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Social Capital and Consumption among Agricultural Households

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  • Jonathan Isham

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Abstract

This paper develops a life cycle model for agricultural households in which social capital is a fixed input into household production. The intertemporal solutions of the model yield four results that are consistent with recent empirical and qualitative literature on social capital and consumption among agricultural households: commodity consumption will rise for an agricultural household in a village where public social capital is increasing - even if the household itself has invested little in their own accumulation of social relations; increased inequality within villages is associated with lower social capital; public social capital will decrease significantly in the presence of migration of young from rural communities; and current consumption levels will be less sensitive to increases in income uncertainty when social capital is increasing. The paper uses information on agricultural households in Tanzania to illustrate the model.

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File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0202.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0202.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0202

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  1. Jonathan Isham, 2002. "The Effect of Social Capital on Fertiliser Adoption: Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(1), pages 39-60, March.
  2. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  3. Dercon, Stefan, 1996. "Risk, Crop Choice, and Savings: Evidence from Tanzania," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(3), pages 485-513, April.
  4. Betancourt, Roger R, 1996. "Growth Capabilities and Development: Implications for Transition Processes in Cuba," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 315-31, January.
  5. Bardhan, Pranab, 1993. "Analytics of the institutions of informal cooperation in rural development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 633-639, April.
  6. Nugent, Jeffrey B., 1993. "Between state, markets and households: A neoinstitutional analysis of local organizations and institutions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 623-632, April.
  7. Grootaert, Christiaan, 1999. "Social capital, houshold welfare, and poverty in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2148, The World Bank.
  8. Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1997. "Cents and sociability : household income and social capital in rural Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1796, The World Bank.
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