nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2023‒08‒28
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Changing Gender Norms across Generations: Evidence from a Paternity Leave Reform By Farré, Lídia; Felfe, Christina; Gonzalez, Libertad; Schneider, Patrick
  2. Behavioural Responses to Unfair Institutions: Experimental Evidence on Rule Compliance, Norm Polarisation, and Trust By Columbus, Simon; Feld, Lars P.; Kasper, Matthias; Rablen, Matthew D.
  3. The Shift to Commitment Politics and Populism:Theory and Evidence By Luca Bellodi; Massimo Morelli; Antonio Nicolò; Paolo Roberti
  4. Why Personal Ties (Still) Matter: Referrals and Congestion By Mylius, F.
  5. Migration and trust: Evidence on assimilation from internal migrants By Diego Marino Fages
  6. Negative Income Shocks, COVID, and Trust By Diego Aycinena; Mariana Blanco
  7. Social Connections and COVID-19 Vaccination By Basu, Arnab K.; Chau, Nancy H.; Firsin, Oleg
  8. Female Leadership and Workplace Climate By Sule Alan; Gözde Corekcioglu; Mustafa Kaba; Matthias Sutter
  9. Raise your voice! Activism and peer effects in online social networks By Alejandra Agustina Martínez

  1. By: Farré, Lídia (University of Barcelona); Felfe, Christina (University of Würzburg); Gonzalez, Libertad (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Schneider, Patrick (University of Würzburg)
    Abstract: Social norms are an important barrier to gender convergence. We show that public policy designed to promote gender equality at home can pave the way towards gender convergence by shaping gender norms in the next generation. We combine the introduction of paternity leave in Spain with a large-scale lab-in-the field experiment in secondary schools. Following a local difference-in-differences approach, we show that children born after the policy change exhibit more gender egalitarian attitudes and perceive less stereotypical social norms. They are also more likely to engage in counter-stereotypical day-to-day behaviors and to deviate from the male-breadwinner model in the future.
    Keywords: gender equality, gender norms, paternity leave permits
    JEL: J08 J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: Columbus, Simon (University of Copenhagen); Feld, Lars P. (University of Freiburg); Kasper, Matthias (Walter Eucken Institute, Freiburg); Rablen, Matthew D. (University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: This study investigates the effects of unfair enforcement of institutional rules on public good contributions, personal and social norms, and trust. In a preregistered online experiment (n = 1, 038), we find that biased institutions reduce rule compliance compared to fair institutions. However, rule enforcement – fair and unfair – reduces norm polarisation compared to no enforcement. We also find that social heterogeneity lowers average trust and induces ingroup favouritism in trust. Finally, we find consistent evidence of peer effects: higher levels of peer compliance raise future compliance and spillover positively into norms and trust. Our study contributes to the literature on behavioural responses to institutional design and strengthens the case for unbiased rule enforcement.
    Keywords: public goods, compliance, social norms, trust, audits, biased rule enforcement, polarisation
    JEL: H41 C72 C91 C92
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: Luca Bellodi; Massimo Morelli; Antonio Nicolò; Paolo Roberti
    Abstract: The decline in voters' trust in government and the rise of populism are two concerning features of contemporary politics. In this paper, we present a model of commitment politics that elucidates the interplay between distrust and populism. Candidates supply policy commitments to mitigate voters' distrust in government, shrinking politicians' levels of discretion typical of representative democracies. Alongside commitments, candidates rationally choose the main strategies associated with populism, namely anti-elite and pro-people rhetoric. With novel data on voters' distrust towards the U.S. federal government, which we match with the Twitter activity of more than 2, 000 candidates over _ve congressional elections, we show that distrust is strongly associated with candidates' supply of commitments and populist rhetoric, which are also e_ective strategies at mobilizing distrustful voters. We also show theoretically that the shift to commitment politics determines greater aversion to checks and balances, and hence even illiberal populism can emerge.
    Keywords: Populism, Commitment, Anti-Elite Rhetoric, Trust, Turnout, Agencies of Restraint
    JEL: D72 D78 P16
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Mylius, F.
    Abstract: The internet has reduced search costs significantly, making it much easier to apply for a large number of jobs. In spite of that, the share of jobs found through personal contacts has remained stable over the past decades. My theoretical framework explores a new channel that makes referred candidates favorable for firms: a higher likelihood to accept a job offer. This trait becomes particularly advantageous whenever firms face large uncertainty over whether their candidates would accept their job offer. As we see, if search barriers vanish and workers apply to more firms, a referred candidate expects to face more competitors. On the other hand, with more applications being sent out, workers are, on average, less interested in each firm they apply to, which makes referred candidates stand out more. This means the chances of getting a job offer through a referral can increase if competing workers send out more applications.
    Keywords: Matching theory, networks, winner’s curse, informal labor market
    JEL: C78 D83 D85 J46
    Date: 2023–08–07
  5. By: Diego Marino Fages
    Abstract: I study whether internal migrants assimilate culturally to the locals. Investigating this question with observational data has been challenging because it requires disentangling assimilation from sorting and because data on immigrants before migrating is typically not available. I overcome this challenge by studying the Swiss context, which provides an ideal setting for two reasons. First, as a result of its history, Switzerland presents substantial cultural differences between its regions. Second, the Swiss Household Panel tracks individuals for a long period before and after they move. I exploit these two features to compare early and late migrants in a difference-in-difference framework. I focus specifically on trust in strangers, one of the most important components of culture and which has been shown to predict growth and other desirable economic, social and political outcomes. I find a statistically and economically significant evidence on assimilation of migrants moving to higher and lower trust cantons, and this assimilation starts in the first few years. Finally, using the Sorted Effects Method, I find that assimilation is driven by the youngest immigrants, which is in line with the impressionable years hypothesis in psychology.
    Keywords: Trust, Assimilation, Migration, Switzerland, Impressionable years hypothesis
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Diego Aycinena; Mariana Blanco
    Abstract: In this paper we report results from an online experiment conducted with over 1, 000 participants from Colombia’s general population. The experiment is designed to examine the impact of exposition to a COVID priming and a negative economic shock on trusting behavior. Overall, we find that participants under the neutral prime who are exposed to a negative economic shock become less trusting. In addition, we find that trustors who receive the shock become more trusting, increasing the proportion of the endowment they transfer. This result is not an artifact of the modification of the trsutor’s action set due to the negative shock received, and is consistent with beliefs of higher returned amount and stronger normative expectations of reciprocity, as well as general pro-sociality.
    Keywords: Trust; Inequality; Social Preferences; Dictator game
    Date: 2023–07–27
  7. By: Basu, Arnab K. (Cornell University); Chau, Nancy H. (Cornell University); Firsin, Oleg (Cornell University)
    Abstract: This paper unpacks the effects of social networks on monthly county-level COVID19 vaccinations in the US. To parse out short-term community-level externalities where people help each other overcome immediate access barriers, from learning spillovers regarding vaccine efficacy that naturally take time, we distinguish between the contemporaneous and dynamic network effects of vaccination exposure. Leveraging an extensive list of controls and network proxies including Facebook county-to-county links, we find evidence showing positive, stage-of-pandemic dependent contemporaneous friendship network effects. We also consistently find null dynamic network effect, suggesting that social exposure to vaccination has had limited effect on alleviating COVID vaccine hesitancy.
    Keywords: friendship network, COVID-19, vaccine uptake
    JEL: I12 D83 H12
    Date: 2023–07
  8. By: Sule Alan (European University Institute); Gözde Corekcioglu (Kadir Has University); Mustafa Kaba (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, University of Cologne, University of Innsbruck)
    Abstract: Using data from over 2, 000 professionals in 24 large corporations, we show that female leaders shape the relational culture in the workplace differently than male leaders. Males form homophilic professional ties under male leadership, but female leadership disrupts this pattern, creating a less segregated workplace. Female leaders are more likely to establish professional support links with their subordinates. Under female leadership, female employees are less likely to quit their jobs but no more likely to get promoted. Our results suggest that increasing female presence in leadership positions may be an effective way to mitigate toxic relational culture in the workplace.
    Keywords: female leadership; workplace climate; social networks
    JEL: C93 J16 M14
    Date: 2023–08
  9. By: Alejandra Agustina Martínez
    Abstract: Do peers influence individuals’ involvement in political activism? To provide a quantitative answer, I study Argentina’s abortion rights debate through Twitter - the social media platform. Pro-choice and pro-life activists coexisted online, and the evidence suggests peer groups were not too polarized. I develop a model of strategic interactions in a network - allowing for heterogeneous peer effects. Next, I estimate peer effects and test whether online activism exhibits strategic substitutability or complementarity. I create a novel panel dataset - where links and actions are observable - by combining tweets’ and users’ information. I provide a reduced-form analysis by proposing a network-based instrumental variable. The results indicate strategic complementarity in online activism, both from aligned and opposing peers. Notably, the evidence suggests homophily in the formation of Twitter’s network, but it does not support the hypothesis of an echo-chamber effect.
    Keywords: political activism; Peer effects; Social networks; Social media
    Date: 2023

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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