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The Development Of Trust And Social Capital In Rural Uganda: An Experimental Approach

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  • Arjan Verschoor
  • Paul Mosley

Abstract

Trust is important for development but can be hard to build. In this paper, we report on experiments designed to understand the determinants of trust in villages in eastern Uganda, and in particular whether trust can be `built´ by offering insurance to people as a protection against the possibility that the trust they offer will not be reciprocated. We find, firstly, that the effects of income and wealth on trust are ambiguous: trust is higher in the richer than the poorer village, but once association and female education are added as explanatory variables, the wealth effect disappears. Secondly, although the offer of insurance is taken up by a majority of players, this is in most cases not an `effective demand´ in the sense of incentivising higher levels of trust. Effective demand for insurance, defined in this way, however responds positively to high levels of risk efficacy, microfinance membership and female education. Insurance offered in this form, therefore, is on its own apparently not a reliable technology for building trust; but its effectiveness as a trust-building instrument appears to increase if certain complementary institutions are in position.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 with number 106.

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Date of creation: 17 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2004:106

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  1. Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L. & Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Steven N. Durlauf, 2002. "On the Empirics of Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 459-479, November.
  3. Joseph Henrich, 2000. "Does Culture Matter in Economic Behavior? Ultimatum Game Bargaining among the Machiguenga of the Peruvian Amazon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 973-979, September.
  4. Guth, Werner & Tietz, Reinhard, 1990. "Ultimatum bargaining behavior : A survey and comparison of experimental results," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 417-449, September.
  5. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Trust and expected trustworthiness: experimental evidence from zimbabwean villages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 614-630, 07.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
  7. Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-95, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2006. "Preferences, Poverty and Politics: Experimental and Survey Data from Vietnam," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000054, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Olof Johansson Stenman & Minhaj Mahmud & Peter Martinsson, 2006. "Trust, Trust Games and Stated Trust: Evidence from Rural Bangladesh," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2006/11, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
  3. Tanaka, Tomomi & Camerer, Colin & Nguyen, Quang, 2009. "Measuring Norms of Redistributive Transfers: Trust Experiments and Survey Data from Vietnam," MPRA Paper 16119, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Alvin Etang Ndip & David Fielding & Stephen Knowles, 2007. "Survey Trust, Experimental Trust and ROSCA Membership in Rural Cameroon," Working Papers 0713, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2007.
  5. Alvin Etang, 2008. "Modelling the Effects of Socio-Economic Characteristics on Survey Trust: Empirical Evidence from Cameroon," Working Papers 0808, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2008.
  6. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey P. Carpenter, 2005. "Experiments and Economic Development: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0505, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  7. Jeffery Carpenter & Juan Camilo Cardenas, 2006. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from field labs in the developing world," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0616, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  8. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2006. "Poverty, politics, and preferences: Field Experiments and survey data from Vietnam," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001099, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Alvin Etang Ndip & David Fielding & Stephen Knowles, 2009. "Does trust extend beyond the village? Experimental trust and social distance in Cameroon," Working Papers 0907, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2009.
  10. Greig, Fiona & Bohnet, Iris, 2005. "Is There Reciprocity in a Reciprocal Exchange Economy? Evidence from a Slum in Nairobi, Kenya," Working Paper Series rwp05-044, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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