nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2023‒07‒31
six papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. State Repression, Exit, and Voice By Mathias Bühler; Andreas Madestam
  2. Social networks and organizational helping behavior: Experimental evidence from the helping game By Erkut, Hande; Reuben, Ernesto
  3. Kin in the game: How family ties help firms overcome campaign finance regulation By Balán, Pablo; Dodyk, Juan; Puente, Ignacio
  4. Impacts and Distribution of Premiums from Temporal Social Networks across Generations By Yoshitaka Ogisu
  5. From Perception to Action: The Influence of Distrust in Government on Panic Buying in the COVID-19 Era By Sari, Emre
  6. Communication and the emergence of a unidimensional world By Philippos Louis; Orestis Troumpounis; Nikolas Tsakas

  1. By: Mathias Bühler (LMU Munich); Andreas Madestam (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: What is the political legacy of state repression? Using local variation in state repression during the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia, we investigate the effects of repression on political beliefs and behavior. We find that past state repression decreases votes for an authoritarian incumbent while enhancing electoral competition and support for democratic values four decades later. At the same time, individuals become more cautious in their interactions with the local community: they exhibit less trust, participate less in community organizations, and engage less with local government. Our theoretical model suggests that these opposing forces arise because experiencing repression bolsters preferences for pluralism while also heightening the perceived cost of dissent. Consequently, citizens are more likely to support the opposition in elections (voice) but engage less in civil society (exit) to avoid publicly revealing their political views. Exploring channels of persistence, we demonstrate that repression cultivates a lasting fear of violence as a societal threat, and that genocide memorials and remembrance ceremonies maintain the collective memory of the atrocities.
    Keywords: state repression; political beliefs and behavior; collective memory; state-society relations;
    JEL: D7 N4 O1
    Date: 2023–07–04
  2. By: Erkut, Hande; Reuben, Ernesto
    Abstract: This paper studies the causal impact of social ties and network structure on helping behavior in organizations. We introduce and experimentally study a game called the 'helping game, ' where individuals unilaterally decide whether to incur a cost to help other team members when helping is a rivalrous good. We find that social ties have a strong positive effect on helping behavior. Individuals are more likely to help those with whom they are connected, but the likelihood of helping decreases as the social distance between individuals increases. Additionally, individuals who are randomly assigned to be more central in the network are more likely to help others.
    Keywords: helping, social ties, social networks, communication, organizations
    JEL: D23 D91
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Balán, Pablo; Dodyk, Juan; Puente, Ignacio
    Abstract: Can campaign finance regulation curb the political influence of economic actors? In this article, we identify a new factor that may hinder its effectiveness-the social structure of organizations. We argue that such regulation creates cooperation dilemmas in firms' leadership and propose that a specific feature of organizations-family ties-help solve such problems. We evaluate this argument by studying a Supreme Court ban on corporate contributions in Brazil. Using a difference-in-differences design and data on family ties in Brazilian public companies, we show that, following the ban, members of firms' controlling families substitute individual for corporate contributions. Furthermore, we document the presence of peer effects in the contribution behavior of family members, suggesting that family ties transmit influence. These bifurcated effects illustrate how organizational structure can be a source of de facto power by limiting the effectiveness of programmatic reforms, and thus contain a cautionary tale for policymakers.
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Yoshitaka Ogisu (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University and Junir Research Fellow, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, JAPAN)
    Abstract: Social networks certainly play an important role in labor market outcomes. In particular, the structures affect inter-group inequality via referral hiring. Through the network effects, while workers surely get premiums from the group to which they belong, they may get premiums or penalties from other groups than their own. Young workers do not obtain sufficient network premiums since referrals cannot be used well due to the higher unemployment rates of their friends. As time goes by, the network structure of each generation of course changes. In other words, not only premiums from their own network group but also those from the other network groups, or the spillovers from other generations, change over time. However, these changes in intra- and inter-group network effects have been rather overlooked so far. In this paper, we compute the network premiums for each generation in a search and matching model, and clarify which generation benefits the most from time-varying networks called temporal networks. New connections are generated proportional to the number of friends of each worker over time, while the existing connections are broken at a constant rate. Under this setting, workers get premiums or penalties depending on their network structures. On average, workers receive premiums from the overall network effects although they incur penalties from their network structures in wage and unemployment rates.
    Keywords: Referral hiring; Temporal network; Network structure; Intergenerational inequality
    JEL: E24 J31 J64
    Date: 2023–06
  5. By: Sari, Emre
    Abstract: This research explores the complex dynamics of panic buying during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a comprehensive cross-sectional dataset from an online survey conducted in T¨urkiye, I employ the control function approach to examine the psychological and societal effects of the pandemic. The results show a strong positive association between the perceived adequacy of government protective measures and panic buying behavior. Moreover, the study uncovers the mediating role of individual anxiety levels in this association, highlighting the complexity of this behavior. These findings underscore the need to consider psychological components when developing crisis management strategies, particularly in health emergencies.
    Keywords: Panic Buying, COVID-19 Pandemic, Government Response, Anxiety, Trust, Consumer Behavior
    JEL: D01 D91 I12 I18
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Philippos Louis; Orestis Troumpounis; Nikolas Tsakas
    Abstract: While individuals hold, exchange, and update opinions over multiple issues, opinions are often correlated and a unidimensional spectrum is enough to summarize them. But when should one expect opinions to be unidimensional? And how important is the underlying structure of communication? Our experimental results: i) validate the crisp predictions by DeMarzo et al. (2003) when individuals update their opinions on a fixed network always trusting the same neighbors, ii) jointly with simulations indicate the prevalence of unidimensionality as an expected outcome even when communication is less structured with individuals’ network possibly varying over time, and iii) highlight the importance of the communication structure in predicting whether individuals hold relatively moderate or extreme opinions.
    Keywords: opinion dynamics; information aggregation; persuasion bias; social networks
    JEL: D83 D85
    Date: 2023–05–18

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