Master's Theses

This page includes Master's theses based on data from DIGSSCORE. This includes analyses using data from the Norwegian Citizen Panel or the Citizen Lab.

This thesis examines whether public support for a ban on begging in Norway is influenced by negative stereotypes about the Roma minority. In 2005, the ban on begging was abolished in Norway by a unanimous vote in Parliament. Nine years later, however; a new discussion flourished about whether or not the ban on begging should be re-introduced. The change in public debate followed a change in the composition of the population of beggars in Norwegian streetscapes. After the eastward expansion of the European Union, Norway as a member of the European Economic Area experienced a similar increase in poor members of the Roma minority begging on the street, as did most EU-member states. To address the research question, I collected original survey data through the Norwegian Citizen Panel in 2015 (wave 5) as part of a project funded by the EEA and Norway grants entitled "Less Hate More Speech." In the Norwegian Citizen Panel I fielded both standard close-ended survey-questions about negative stereotypes and new open-ended questions, which allowed participants to formulate their thoughts about beggars and the Roma minority in their own words. In analyzing the data, I in part rely on traditional regression analysis, and in part on randomized experiment. The results of this thesis show that public support for a ban on begging in Norway is strongly affected by negative stereotypes toward the Roma minority. These findings are significant on a 99 percent level, and are found to be significant in three different models that implement two different stereotype measurements - one traditional measurement (based on close-ended survey questions) as well as an original measurement (based on open- ended survey questions). This thesis has shown for the first time that widespread support for a ban on begging in contemporary Norway is strongly influenced by negative stereotypes about the Roma minority. This adds to our knowledge both about the consequences of European enlargement for Norway, and additionally to our knowledge about why a ban on begging has been such a controversial and difficult political issue over the past years in Norway.

Sosiale medier er et raskt voksende fenomen som har tiltrukket seg millioner av brukere siden begynnelsen av 2000-tallet. Forskningslitteraturen diskuterer om, og på hvilke måter, offentlige rom og borgerlig kultur har endret seg i vår digitale tidsalder. Det er ulike oppfatninger om hvordan sosiale medier påvirker borgerlig kultur og offentlige rom i form av folks interesse og deltakelse i politikk og deres samfunnsengasjement. Det er også ulike oppfatninger om hvordan internett påvirker demokratiers representativitet. Noen mener at sosiale medier gir nye muligheter for demokrati, i form av engasjement og deltakelse i offentlige rom. Andre bekymrer seg for at nye kommunikasjonsmedier kan føre til mindre motivasjon til å delta i samfunnet.

Denne oppgaven presenterer en kvantitativ studie av sammenhenger mellom bruk av sosiale medier og mulige politiske konsekvenser i form av borgerlig deltakelse. Jeg har undersøkt slike empiriske sammenhenger med data fra norsk medborgerpanel og lineær regresjonsanalyse. Oppgaven har en todelt problemstilling: (1) hvem som bruker sosiale medier, og (2) hvilke konsekvenser sosiale medier har på politisk interesse, politisk deltakelse og samfunnsengasjement. Resultatene indikerer at sosiale medier gir muligheter for mer, heller enn mindre politisk deltakelse og samfunnsengasjement. Resultatene gir ingen indikasjoner på at sosiale medier har negative konsekvenser for politisk engasjement. Derimot indikerer flere resultater at konsekvensene kan være positive.

Nøkkelord: sosiale medier, politisk deltakelse, samfunnsengasjement, borgerlig kultur, offentlige rom

Two mechanisms that have been shown to facilitate cooperation are partner choice and punishment, but can partner choice be employed as an informal punishment mechanism? To examine this question I conduct two experiments. The first experiment studies a two-person repeated Prisoner`s Dilemma game. Each individual is allowed to choose one person from a fixed group of five subjects they wish to be paired with. The individual who fails to find a partner is excluded from the group. Moreover, and most importantly, I elicit individual cooperative dispositions prior to the two-person repeated Prisoner`s Dilemma game and examine how different types of individuals perform when allowed to choose a partner. Results show that partner choice does not increase the overall efficiency. However, there appear to be interesting differences in the performance of individuals who exhibit heterogeneous cooperative dispositions. Cooperative individuals outperform non-cooperators when allowed to choose a partner.

The second experiment is conducted in the Norwegian Citizen panel and attempts to distinguish between the social and the monetary cost associated with exclusion. I study a one-shot continuous Prisoner`s Dilemma game where exclusion is the consequence of being the lowest contributor in a group of three individuals. The monetary outside option is varied to examine which cost of exclusion individuals value the most. The results of the survey experiment show that the social cost of exclusion increases cooperation significantly, regardless of the size of the monetary cost linked to exclusion.

The lab experiment is computerized with the experimental program z-Tree 3.3.8 (Fischbacher, 2007). Results of both experiments are analysed with the statistical software STATA/IC 14.1 and Microsoft Excel 2016.