nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2023‒09‒04
seven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Behavioural Responses to Unfair Institutions: Experimental Evidence on Rule Compliance, Norm Polarisation and Trust By Simon Columbus; Lars P. Feld; Matthias Kasper; Matthew D. Rablen
  2. The Liar's Dividend: The Impact of Deepfakes and Fake News on Trust in Political Discourse By Schiff, Kaylyn Jackson; Schiff, Daniel S.; Bueno, Natalia
  3. The socio political demography of happiness By Peltzman, Sam
  4. Social Norms, Political Polarization, and Vaccination Attitudes: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Turkey By Mustafa Kaba; Murat Koyuncu; Sebastian O. Schneider; Matthias Sutter
  5. Sharing, Social Norms, and Social Distance: Experimental Evidence from Russia and Western Alaska By E. Lance Howe; James J. Murphy; Drew Gerkey; Olga B. Stoddard; Colin Thor West
  6. Female Leadership and Workplace Climate By Sule Alan; Corekcioglu; Mustafa Kaba; Matthias Sutter
  7. Trust bridges and money flows By Tobias Adrian; Rodney Garratt; Dong He; Tommaso Mancini-Griffoli

  1. By: Simon Columbus; Lars P. Feld; Matthias Kasper; Matthew D. Rablen
    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
  2. By: Schiff, Kaylyn Jackson (Emory University); Schiff, Daniel S. (Purdue University); Bueno, Natalia
    Abstract: This study examines the phenomenon of misinformation about misinformation, or politicians falsely claiming that stories are fake news or deepfakes. Strategic and false claims that stories are fake news or deepfakes may benefit politicians by helping them maintain support after a scandal. We propose that this benefit, known as the "liar's dividend, " may be achieved through two strategies employed by politicians: by invoking informational uncertainty or by rallying core supporters in opposition. We administer five survey experiments to over 15, 000American adults detailing hypothetical politician responses to video or text news stories depicting real politician scandals. We find that claims of misinformation representing both strategies increase politician support across partisan subgroups. These strategies are effective against text-based reports of scandals but are largely ineffective against video evidence and do not reduce general trust in media. Finally, these false claims produce greater dividends for politicians than alternative responses to scandal, such as remaining silent or apologizing.
    Date: 2023–08–10
  3. By: Peltzman, Sam
    Abstract: Since 1972 the General Social Survey (GSS) has asked a representative sample of US adults "[are] you very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?" Overall, the population is reasonably happy even after a mild recent decline. I focus on differences along standard socio demographic dimensions: age, race, gender, education, marital status income and geography. I also explore political and social differences. Being married is the most important differentiator with a 30-percentage point happy-unhappy gap over the unmarried. Income is also important, but Easterlin's (1974) paradox applies: the rich are much happier than the poor at any moment, but income growth doesn't matter. Education and racial differences are also consequential, though the black-white gap has narrowed substantially. Geographic, gender and age differences have been relatively unimportant, though old-age unhappiness may be emerging. Conservatives are distinctly happier than liberals as are people who trust others or the Federal government. All above differences survive control for other differences.
    Keywords: happiness, demographics, family, Easterlin paradox, education, income, social capital, political ideology
    JEL: D10 D60 E01 I31 J10 J12 J18 Z13
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Mustafa Kaba (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Murat Koyuncu (Bogazici University); Sebastian O. Schneider (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of social norms and political polarization in shaping vaccination attitudes and behaviors in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Using a largescale representative survey experiment in Turkey, we first show that political affiliation is a strong predictor of attitudes towards vaccination. We then use standard economic games to measure the extent of polarization caused by subjects’ attitudes towards vaccination. We find that pro- and anti-vaxxers discriminate each other substantially. Furthermore, when pro- and anti-vaxxers perceive a political difference between them, this polarization is exacerbated. Finally, using randomized informational treatments, we show that the promotion of a broadly shared social identity might mitigate this outgroup discrimination.
    JEL: C9 D01 D9
    Date: 2023–07
  5. By: E. Lance Howe (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage); James J. Murphy (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage); Drew Gerkey (Oregon State University); Olga B. Stoddard (Department of Economics, Bringham Young University); Colin Thor West (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how dictator giving varies by social context and worthiness of the recipient. We conduct lab-in-the-field experiments in Kamchatka, Russia, and Western Alaska, as well as a lab experiment with university students, in which we vary social distance and recipient characteristics across treatments. We ask what motivates individuals to share and whether offers from a dictator game, where dictators give from own-earnings, can tell us something more fundamental about social norms and sharing. Results indicate that subjects living in rural Indigenous communities, in both Russia and Alaska, who depend heavily on wild food harvests and possess strong sharing norms, are significantly more likely to give positive amounts compared to university students. We also find that in Indigenous communities, family relations and financial needs are prioritized in giving decisions. We suggest that treatment differences correspond to social norm differences in our study areas.
    Keywords: dictator game, experimental economics, lab-in-the-field experiments, sharing, risk pooling
    JEL: C93 D64
    Date: 2023–07–18
  6. By: Sule Alan (European University Institute); Corekcioglu (Kadir Has University); Mustafa Kaba (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    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
  7. By: Tobias Adrian; Rodney Garratt; Dong He; Tommaso Mancini-Griffoli
    Abstract: Cross-border payments are expensive, slow, and opaque. These problems reflect multiple frictions, many of which boil down to limited trust among counterparties. Trust plays a central role in exchanging credit-based money. End users need to trust the issuers of money, and issuers must trust users to satisfy financial integrity requirements. Transactions are possible only where trust links exist. Interoperability between different forms of money can thus be conceptualised as the network of trusted links necessary for transactions. Traditionally, across borders, trust links involve exclusive bilateral credit relationships among correspondent banks. However, the fixed costs required to build these links foster an expensive and concentrated system. This paper interprets different payment arrangements in terms of the implied trust structures. It discusses how the tokenisation of money alters trust links and allows for a potentially more efficient market structure to exchange money. The paper ends with a suggested global marketplace to trade tokenised money directly across borders.
    Keywords: cross-border payments
    JEL: E42 E51 E58 F31 G28 O32
    Date: 2023–07

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