nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2023‒04‒03
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Sports Clubs and Populism: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from German Cities By Mona Foertsch; Felix Roesel
  2. Nonresponse Bias in Trust Surveys By Bergh, Andreas; Bjørnskov, Christian; Öhrvall, Richard
  3. Can Grassroots Organizations Reduce Support for Right-Wing Populism via Social Media? By Johannes Wimmer; Leonhard Vollmer
  4. Understanding cultural differences and extreme attitudes in the 2021 OECD Trust Survey: Text analysis of open-ended responses By OECD
  5. Trusting: Alone and together By Benedikt V. Meylahn; Arnoud V. den Boer; Michel Mandjes
  6. Changes in attitudes towards gender norms following childbirth By Lucas van der Velde
  7. Women's Work, Social Norms and the Marriage Market By Afridi, Farzana; Arora, Abhishek; Dhar, Diva; Mahajan, Kanika
  8. With a Little Help from My Friends? Surviving the Lockdown Using Social Networks in Rural South India By Isabelle Guérin; Christophe Jalil Nordman; Cécile Mouchel
  9. Health System Trust and Compliance with COVID-19 Restrictions By Costa-Font, Joan; Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina

  1. By: Mona Foertsch; Felix Roesel
    Abstract: Does social capital always promote solidarity and democracy, or are social networks such as sports clubs also vulnerable to populism? We exploit quasi-experimental variation in sports club membership in German cities. Sports clubs are booming in cities with successful soccer teams which pass the promotion threshold for a higher division, but not where teams marginally missed on promotion. Difference-in-differences estimations show that far-right populists enjoy more support in cities with higher sports club membership rates in the wake of marginally promoted soccer teams. The populist momentum is however rather short-living, indicating that sports clubs intensify group polarization but are not a spot of permanent radicalization.
    Keywords: social capital, sports clubs, populism, Gemany
    JEL: D71 D72 Z20
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Bergh, Andreas (Department of Economics, Lund University); Bjørnskov, Christian (Aarhus University, Denmark); Öhrvall, Richard (Center for Local Government Studies, Linköping university)
    Abstract: Social trust is typically measured using surveys that ask people if they agree that most people can be trusted. A potential problem is that falling response rates plague these surveys. If non-responses are systematic, comparisons of social trust over time will be biased. We examine social and legal trust among non-respondents by conducting a classroom survey where the first part included questions on social and institutional trust and is answered during class, whereas a second part of the survey is handed in by respondents later. Surveys from 300 Danish and Swedish university students suggest that, if anything, social trust among survey responders are somewhat lower than among non-responders. Using two waves of the Swedish National Election Study, we also show that conditional on education; social trust is uncorrelated to dropping out of the panel survey.
    Keywords: Social trust; Legal trust; Survey data; Nonresponse bias
    JEL: C83 P48
    Date: 2023–02–23
  3. By: Johannes Wimmer (LMU Munich); Leonhard Vollmer (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: The rise of right-wing populism throughout Western democracies coincided with an increasing adoption of social media – both among supporters and opponents of right-wing populism alike. In light of these trends, we assess whether grassroots organizations are effective in combating right-wing populism via social media. We study this question using a tightly controlled online field experiment embedded in the Facebook campaign of a German grassroots organization. Leveraging geo-spatial variation in where the organization disseminated its Facebook ads targeting Germany’s leading right-wing populist party (AfD), we find that the campaign did not significantly affect the AfD’s vote share and turnout. Drawing on data from a complementary online experiment, we show that insufficient outreach on Facebook together with the absence of individual-level responses of attitudes and behavior explains why the campaign did not meaningfully shape aggregate election outcomes.
    Date: 2023–03–15
  4. By: OECD
    Abstract: The 2021 OECD Survey on Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions provides a cross-country assessment of what influences people’s trust in government and public institutions, understanding people’s perception of the functioning of democratic institutions. Most of the drivers in the Trust Survey refer to government competences and values that help countries take concrete steps to rebuild trust. Both at the individual and country-level trust may vary due to cultural, economic and social factors. This paper analyses the open-ended survey responses in 16 OECD countries to understand two questions. First can the answers provide insights into cultural differences and extreme attitudes of distrust? Second, what dimensions influence trust that are not considered in the theoretical OECD Trust Framework underpinning the Trust Survey? The results of the topic model resemble closely the drivers in the Trust Framework, but respondents name not just government inputs, outputs, and processes, but also socioeconomic vulnerabilities, intergenerational and global challenges. While many respondents write that ''corruption'', ''money'' and ''power'' drives their trust in public institutions, these feelings are not associated with government transparency and accountability. These findings show the advantage of qualitative measurements (open-ended survey questions) to understand the complex relationship between trust and public governance.
    Keywords: drivers of trust, open-ended survey questions, survey methodology, text analysis, topic model
    JEL: C52 C55 C83 D83 D72
    Date: 2023–03–21
  5. By: Benedikt V. Meylahn; Arnoud V. den Boer; Michel Mandjes
    Abstract: We study the problem of an agent continuously faced with the decision of placing or not placing trust in an institution. The agent makes use of Bayesian learning in order to estimate the institution's true trustworthiness and makes the decision to place trust based on myopic rationality. Using elements from random walk theory, we explicitly derive the probability that such an agent ceases placing trust at some point in the relationship, as well as the expected time spent placing trust conditioned on their discontinuation thereof. We then continue by modelling two truster agents, each in their own relationship to the institution. We consider two natural models of communication between them. In the first (``observable rewards'') agents disclose their experiences with the institution with one another, while in the second (``observable actions'') agents merely witness the actions of their neighbour, i.e., placing or not placing trust. Under the same assumptions as in the single agent case, we describe the evolution of the beliefs of agents under these two different communication models. Both the probability of ceasing to place trust and the expected time in the system elude explicit expressions, despite there being only two agents. We therefore conduct a simulation study in order to compare the effect of the different kinds of communication on the trust dynamics. We find that a pair of agents in both communication models has a greater chance of learning the true trustworthiness of an institution than a single agent. Communication between agents promotes the formation of long term trust with a trustworthy institution as well as the timely exit from a trust relationship with an untrustworthy institution. Contrary to what one might expect, we find that having less information (observing each other's actions instead of experiences) can sometimes be beneficial to the agents.
    Date: 2023–03
  6. By: Lucas van der Velde (Warsaw School of Economics and FAME|GRAPE)
    Abstract: While the increase in the gender wage gap following childbirth is well-documented in the literature much less is known about what stands behind this development. This research focuses on one possible channel: changes in attitudes towards gender roles. Using longitudinal data from several European countries, I show that respondents tend to adopt more conservative views following childbearing, particularly in the case of the importance of having a child, and whether men should have priority when jobs are scarce. Moreover, the relation appears to be driven by respondents in countries where women shoulder a bigger share of household chores, and where less formal care is available.
    Keywords: gender norms, child-birth, cross-country comparison, institutions
    JEL: J13 J16
    Date: 2022–10
  7. By: Afridi, Farzana (Indian Statistical Institute); Arora, Abhishek (Harvard University); Dhar, Diva (University of Oxford); Mahajan, Kanika (Ashoka University)
    Abstract: While it is well-acknowledged that the gendered division of labor within marriage adversely affects women's allocation of time to market work, there is less evidence on how extant social norms can influence women's work choices pre-marriage. We conduct an experiment on an online marriage market platform that allows us to measure preferences of individuals in partner selection in India. We find that employed women are 14.5% less likely to receive interest from male suitors relative to women who are not working. In addition, women employed in 'masculine' occupations are 3.2% less likely to elicit interest from suitors relative to those in 'feminine' occupations. Our results highlight the strong effect of gender norms and patriarchy on marital preferences, especially for men hailing from higher castes and northern India, where communities have more traditional gender norms. These findings suggest that expectations regarding returns in the marriage market may influence women's labor market participation and the nature of market work.
    Keywords: social norms, work choices, marriage market, gender, India
    JEL: J12 J16 J24
    Date: 2023–02
  8. By: Isabelle Guérin (IRD, CESSMA (Paris, France), IFP (Pondicherry, India)); Christophe Jalil Nordman (IRD, UMR LEDa, DIAL, PSL, Université Paris Dauphine, IFP (Pondicherry, India)); Cécile Mouchel (Université Paris Diderot, CESSMA (Social Science Center Studies in African, American and Asian Worlds), DIAL)
    Abstract: How have rural populations in India mobilized their social networks in times of forced "social distancing"? Focusing on a rural region in Tamil Nadu, mixing Social Network Analysis, descriptive statistics and qualitative interviews conducted before the lockdown, during the lockdown and its aftermath, this paper shows that kinship ties and caste-based relationships are still used as inescapable economic resources, especially when it comes to surviving in this unprecedented worldwide economic and social crisis. The region under study has undergone profound changes in recent decades, combining the disappearance of agrarian forms of dependency and the strengthening of intra-caste interdependence among the lower-caste group (measured here in terms of homophily and homogeneity) with a focus on access to credit and selfhelp to access employment. The crisis is putting these social networks to the test. Subsidized food, the main pro-poor measure of the Indian government, prevented famine, even if it did not prevent severe malnutrition. Although kin and caste solidarity played a key role in helping households survive, they did not prevent the resurgence of old forms of patronage.
    Keywords: social networks, homophily, name generators, India, lockdown, caste, employment, debt, kinship
    JEL: D85 J15 Q12
    Date: 2023–03
  9. By: Costa-Font, Joan (London School of Economics); Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina (Universidad de Murcia)
    Abstract: We examine the extent to which exposure to higher relative COVID-19 mortality (RM), influences health system trust (HST), and whether changes in HST influence the perceived ease of compliance with pandemic restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on evidence from two representative surveys covering all regions of 28 European countries before and after the first COVID-19 wave and using a difference in differences strategy together with Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM), we document that living in a region with higher RM during the first wave of the pandemic increased HS. However, the effect is driven by individuals over 45 years of age, and the opposite is true among younger cohorts. We find that a higher HST reduces the costs of complying with COVID-19 restrictions, but only so long as excess mortality does not exceed the average by more than 20%, at which point the ease of complying with COVID-19 restrictions significantly declines, offsetting the positive effect of trust in the healthcare system. Our interpretation of the estimates is that RM is interpreted as a risk signal among those over 45, and as a signal of health-care system failure among younger age individuals.
    Keywords: healthcare system trust, mortality, lockdown, Eurobarometer, difference in differences, COVID-19
    JEL: I13 Z1
    Date: 2023–02

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.
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