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A Dark Side of Social Capital? Kinship, Consumption, and Savings

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  • Salvatore di Falco
  • Erwin Bulte

Abstract

We explore whether traditional sharing norms in kinship networks affect consumption and accumulation decisions of poor black households in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Using a proxy for the number of family dependents, our results are consistent with the interpretation that households try to evade their ‘sharing obligations’ by (i) accumulating durables that are non-sharable at the expense of durables that may be shared and (ii) reducing savings in liquid assets. By attenuating accumulation incentives, kinship sharing may come at the expense of income growth -- if so, a culturally-induced poverty trap can possibly eventuate. We demonstrate tentative evidence that more extensive kinship networks are associated with lower incomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 47 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 (June)
Pages: 1128-1151

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:8:p:1128-1151

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Cited by:
  1. Jean-Marie Nkongolo-Bakenda & Elie Chrysostome, 2013. "Engaging diasporas as international entrepreneurs in developing countries: In search of determinants," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 30-64, March.
  2. D’Exelle, Ben & Lecoutere, Els & Van Campenhout, Bjorn, 2012. "Equity-Efficiency Trade-Offs in Irrigation Water Sharing: Evidence from a Field Lab in Rural Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 2537-2551.
  3. Rhona F. Barr & Salvatore Di Falco & Susana Mourato, 2011. "Income diversification, social capital and their potential role in uptake of marine Payments for Environmental Services schemes: a study from a Tanzanian fishing community," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment 65, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  4. Haagsma, Rein & Mouche, Pierre v., 2013. "Egalitarian norms, economic development, and ethnic polarization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 719-744.

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