Gift-Giving, Quasi-Credit and Reciprocity
AbstractThe fluctuations in incomes inherent in rural communities can be attenuated by reciprocal insurance. We develop a model of such insurance based on self-interested behaviour and voluntary participation. One individual assists another only if the costs of so doing are outweighed by the benefits from expected future reciprocation. A distinction is made between general reciprocity where the counter obligation is expected but not certain and balanced reciprocity where there is a firm counter obligation. This firm counter obligation is reflected by including a loan or quasi-credit element in any assistance. It is shown how this can increase the insurance provided and how it may explain the widespread use of quasi-credit in rural communities. Moreover it is shown that for a range of parameter values consistent with evidence from three villages in southern India, a simple scheme of gift-giving and quasi-credit can do almost as well as theoretically better but more complicated schemes.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 687.
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
implicit contract; gift-giving; reciprocity; quasi-credit;
Other versions of this item:
- Johnathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2000. "Gift-giving, Quasi-Credit and Reciprocity," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200005, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
- Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2000. "Gift-giving, Quasi-Credit and Reciprocity," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 2000/20, Department of Economics, Keele University.
- Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2000. "Gift-giving, Quasi-Credit and Reciprocity," Development and Comp Systems 0004005, EconWPA.
- D89 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Other
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
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