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Status and egalitarianism in traditional communities: An analysis of funeral attendance in six Zimbabwean villages

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  • Abigail Barr
  • Mattea Stein

Abstract

This paper explores two hypotheses concerning the role of status in relationships between rich and poor in traditional communities by analyzing who goes to whose funerals in six Zimbabwean villages.� Funerals allow status to be observed because non-attendance is a sign of disrespect.� We find that the richer a household hosting a funeral, the less likely heads of neighbouring households are to attend.� Thus, the status-for-insurance hypothesis - that the poor bestow status upon the rich in return for help in times of need - is rejected in favour of the egalitarianism hypothesis - that richer households are denied status.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2008-26.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2008-26

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  1. Gubert, Flore & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2007. "The Formation of Risk Sharing Networks," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4392, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. 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.
  3. Jan Willem Gunning & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey & Trudy Owens, 2000. "Revisiting forever gained: Income dynamics in the resettlement areas of Zimbabwe, 1983-96," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 131-154.
  4. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1992. "Solidarity Networks in Preindustrial Societies: Rational Peasants with a Moral Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 147-74, October.
  5. Stefan Dercon & Tessa Bold & Joachim De Weerdt & Alula Pankhurst, 2004. "Group-based Funeral Insurance in Ethiopia and Tanzania," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-27, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Joachim De Weerdt & Marcel Fafchamps, 2011. "Social Identity and the Formation of Health Insurance Networks," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(8), pages 1152-1177, June.
  7. Kinsey, Bill & Burger, Kees & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1998. "Coping with drought in Zimbabwe: Survey evidence on responses of rural households to risk," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-110, January.
  8. De Weerdt, Joachim, 2002. "Risk-Sharing and Endogenous Network Formation," Working Paper Series, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  9. Abigail Barr & Marleen Dekker, 2008. "Risk Sharing Relations and Enforcement Mechanisms," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2008-14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Arcand, Jean-Louis & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Matching in community-based organizations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 203-219.
  11. Dekker, Marleen, 2004. "Sustainability and Resourcefulness: Support Networks During Periods of Stress," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1735-1751, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Pamela Jakiela & Edward Miguel & Vera L. te Velde, 2010. "You've Earned It: Combining Field and Lab Experiments to Estimate the Impact of Human Capital on Social Preferences," NBER Working Papers 16449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Margherita Comola & Marcel Fafchamps, 2009. "Testing Unilateral and Bilateral Link Formation," CSAE Working Paper Series 2009-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00574971 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Caria, Antonia Stefano & Hassen, Ibrahim Worku, 2013. "The formation of job referral networks: Experimental evidence from ubran Ethiopia:," IFPRI discussion papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 1282, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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