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Private provision of a public good - social capital and solid waste management in Dhaka, Bangladesh

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  • Pargal, Sheoli
  • Gilligan, Daniel
  • Huq, Mainul

Abstract

The authors try to identify the determinants of private, community-based provision of a public good - in this case, trash collection. Using survey data for Dhaka, Bangladesh, where some neighborhoods have successfully organized an alternative to the municipal trash collection service, they examine why some communities or neighborhoods display such initiative, while others do not. Their results show that social capital - trust, reciprocity, and sharing - is an important determinant of whether alternative systems arise in Dhaka. More generally, public-private partnerships, or self-help schemes appear more likely to succeed in neighborhoods high in social capital. Other measures of homogeneity of interests are also important. So, interestingly, is the nature of associational activity. Finally, education levels are strongly, and robustly associated with the existence of collective action for trash disposal. How can policymakers encourage such activity? The process through which community residents start cooperating for the common good, is a function of the strength of their relationships. Government attempts to initiate the process, are therefore unlikely to boost social capital directly, but by lowering information, and transaction costs, they may facilitate a virtuous cycle of successful cooperation, and strengthening social ties.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2422.

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Date of creation: 31 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2422

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Related research

Keywords: Community Development and Empowerment; Decentralization; Capital Markets and Capital Flows; Social Capital; Urban Services to the Poor; Economic Theory&Research; Social Capital; Community Development and Empowerment; Poverty Assessment; Urban Services to the Poor;

References

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  1. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
  2. White, T Anderson & Runge, C Ford, 1994. "Common Property and Collective Action: Lessons from Cooperative Watershed Management in Haiti," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 1-41, October.
  3. 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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  5. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1997. "Coordination problems in local-level resource management," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 197-210, June.
  6. Andrews, Donald W K, 1989. "Power in Econometric Applications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1059-90, September.
  7. Glenn C. Loury, 1976. "A Dynamic Theory of Racial Income Differences," Discussion Papers 225, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Ostrom, Elinor, 1996. "Crossing the great divide: Coproduction, synergy, and development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1073-1087, June.
  9. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  10. 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.
  11. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Asia," NBER Working Papers 5470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1978. "The Estimation of a Simultaneous Equation Generalized Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1193-1205, September.
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