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Social Capital and Social Quilts: Network Patterns of Favor Exchange

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  • Matthew O. Jackson
  • Tomas Rodriguez-Barraquer
  • Xu Tan

Abstract

We examine the informal exchange of favors in societies such that any two individuals interact too infrequently to sustain exchange, but such that the social pressure of the possible loss of multiple relationships can sustain exchange. Patterns of exchange that are locally enforceable and renegotiation-proof necessitate that all links are "supported": any two individuals exchanging favors have a common friend. In symmetric settings, such robust networks are "social quilts": tree-like unions of completely connected subnetworks. Examining favor exchange networks in 75 villages in rural India, we find high levels of support and identify characteristics that correlate with support. (JEL D85, O12, O18, Z13)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.5.1857
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 (August)
Pages: 1857-97

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:5:p:1857-97

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References

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  1. Szeidl, Adam & Rosenblat, Tanya & Mobius, Markus & Karlan, Dean, 2009. "Trust and Social Collateral," Scholarly Articles 3051620, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
  3. Douglas Bernheim, B. & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "Collective dynamic consistency in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-326, December.
  4. Abrea Dilip & Pearce David & Stacchetti Ennio, 1993. "Renegotiation and Symmetry in Repeated Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 217-240, August.
  5. Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 1492, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Mihm, Maximilian & Toth, Russell & Lang, Corey, 2009. "What Goes Around Comes Around: A Theory of Indirect Reciprocity in Networks," Working Papers 09-07, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  7. Francis Bloch & Garance Genicot & Debraj Ray, 2007. "Reciprocity in Groups and the Limits to Social Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 65-69, May.
  8. Joel Sobel, 2002. "Can We Trust Social Capital?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 139-154, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Encarnaci�n Algaba & Ren� van den Brink & Chris Dietz, 2013. "Cooperative Games on Accessible Union Stable Systems," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-207/II, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Sarah Jacobson & Ragan Petrie, 2010. "Favor Trading in Public Good Provision," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-19, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Apr 2013.
  3. Andrey Fradkin, 2012. "Do Online Marketplaces Become More Efficient Over Time?," Working Papers 12-24, NET Institute.
  4. Itay P. Fainmesser & Andrea Galeotti, 2013. "The Value of Network Information," Working Papers 2013-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Felipe Balmaceda & Juan Esconar, 2013. "Trust in Cohesive Communities," Documentos de Trabajo 295, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  6. Konovalov, Alexander, 2014. "Competition and Cooperation in Network Games," Working Papers in Economics 583, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  7. Choy, James, 2013. "A Theory of Cooperation through Social Division, with Evidence from Nepal," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 115, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  8. Matthew O. Jackson & Stephen Nei, 2014. "Networks of Military Alliances, Wars, and International Trade," Working Papers 2014.46, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. repec:cge:warwcg:114 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Feinberg, Yossi & Kets, Willemien, 2012. "Ranking Friends," Research Papers 2127, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    • Yossi Feinberg & Willemien Kets, 2012. "Ranking Friends," Discussion Papers 1557, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Nava, Francesco & Piccione, Michele, 2014. "Efficiency in repeated games with local interaction and uncertain local monitoring," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(1), January.

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