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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. Stefan Dercon & Tessa Bold, 2004. "Group-based Funeral Insurance in Ethiopia and Tanzania," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-27, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Marcel Fafchamps & Flore Gubert, 2005. "The Formation of Risk Sharing Networks," Working Papers DT/2005/13, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  3. Abigail Barr & Marleen Dekker & Marcel Fafchamps, 2008. "Risk Sharing Relations and Enforcement Mechanisms," CSAE Working Paper Series 2008-14, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. 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, vol. 26(1), pages 89-110, January.
  5. Joachim De Weerdt & Marcel Fafchamps, 2011. "Social Identity and the Formation of Health Insurance Networks," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(8), pages 1152-1177, June.
  6. De Weerdt, Joachim & Dercon, Stefan, 2006. "Risk-sharing networks and insurance against illness," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 337-356, December.
  7. Dekker, Marleen, 2004. "Sustainability and Resourcefulness: Support Networks During Periods of Stress," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1735-1751, October.
  8. Arcand, Jean-Louis & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Matching in community-based organizations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 203-219.
  9. De Weerdt, Joachim, 2002. "Risk-Sharing and Endogenous Network Formation," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  10. 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.
  11. 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, vol. 36(6), pages 131-154.
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Cited by:
  1. Marcel Fafchamps & Margherita Comola, 2010. "Testing Unilateral and Bilateral Link Formation," Working Papers id:2797, eSocialSciences.
  2. Margherita Comola & Marcel Fafchamps, 2009. "Testing unilateral and bilateral link formation," Working Papers halshs-00574971, HAL.
  3. 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.
  4. Caria, Antonia Stefano & Hassen, Ibrahim Worku, 2013. "The formation of job referral networks: Experimental evidence from ubran Ethiopia:," IFPRI discussion papers 1282, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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