nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2023‒04‒10
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. How Are Gender Norms Perceived? By Bursztyn, Leonardo; Cappelen, Alexander; Tungodden, Bertil; Voena, Alessandra; Yanagizawa-Drott, David
  2. From Personal Values to Social Norms By Francesca Barigozzi; Natalia Montinari
  3. Social Norms and Female Labor Force Participation in Bangladesh: The Role of Social Expectations and Reference Networks By Bellani, Luna; Biswas, Kumar; Fehrler, Sebastian; Marx, Paul; Sabarwal, Shwetlena; Al-Zayed Josh, Syed Rashed
  4. Scars of War: The Legacy of WW1 Deaths on Civic Capital and Combat Motivation By Felipe Carozzi; Edward Pinchbeck; Luca Repetto
  5. Big brother watches you (even when he's dead): Surveillance and long-run conformity By D'Acunto, Francesco; Schnorpfeil, Philip; Weber, Michael
  6. Health System Trust and Compliance with Covid-19 Restrictions By Joan Costa-i-Font; Cristina Vilaplana-Prieto
  7. Liquidity Creation and Trust Environment By Jérémie Bertrand; Jean-Loup Soula; Paul-Olivier Klein
  8. Oxytocin, empathy, altruism and charitable giving: Experimental evidence from blood donations By Jukić, Irena; Kovač, Dejan; Vuletić Čugalj, Danijela
  9. Economics of the Community Mechanism By Masao Ogaki

  1. By: Bursztyn, Leonardo (University of Chicago); Cappelen, Alexander (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Tungodden, Bertil (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Voena, Alessandra (Stanford University); Yanagizawa-Drott, David (Zurich University)
    Abstract: Actual and perceived gender norms are key to understanding gender inequality. Using newly-collected, nationally representative datasets from 60 countries covering 80% of the world population, this paper studies gender norms on two policy issues: basic rights, allowing women to work outside of the home, and affirmative action, prioritizing women when hiring for leadership positions. Misperceptions of gender norms are pervasive across the world, and the nature of the misperception is context-dependent. In less gender-equal countries, people underestimate support for both policies, particularly support among men; in more gender-equal countries, people overestimate support for affirmative action, particularly support among women, and underestimate support for basic rights. Gender stereotyping and overweighting of minority views are potential drivers of the global patterns of misperceptions. Our findings indicate how misperceptions of gender norms may obstruct progress toward gender equality and contribute to sustaining gender policies that are not necessarily favored by women.
    Keywords: Social norms; misperceptions; gender
    JEL: J00 J16
    Date: 2023–03–22
  2. By: Francesca Barigozzi; Natalia Montinari
    Abstract: In Experimental Economics, coordination games are used to elicit social norms as incentivized beliefs about others’ beliefs. Conversely, representative surveys like the World Values Survey elicit social norms as personal attitudes and values that are independent of others’ beliefs. Using a representative survey of the Italian population (N = 1, 501), we compare the two ways of measuring social norms with gender roles as a working example and find the following results. At the aggregated level, appropriateness ratings obtained under the two elicitation methods follow the same pattern but differ significantly in magnitude, with the incentivized social norm elicitation depicting a more conservative view on gender roles than the unincentivized one. The analysis carried out at the individual level allows us to explain the previous result. Most respondents report personal values as more progressive than the perceived norm, which may be consistent with a desirability and/or a self-image bias. This occurs irrespectively of whether respondents correctly perceive the social norm or not. We conclude that analyses based on personal values lead to a proxy of gender norms significantly more progressive than the norms elicited in coordination games.
    JEL: A13 C90 D01 J16
    Date: 2023–03
  3. By: Bellani, Luna (University of Konstanz); Biswas, Kumar (World Bank); Fehrler, Sebastian (University of Bremen); Marx, Paul (University of Bonn); Sabarwal, Shwetlena (World Bank); Al-Zayed Josh, Syed Rashed (World Bank)
    Abstract: About 50% of Bangladesh's female youth working-age population is not in employment, education, or training (NEET). Reducing this number is an important policy goal. However, there is a broad consensus that pervasive gender norms hamper this goal in Bangladesh and other countries from the Global South. In this study, we analyze the social basis of support for young working women. It departs from a theoretical understanding of norms as conditional upon expectations in one's reference network. Based on vignette experiments, we show that manipulating expectations about acceptance of female employment by others influences personal support for women taking up work. Moreover, we address the question of whose views matter. Manipulating the expectation that fathers (or husbands in the case of married NEETs) support the employment of their daughters (wives) has a particularly strong effect on respondents' support. In contrast, the stance of religious authorities and peers has surprisingly little relevance. Our evidence suggests that (expectations about) traditional views of fathers and husbands regarding the role of females are a key obstacle to a higher labor force participation of young women in Bangladesh.
    Keywords: Bangladesh, female labor force participation, gender norms, social expectations, survey experiments
    JEL: D91 J22 J16 Z10
    Date: 2023–03
  4. By: Felipe Carozzi; Edward Pinchbeck; Luca Repetto
    Abstract: How does the memory of lives lost in past wars shape communities and the next generation of soldiers? We use newly collected geolocated data on British servicemen to study the legacy of the Great War mortality shock on local communities and the behaviour of soldiers in WW2. We find that community-wide fatalities in WW1 increase the numbers of deaths of the next generation in WW2 and the likelihood that these soldiers receive military honours. To explain these findings, we report that WW1 deaths had promoted civic-oriented and cooperative behaviours in the inter-war period, as measured by the creation of lasting war memorials, veterans’ associations and charities, and increases in voter participation. Overall, we present evidence that part of the legacy of the Great War on British servicemen runs through and is amplified by civic capital and the remembrance of fallen soldiers.
    Keywords: World War, communities, combat motivation, conflict
    JEL: D74 D91 O15 Z10
    Date: 2023
  5. By: D'Acunto, Francesco; Schnorpfeil, Philip; Weber, Michael
    Abstract: Lack of privacy due to surveillance of personal data, which is becoming ubiquitous around the world, induces persistent conformity to the norms prevalent under the surveillance regime. We document this channel in a unique laboratory-the widespread surveillance of private citizens in East Germany. Exploiting localized variation in the intensity of surveillance before the fall of the Berlin Wall, we show that, at the present day, individuals who lived in high-surveillance counties are more likely to recall they were spied upon, display more conformist beliefs about society and individual interactions, and are hesitant about institutional and social change. Social conformity is accompanied by conformist economic choices: individuals in high-surveillance counties save more and are less likely to take out credit, consistent with norms of frugality. The lack of differences in risk aversion and binding financial constraints by exposure to surveillance helps to support a beliefs channel.
    Keywords: Cultural Finance, History & Finance, Social Learning, Beliefs, Persistence, Household Finance, Behavioral Finance, Big Data, FinTech
    JEL: D14 E21 E51 G21
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Joan Costa-i-Font; Cristina Vilaplana-Prieto
    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 HST. 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 Z10
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Jérémie Bertrand (IÉSEG School Of Management [Puteaux]); Jean-Loup Soula (EM Strasbourg - École de Management de Strasbourg); Paul-Olivier Klein (Laboratoire de Recherche Magellan - UJML - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon 3 - Université de Lyon - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Lyon)
    Abstract: Trust towards banks plays a central role in theoretical literature. Diamond and Dybvig (1983) argue that in a trustworthy environment banks can easily collect deposit foster banking activity and asset transformation. Diamond and Rajan (2001) posit that a high trust environment discourages banks from creating liquidity. To address these conflicting views, the current study measures liquidity creation using Berger and Bouwman's (2009) methodology, then assesses the level of trust in the environment with four proxies and two additional instruments deployed in previous research. The results confirm a positive effect of trust in banks on liquidity creation, especially for small or state-chartered banks and during economic downturns. The results are robust to time effects and potential endogeneity concerns.
    Keywords: Banking, Liquidity Creation, Trust, Financial Intermediation
    Date: 2022–12
  8. By: Jukić, Irena; Kovač, Dejan; Vuletić Čugalj, Danijela
    Abstract: We conducted a field experiment in the natural setting of blood donations to test how oxytocin relates to empathy and altruism. We randomly assigned blood donors in the Croatian Institute for Transfusion Medicine to three groups with the aim to induce different levels of empathy by showing a neutral video to the donors from the control group and an emotional to the donors from the first and second treatment groups. In addition to watching the emotional video, donors from the second treatment group are given a gift which relates to the emotional story from the video. We find no effect of our treatment on induced levels of oxytocin. Null effects of our treatments could be explained by the above average baseline levels of oxytocin and inability of our treatments to provoke emotional stimuli in blood donors. Nonetheless, for our empathy measures we find the effect of gift exchange on empathic concerns, but not on perspective taking. After our experimental treatments, we followed the return of our blood donors for a whole year. We find that only variable which consistently predicts return for blood donation in stated period is the number of previous donations. From policy perspective it is an important finding. Especially for hospitals and other blood providers when faced with time and resource constraints.
    Keywords: altruism, blood donations, charitable giving, field experiment, oxytocin
    JEL: C93 D64 I10
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Masao Ogaki (Faculity of Economics, Keio University)
    Abstract: 1. This paper discusses the importance of the community mechanism that complements the market and power mechanisms in an economic system during an era of crisis. 2. The community mechanism is defined as a mechanism for resource allocation by which at least one person proposes voluntary cooperation, and the proposal is not rejected. 3. While this community mechanism can function alongside homo economicus in win?win situations, it can be further activated with social preferences for altruism and reciprocity and with norms or worldviews that encourage cooperation. 4. Other factors that relate to these include the character strengths that contribute to community and society known as virtues, with the concept of wellbeing related to virtues being known as eudaimonia
    Keywords: Community mechanism, Altruism, Reciprocity, Trust, Virtue, Eudaimonia
    JEL: A10 D01 D04
    Date: 2023–03–10

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