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Gift-giving, Quasi-Credit and Reciprocity

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  • Jonathan P. Thomas

    (University of St. Andrews)

  • Tim Worrall

    (University of Keele)

Abstract

The fluctuations in incomes inherent in rural communities can be attenuated by reciprocal assistance. A model of reciprocal assistance based upon rational action and voluntary participation is presented. Individuals provide assistance only if the costs of so doing are outweighed by the benefits from expected future reciprocation. A distinction is made between general reciprocity where the counter obligation is expected but not certain and balanced reciprocity where there is a firm counter obligation. This firm counter obligation is reflected by including a loan or quasi-credit element in any assistance. It is shown how this can increase the assistance given and it may explain the widespread use of quasi-credit in rural comunitities. Moreover it is shown that for a range of parameter values consistent with evidence from three villages in southern India, a simple scheme of gift-giving and quasi-credit can do almost as well as theoretically better but more complicated schemes.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/dev/papers/0004/0004005.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0004005.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 13 Jun 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0004005

Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; pages: 37 ; figures: included. pdf file, prepared from sci word
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: implicit contract; gift giving; reciprocity; quasi-credit;

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References

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  1. Richard A. Posner, 1979. "A Theory of Primitive Society with Special Reference to Law," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 7, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  2. Taylor,J. Edward & Adelman,Irma, 1997. "Village Economies," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521550123, April.
  3. Besley, T. & Coate, S. & Loury, G., 1990. "The Economics Of Rotating Savings And Credit Associations," Working papers 556, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Ruffle, Bradley J., 1999. "Gift giving with emotions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 399-420, July.
  5. Udry, Christopher, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526, July.
  6. Telser, L G, 1980. "A Theory of Self-enforcing Agreements," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 27-44, January.
  7. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, 1995. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, and the Family: Evidence from Transfer Behavior in Low-Income Rural Areas," Home Pages _075, University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  9. Kimball, Miles S, 1988. "Farmers' Cooperatives as Behavior Toward Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 224-32, March.
  10. Pender, John L., 1996. "Discount rates and credit markets: Theory and evidence from rural india," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 257-296, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Greig, Fiona & Bohnet, Iris, 2005. "Is There Reciprocity in a Reciprocal Exchange Economy? Evidence from a Slum in Nairobi, Kenya," Working Paper Series rwp05-044, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Delpierre, Matthieu & Verheyden, Bertrand & Weynants, Stephanie, 2012. "On the interaction between risk-taking and risk-sharing under farm household wealth heterogeneity," 123rd Seminar, February 23-24, 2012, Dublin, Ireland 122556, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Odedokun, Matthew, 2003. "Economics and Politics of Official Loans versus Grants Panoramic Issues and Empirical Evidence," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Garance Genicot, Georgetown University and Debraj Ray, New York University and Instituto de An´alisis Econ´omico (CSIC), 2004. "Informal Insurance, Enforcement Constraints, and Group Formation," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-03, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Krishnamurthy, Sandeep & Tripathi, Arvind K., 2009. "Monetary donations to an open source software platform," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 404-414, March.

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