler, Benno (Queensland University of Technology)
    Abstract: We study the long-term effects of the Cultural Revolution, characterised by widespread violence, summary executions and chaos, on a set of trust outcomes among people surveyed by the China Survey in 2008. We find that the revolution, identified by cohort-specific exposure to excess deaths at the county level, has a significant long-term impact on trust. However, the effects differ according to the relationship considered. Overall, trust emerges as a binder between an individual and his/her friends and relatives, but as a divisive force between the same person and those with whom one may compete with (e.g., co-workers) and unknown or less known others (e.g., those living in the same town). As the revolution occurred more than four decades prior to the China Survey, the results do not support viewing the sole passing of time as an effective cure to recover from a prolonged traumatic experience.
    Keywords: trust, Cultural Revolution, inside-outside groups
    JEL: D3
    Date: 2023–01
  2. By: Štěpán Mikula (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic); Tommaso Reggiani (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff, United Kingdom, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy); Fabio Sabatini (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, IZA, Bonn, Germany)
    Abstract: We exploit a historical experiment that occurred in Czechoslovakia after World War Two to study the drivers of social capital accumulation in an extremely unfa- vorable environment. Between 1945 and 1948, the Sudetenland became the scene of ethnic cleansing, with the expulsion of nearly three million German speakers and the simultaneous influx of nearly two million resettlers. Focusing on the areas where at least 90% of the population was forced to leave, we show that the municipalities hosting a church built before 1945 developed significantly higher social capital under the communist rule, which persisted after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia and the current days.
    Keywords: Institutions, migration, conflict, social capital, religion, transition countries
    JEL: D74 L31 N24 N44 N94 O15 Z12
    Date: 2023–02
  3. By: Sascha O. Becker (Monash University and University of Warwick); Volker Lindenthal (LMU Munich); Sharun Mukand (University of Warwick); Fabian Waldinger (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: We study the role of professional networks in facilitating emigration of Jewish academics dismissed from their positions by the Nazi government. We use individual-level exogenous variation in the timing of dismissals to estimate causal effects. Academics with more ties to early émigrés (emigrated 1933-1934) were more likely to emigrate. Early émigrés functioned as "bridging nodes" that facilitated emigration to their own destination. We also provide evidence of decay in social ties over time and show that professional networks transmit information that is not publicly observable. Finally, we study the relative importance of three types (family, community, professional) of social networks.
    Keywords: professional networks; high-skilled emigration; Nazi Germany; Jewish academics; universities;
    JEL: I20 I23 I28 J15 J24 N30 N34 N40 N44
    Date: 2023–01–23
  4. By: Costa-Font, Joan; Powdthavee, Nattavudh
    Abstract: We study the effect of lottery wins on social ties and support network in the United Kingdom. On average, we find that winning more in the lottery increases the probability of meeting friends on most days, which is consistent with the complementary effect of income on social ties. The opposite is true with regards to social ties held for more instrumental reasons such as talking to neighbours. Winning more in the lottery also lessens an individual support network consistently with a substitution for instrumental social ties. However, further robustness checks reveal that the average lottery effects are driven by the few outliers of very large wins in the sample, thus suggesting that small to medium-sized wins (below £10k) may not be enough to change people’s social ties and support network in a substantial way.
    Keywords: income; lottery; socialization effect; unearned income; friendships; neighbourhood; social ties
    JEL: Z10
    Date: 2023–02–03
  5. By: Laia Balcells; Francisco Villamil
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the legacies on civil society of routine repressive activities carried out by authoritarian regimes, such as the targeting of opposition organizations. We focus on participation in voluntary associations in post-authoritarian Spain. We hypothesize that while repression initially depresses civic life, such effects do not persist after the demise of authoritarianism and the consolidation of a democratic regime.
    Keywords: Authoritarianism, Repression, Democracy, Civic participation
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Fortuna Casoria (CEREN EA 7477, Burgundy School of Business, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France); Fabio Galeotti (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE UMR 5824, 93 Chemin des Mouilles F-69130 Ecully, France); Marie Claire Villeval (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE UMR 5824, 93 Chemin des Mouilles F-69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: We combined a natural experiment (the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020) with the tools of laboratory experiments to study whether and how an unprecedented shock on social interactions (the introduction and abrogation of a nationwide lockdown) affected the evolution of individuals’ social preferences, and willingness to trust others. In a longitudinal online incentivized experiment during the first lockdown in France, we elicited the same participants’ preferences for prosociality, trust and trustworthiness every week for three months. Despite the exposure to long-lasting social distancing, prosocial preferences and the willingness to reciprocate the trust of others remained stable during the whole period under study. In contrast, the lockdown had an immediate negative effect on trust, which remained at lower levels til after the lifting of such measures but recovered its initial level nine months later. The decline in trust was mainly driven by individuals who experienced financial hardship, a lack of outward exposure, and higher anxiety during the lockdown.
    Keywords: Social preferences, Trust, Trustworthiness, Pandemic, COVID-19, Social distancing
    JEL: C92 D91 I18
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Sanjit Dhami; Mengxing Wei
    Abstract: We consider the psychological and social foundations of human contributions and punishments in a voluntary contributions mechanism with punishment (VCMP). We eliminate ‘dynamic economic linkages’ between the two stages of our ‘modified’ VCMP to rule out other potential explanations. We use a beliefs-based model, rooted in psychological game theory, to derive rigorous theoretical predictions that are then tested with pre-registered experiments in China and the UK. Social norms, culture, and endogenous emotions are the key determinants of contributions and punishments. The emotions of shame, frustration, and anger, play a key role in our theoretical and empirical analysis through ‘dynamic psychological linkages’. We provide potential microfoundations for the inherent human tendency to follow social norms and punish norm violators, while respecting boundedly rational strategic decision making.
    Keywords: cooperation and punishment, emotions-shame, frustration, anger, social norms, culture, bounded rationality
    JEL: C91 C92 D01 D91
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Matthew O. Jackson; Stephen M. Nei; Erik Snowberg; Leeat Yariv
    Abstract: We examine friendships and study partnerships among university students over several years. At the aggregate level, connections increase over time, but homophily on gender and ethnicity is relatively constant across time, university residences, and different network layers. At the individual level, homophilous tendencies are persistent across time and network layers. Furthermore, we see assortativity in homophilous tendencies. There is weaker, albeit significant, homophily over malleable characteristics−risk preferences, altruism, study habits, and so on. We find little evidence of assimilation over those characteristics. We also document the nuanced impact of network connections on changes in Grade Point Average.
    Keywords: homophily, social networks, dynamic networks, undergraduate education, peer effects
    JEL: D85 I21 J15 J16 Z13
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Kristin M. Bakke; Kit Rickard
    Abstract: This paper explores the legacies of wartime rebel governance and counterinsurgency tactics. Insurgents rely on civilian support for resources, information, and cover. To defeat insurgents, the state attempts to extract information from communities where support for insurgents is highest. We argue that strong norms against civilian collaboration emerge in these areas, which may have long legacies for local community trust. To explore these legacies, we conduct a case study of post-conflict Northern Ireland.
    Keywords: Trust, Counterinsurgency, Post-conflict, Governance, Survey
    Date: 2023
  10. By: Armenak Antinyan (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom and Wenlan School of Business, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China); Luca Corazzini (Department of Economics and VERA, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Venezia, Italy and MUEEL, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic); Miloš Fišar (Competence Center for Experimental Research, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria, MUEEL, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, and Department of Economics, Ca’ Foscari, University of Venice, Venezia, Italy); Tommaso Reggiani (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, United Kingdom and MUEEL, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, and IZA)
    Abstract: There has been an increasing interest in altruistic behaviour in the domain of losses recently. Nevertheless, there is no consensus in whether the monetary losses make individuals more generous or more selfish. Although almost all relevant studies rely on a dictator game to study altruistic behaviour, the experimental designs of these studies differ in how the losses are framed, which may explain the diverging findings. Utilizing a dictator game, this paper studies the impact of loss framing on altruism. The main methodological result is that the dictators’ prosocial behaviour is sensitive to the loss frame they are embedded in. More specifically, in a dictator game in which the dictators have to share a loss between themselves and a recipient, the monetary allocations of the dictators are more benevolent than in a standard setting without a loss and in a dictator game in which the dictators have to share what remains of their endowments after a loss. These differences are explained by the different social norms that the respective loss frames invoke.
    Keywords: loss, framing, altruism, dictator game, experiment, social norms
    JEL: C91 D02 D64
    Date: 2022–10
  11. By: Gilles Le Garrec (OFCE - Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: After the Esping-Andersen' (1990) seminal study, welfare states are standardingly clustered in three identifiable regimes, liberal for Anglo-Saxon countries, corporatist for Continental Europe and social-democratic for Nordic countries, into which the levels of income redistribution can be ranked, from the lowest for the first to the highest for the last. By finding that most European continental countries are now clustered in the high-taxation group along with Nordic countries, a recent study by Péligry and Ragot (2022) has suggested that the welfare states can evolve and change over time, casting doubt on the long-term stability of the canonical clustering.
    Keywords: Redistribution, voting behavior, fairness, endogenous preferences
    Date: 2023–01
  12. By: Maja Adena (WZB Berlin); Daniel Hamermesh (University of Texas at Austin); Michal Myck (Centre for Economic Analysis); Monika Oczkowska (Centre for Economic Analysis)
    Abstract: Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE, 2004-17) and time diaries from Poland (2013), the U.S. (2006-16), the U.K. (2014-15) and France (2009-10), we examine differences between widowed and partnered older women in well-being and its development in widowhood. Most importantly, our analysis accounts for time use, an aspect which has not been studied previously. We trace the evolution of well-being of women who become widowed by comparing them with their matched non-widowed ‘statistical twins’ and examine the role of an exceptionally broad set of potential moderators of widowhood’s impact on well-being. We confirm a dramatic decrease in mental health and life satisfaction after the loss of partner, followed by a slow partial recovery over a five-year period. An extensive set of controls recorded prior to widowhood, including detailed family ties and social networks, provides little help in explaining the deterioration in well-being. Unique data from time-diaries kept by older women in several European countries and the U.S. tell us why: the key factor behind widows’ reduced well-being is increased time spent alone.
    Keywords: widowhood; well-being; social networks; time use;
    JEL: I31 I19 J14
    Date: 2023–01–20
  13. By: Catherine Benjamin (Univ Rennes, CNRS, CREM - UMR 6211, F-35000 Rennes); Sebastian Irigoyen (Univ Rennes, CNRS, CREM - UMR 6211, F-35000 Rennes); David Masclet (Univ Rennes, CNRS, CREM - UMR 6211, F-35000 Rennes and CIRANO, Montreal Canada)
    Abstract: Several environmental policies are efficient in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However these policies remain still very unpopular among the public and climate issues often provide ideal targets for populists who frame these issues as elite matters. In this current paper we attempt to answer the following question : are environmental issues a matter of elites? We conjecture that this is not necessarily the case but that there exists several factors that may refrain the poorest and less educated individuals from accepting environmental policies. The first explanation relies on the household’s budget constraint and the fact that high income and high educated individuals are in a better financial position to accept costly environmental policies. This explanation relates to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that stipulates that individuals must have fulfilled lower needs before addressing higher levels of needs such as environmental issues. The second explanation is that education may affect support of environmental policies indirectly by reducing ignorance and mistrust, which constitute key barriers to public acceptance of environmental policies. We ran an empirical analysis based on the data from the European Social Survey (2016). We find that higher educated and income individuals are more likely to favor most of environmental policies, suggesting that educational background play both a direct and an indirect role. We also find that both mistrust in institutions and right wing populism, as proxies of skepticism constitute important barriers to most of environmental policies.
    Keywords: Public support, Environmental policies, trust, populism
    JEL: Q50 H11 H12 D02 D12
    Date: 2023–02
  14. By: Elliott, M.; Golub, B.; Leduc, M. V.
    Abstract: Complex organizations accomplish tasks through many steps of collaboration among workers. Corporate culture supports collaborations by establishing norms and reducing misunderstandings. Because a strong corporate culture relies on costly, voluntary investments by many workers, we model it as an organizational public good, subject to standard free-riding problems, which become severe in large organizations. Our main finding is that voluntary contributions to culture can nevertheless be sustained, because an organization’s equilibrium productivity is endogenously highly sensitive to individual contributions. However, the completion of complex tasks is then necessarily fragile to small shocks that damage the organization’s culture.
    Keywords: Corporate Culture, fragility, Networks
    Date: 2023–02–05
  15. By: Matteo Sestito (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper uses a novel dataset on ethnic warfare to shed light on how conflict affects social identification and cohesion. A large body of anecdotal studies suggests that ethnic identities become more salient at times of conflict. Using data from eighteen sub-Saharan countries, I provide econometric evidence for such a claim. The effect of ethnic conflict on various measures of social cohesion is also investigated, uncovering a positive relationship between the two. The finding is understood as a result of the ethnocentric dynamics generated by conflict: as ethnic warfare increases ethnic identification, in-group cooperation follows suit. This parochial interpretation is further strengthened by the use of remote violence and the conditionality of conflict-induced pro-social behaviour on low levels of ethnic polarisation.
    Keywords: ethnic conflict, social cohesion, identity, Africa
    Date: 2023–01–23
  16. By: Tuki, Daniel
    Abstract: Although the incidence of conflicts between Fulani nomadic pastoralists and sedentary farmers in Nigeria have risen significantly during the last decade, no study has, to the best of my knowledge, examined how these conflicts influence distrust of members of the Fulani ethnic group and the larger Muslim population, nor the conditions under which these conflicts, which are primarily about competition over land and water resources, morph into religious conflicts. Using novel survey data collected from Kaduna, the state with the third highest incidence of pastoral conflicts in Nigeria, this study fills these gaps. The regression results show that exposure to pastoral conflicts cause distrust of members of the Fulani ethnic group and Muslims; although the size of the effect is much larger for the Fulani compared to Muslims. This shows that the population in Kaduna tend to conflate the Fulani with Muslims. Religious polarization was found to catalyze the process of resource conflicts turning religious.
    Date: 2023–01–28

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