Action, Function, & Structure; Interpreting Network Effects on Behavior in Rural Malawi
AbstractA long series of ethnographic and sociological studies on kinship systems and information flows in developing societies has portrayed networks as varying structurally, serving multiple functions, and expressing themselves in different types of interaction. Little of this earlier work has informed empirical research in demography or development-related research. In stead, the latter operationalize social networks in relatively narrow ways, allowing for little overlap between multiple networks, and focusing on a subset of potential causal mechanisms. In an effort to pull the empirical literature closer to its qualitative forbearer, we use data from the Malawi Diffusion and Ideation Change Project to test how conversation networks and transfer networks overlap. We offer some predictions regarding how these overlapping networks might individually or jointly influence distinct outcome including ownership of livestock, planning innovative crops and HIV testing. Our sample of women from Malawi, interviewed in 3 rounds across a 6-year period, also enables us to question the inter-temporal stability of network effects. Our findings highlight: (a) how networks based on different actions appear nonetheless consistent with diverse behavioral outcomes; (b) how there is relatively little overlap between conversational and transfer networks; and (c) how there is considerable instability in temporal effects of conversational networks.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) in its series Working Papers with number 07-12.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
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Postal: Agricultural Sector in Economic Development Service FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00153 Rome Italy
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More information through EDIRC
Agricultural innovation; social networks; risk diversification; HIV testing.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
- D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2007-09-09 (Africa)
- NEP-AGR-2007-09-09 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2007-09-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2007-09-09 (Development)
- NEP-NET-2007-09-09 (Network Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2007-09-09 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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