nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2023‒03‒06
six papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Financial Crisis in a Socialist Setting: Impact on Political Behavior, Social Trust, and Economic Values By Ran Abramitzky; Netanel Ben-Porath; Victor Lavy; Michal Palgi
  2. Firm-level productivity growth returns of social capital: Evidence from Western Europe By Roberto Ganau; Andres Rodriguez-Pose; ;
  3. Integration Vs Cultural Persistence: Fertility and Working Time among Second-Generation Migrants in France By Thomas Baudin; Keiti Kondi
  4. Gender stereotypes in the family By Nicoletti, Cheti; Sevilla-Sanz, Almudena; Tonei, Valentina
  5. Choosing or Inheriting the Joneses: The origins of reference groups By Martín Leites; Camila Paleo; Xavier Ramos; Gonzalo Salas
  6. The effect of skills acquired abroad by return migrants on social relations and quality of life in Cameroon By Gislain S. GANDJON FANKEM; Dieudonné TAKA; Sévérin TAMWO

  1. By: Ran Abramitzky; Netanel Ben-Porath; Victor Lavy; Michal Palgi
    Abstract: Research on the political and social impacts of financial crises has focused chiefly on free market economies, hindering our understanding of their effects in other settings. We exploit an episode of a financial crisis that hit the Israeli kibbutzim to study its impact in a socialist context. Contrary to findings in capitalistic economies, the crisis led to increased support of liberalized labor markets and reduced support for leftist political parties. These effects persisted in the long run, especially among the young. The crisis also reduced trust in leadership, but trust was restored shortly after agreements to settle the debt were signed, relieving the severity of the crisis. Our findings suggest that economic shocks may have different effects in a free market and socialist systems, in both cases leading individuals to question their current system.
    JEL: J0 P00
    Date: 2023–02
  2. By: Roberto Ganau; Andres Rodriguez-Pose; ;
    Abstract: We analyse the firm-level labour productivity growth returns of social capital —defined as a synthetic measure of ‘generalised trust’, ‘active participation’, and ‘social norms’— using a large sample of manufacturing firms in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. We find that firms’ labour productivity growth is higher in areas with a better social capital endowment. The positive returns of social capital are, nevertheless, unevenly distributed across firms, with smaller, less productive, less capital-endowed, and low-tech firms benefitting the most from operating in strong social capital ecosystems.
    Keywords: Firm labour productivity growth; Social capital; Manufacturing industry; Western Europe.
    JEL: C36 D24 R10 Z13
    Date: 2023–02
  3. By: Thomas Baudin (I´ESEG School of Management, LEM UMR 9221 and IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain); Keiti Kondi (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: We study whether cultural norms in the origin country, measured at different times, affect fertility and labor force participation of second-generation migrant women in France. We investigate empirically and follow an epidemiological approach to test that the culture of origin affects people’s behavior and decisions. We use the dataset TeO (Trajectoires et Origines) on population diversity in France in 2008. We find that: 1) cultural norms affect people’s fertility and labor working time decisions, confirming the results of Fernandez and Fogli (2009) also for the French context; 2) the timing when the norm is measured is crucial. The later the norm is measured in time, the most powerful its effect, suggesting that the effect of the norms transmitted from peers is stronger than that of norms transmitted from parents. The explanatory power of norms holds also when controlling for socio-economic characteristics such as age, siblings, education of the respondent, spouse, and parents; 3) the feeling of being French moderates the persistence of cultural norms differently for fertility and labor force participation, while the perceived feeling of being discriminated does not alter the persistence of the cultural norms.
    Keywords: second generation migrants, culture, fertility, labor force participation, discrimination, integration
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2023–01–13
  4. By: Nicoletti, Cheti; Sevilla-Sanz, Almudena; Tonei, Valentina
    Abstract: We study whether and why parents have gender-stereotyped beliefs when they assess their child’s skills. Exploiting systematic differences in parental beliefs about a child’s skills and blindly graded standardized test scores, we find that parents overestimate boys’ skills more so than girls’ in mathematics (a male-stereotyped subject), whereas there are no gender differences for reading. Consistent with an information friction hypothesis, we find that the parental gender bias disappears for parents who are interviewed after receiving information on their child’s test scores. We further show that the parental gender bias in detriment of girls contributes to explain the widening of the gender gap in mathematical skills later in childhood, supporting the hypothesis that exposure to gender biases negatively influence girls’ ability to achieve their full potential.
    Keywords: parental beliefs; gender bias; stereotypes; school performance; standardized scores
    JEL: J13 D13 C23 C20
    Date: 2022–12–08
  5. By: Martín Leites (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Camila Paleo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Xavier Ramos (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Gonzalo Salas (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: Do individuals choose their reference groups, i.e. their Joneses, or are they culturally transmitted across generations? We provide evidence that feeds the theoretical debate about the endogeneity or exogeneity of reference groups. Our findings for Uruguay suggest that reference groups are largely transmitted across generations. We also find individuals to have multiple reference groups and these to be context-specific. Our results are robust to several checks and endogeneity issues.
    Keywords: intergenerational transmission, reference group, income comparisons
    JEL: D31 D62 D63 Z13
    Date: 2022–06
  6. By: Gislain S. GANDJON FANKEM (Yaoundé, Cameroon); Dieudonné TAKA (Douala, Cameroon); Sévérin TAMWO (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: This article fills the lack of work on the link between return migration and social cohesion in the country of origin of migration. For the first time, we assess the effect of skills acquired abroad by return migrants on social relations and quality of life in Cameroon using original survey data from the Institute of Demographic Training and Research. The main results, based on a probit model, show that formal and informal competences acquired abroad reduce the likelihood that return migrants will improve social relations and increase the probability that they will increase quality of life in their home country. These results remain robust to the inclusion of return migrants from African and non-democratic countries. Correcting for the endogeneity of skills acquired abroadby two-stage probit model with instrumental variablesdoes not alter these conclusions. Our results seem to corroborate the hypothesis that migration contributes to the transfer of norms and practices from destination countries to countries of origin.
    Keywords: Return migrants; skills; social relations; quality of life; Cameroon
    JEL: F22 O55 C3
    Date: 2023–01

This nep-soc issue is ©2023 by Fabio Sabatini. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.