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Are gifts and loans between households voluntary?

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  • Margherita Comola

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

  • Marcel Fafchamps

    (University of Oxford (UK) - University of Oxford (UK))

Abstract

Using village data from Tanzania, we test whether gifts and loans between households are voluntary while correcting for mis-reporting by the giving and receiving households. Two maintained assumptions underlie our analysis: answers to a question on who people would turn to for help are good proxies for willingness to link; and, conditional on regressors, the probability of reporting a gift or loan is independent between giving and receiving households. Building on these assumptions, we develop a new estimation methodology that corrects for response bias. Our testing strategy is based on the idea that, if lending and gift giving are voluntary, then both households should want to rely on each other for help. We find only weak evidence to support bilateral link formation. We do, however, find reasonably strong evidence to support unilateral link formation. Results suggest that if a household wishes to enter in a reciprocal relationship with someone who is sufficiently close socially and geographically, it can do so unilaterally.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00564894.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00564894

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Related research

Keywords: risk sharing ; reporting bias ; social networks;

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References

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  1. Marcel Fafchamps & Margherita Comola, 2010. "Testing Unilateral and Bilateral Link Formation," Working Papers id:2797, eSocialSciences.
  2. Arcand, Jean-Louis & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Matching in community-based organizations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 203-219.
  3. Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, 2000. "Risk-Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines," Economics Series Working Papers 10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Stefan Dercon & Joachim De Weerdt, 2002. "Risk-sharing Networks and Insurance against illness," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2002-16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2001. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, And The Family: Evidence From Transfer Behavior In Low-Income Rural Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 389-407, August.
  6. Anderson, K.S. & Baland, J-M., 2000. "The Economics of Roscas and Intra-Household Resource Allocation," Discussion Paper 2000-83, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. repec:pse:psecon:2009-30 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Hayami, Y & Platteau, J-P, 1997. "Resource Endowments and Agricultural Development : Africa vs. Asia," Papers 192, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
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Cited by:
  1. Vaillant, Julia & Nordman, Christophe Jalil, 2013. "Inputs, Gender Roles or Sharing Norms? Assessing the Gender Performance Gap Among Informal Entrepreneurs in Madagascar," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12203, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Landmann, Andreas & Vollan, Björn & Frölich, Markus, 2011. "Saving, Microinsurance: Why You Should Do Both or Nothing. A Behavioral Experiment on the Philippines," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 51, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  3. Landmann, Andreas & Vollan, Björn & Frölich, Markus, 2012. "Insurance versus Savings for the Poor: Why One Should Offer Either Both or None," IZA Discussion Papers 6298, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Jakiela, Pamela & Ozier, Owen, 2012. "Does Africa need a rotten Kin Theorem ? experimental evidence from village economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6085, The World Bank.

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