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Community Networks and the Process of Development

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  • Kaivan Munshi

Abstract

My objective in this paper is to lay the groundwork for a new network-based theory of economic development. The first step is to establish that community-based networks are active throughout the developing world. Plenty of anecdotal and descriptive evidence supports this claim. However, showing that these networks improve the economic outcomes of their members is more of a challenge. Over the course of the paper, I will present multiple strategies that have been employed to directly or indirectly identify network effects. The second step is to look beyond a static role for community networks, one of overcoming market failures and improving the outcomes of their members in the short-run, to examine how these informal institutions can support group mobility. A voluminous literature documents the involvement of communities in internal and international migration, both historically and in the contemporary economy. As with the static analysis, the challenge here is to show statistically that community networks directly support the movement of groups of individuals. I will show how predictions from the theory can be used to infer a link between networks and migration in very different contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaivan Munshi, 2014. "Community Networks and the Process of Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 49-76, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:28:y:2014:i:4:p:49-76
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.28.4.49
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Labour repression & the Indo-Japanese divergence
      by pseudoerasmus in Pseudoerasmus on 2017-10-02 06:04:55

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    Cited by:

    1. Arcangelo Dimico, 2017. "Size Matters: The Effect of the Size of Ethnic Groups on Development," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(3), pages 291-318, June.
    2. Leticia Arroyo Abad & Blanca Sánchez-Alonso, 2018. "A city of trades: Spanish and Italian immigrants in late-nineteenth-century Buenos Aires, Argentina," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 12(2), pages 343-376, May.
    3. Raúl Duarte & Frederico Finan & Horacio Larreguy & Laura Schechter, 2019. "Brokering Votes With Information Spread Via Social Networks," NBER Working Papers 26241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Goyal, S., 2016. "Networks and Markets," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1652, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Charles H. Anderton, 2015. "The social evolution of genocide across time and geographic space: Perspectives from evolutionary game theory," Economics of Peace and Security Journal, EPS Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 5-20, October.
    6. Javier Mejia, 2018. "Social Networks and Entrepreneurship. Evidence from a Historical Episode of Industrialization," Working Papers 20180020, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Sep 2018.
    7. Afridi, Farzana & Dhillon, Amrita & Sharma, Swati, 2015. "Social Networks and Labour Productivity: A Survey of Recent Theory and Evidence," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 50(1), pages 25-42.
    8. Anandi Mani & Emma Riley, 2019. "Social networks, role models, peer effects, and aspirations," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2019-120, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Moina Rauf & Zahid Pervaiz, 2016. "Replacing Contracts with Handshakes: A Study of Social Networks of Entrepreneurs in the Weaving Sector," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 55(4), pages 331-348.
    10. Gupta, I. & Veettil, P.C. & Speelman, S., 2018. "Caste, Technology and Social Networks," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277048, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Gani Aldashev & Catherine Guirkinger, 2016. "Colonization and Changing Social Structure: Kazakhstan 1896-1910," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-10, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. Dagnelie, Olivier & Mayda, Anna Maria & Maystadt, Jean-François, 2019. "The labor market integration of refugees in the United States: Do entrepreneurs in the network help?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 257-272.
    13. Lobo, José & Mellander, Charlotta, 2019. "Let’s Stick Together: Labor Market Effects from Immigrant Neighborhood Clustering," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 475, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    14. Samuel Bazzi & Martin Fiszbein & Mesay Gebresilasse, 2017. "Frontier Culture: The Roots and Persistence of “Rugged Individualism†in the United States," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2018-004, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    15. Richard Serbeh & Prince Osei-Wusu Adjei, 2020. "Social Networks and the Geographies of Young People’s Migration: Evidence from Independent Child Migration in Ghana," Journal of International Migration and Integration, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 221-240, March.
    16. Yuanyuan Chen & Le Wang & Min Zhang, 2018. "Informal search, bad search?: the effects of job search method on wages among rural migrants in urban China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 837-876, July.
    17. Cynthia Kinnan & Krislert Samphantharak & Robert Townsend & Diego Vera-Cossio, 2019. "Insurance and Propagation in Village Networks," PIER Discussion Papers 115, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Sep 2019.
    18. Manchin, Miriam & Orazbayev, Sultan, 2018. "Social networks and the intention to migrate," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 360-374.
    19. Mosse, David, 2018. "Caste and development: Contemporary perspectives on a structure of discrimination and advantage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 422-436.
    20. Sanjeev Goyal, 2015. "Networks in Economics: A Perspective on the Literature," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1548, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    21. Aldashev, Gani & Guirkinger, Catherine, 2017. "Colonization and changing social structure: Evidence from Kazakhstan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 413-430.
    22. Julien Gagnon & Sanjeev Goyal, 2017. "Networks, Markets, and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 1-30, January.
    23. Vibhor Saxena & Ishaan Bindal & Philippe LeMay-Boucher, 2019. "Social groups and credit shocks: Evidence of inequalities in consumption smoothing," Discussion Paper Series, School of Economics and Finance 201901, School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews.
    24. Esteves, Rui & Geisler Mesevage, Gabriel, 2019. "Social Networks in Economic History: Opportunities and Challenges," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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