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Social Capital and Institutions in Rural Kenya: Is Machakos Unique?

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  • Nyangena, Wilfred
  • Sterner, Thomas
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    Abstract

    In Eastern Africa, the experience of Machakos has been heavily debated between Malthusians and the more optimistic Boserupians. Machakos was the epitome of overpopulation and resource degradation in the 1950s, but has since thrived. The Boserupians view Machakos as an illustration of how population growth can solve rather than exacerbate the vicious cycle of poverty and resource degradation. The question arises whether Machakos is unique. This study investigates the role of social capital in Machakos. Using principal component analysis, we estimate various dimensions of social capital and find significant differences between Machakos and two other Kenyan regions particularly when it comes to the formation of associations.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-08-01-efd.

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    Date of creation: 07 Mar 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-08-01-efd

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    Keywords: Kenya; regional differences; soil conservation; social capital; principal components;

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    1. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2001. "Social Capital and Agricultural Trade," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 680-685.
    2. Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, . "Risk Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines," Working Papers 97014, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    3. Pender, John L. & Nkonya, Ephraim M. & Jagger, Pamela & Sserunkuuma, Dick & Ssali, Henry, 2003. "Strategies To Increase Agricultural Productivity And Reduce Land Degradation: Evidence From Uganda," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25816, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2000. "Poverty Comparisons Over Time and Across Countries in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2123-2155, December.
    5. Jonathan Isham, 2002. "The Effect of Social Capital on Fertilizer Adoption: Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0225, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    6. Woolcock, Michael & Narayan, Deepa, 2000. "Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research, and Policy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 225-49, August.
    7. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, December.
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