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Community Networks and the Process of Development

Listed author(s):
  • Kaivan Munshi

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.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.28.4.49
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/jep/data/2804/28040049_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 28 (2014)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 49-76

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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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  1. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Interfirm Relationships and Informal Credit in Vietnam," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1285-1320.
  2. Giles, John & Park, Albert & Cai, Fang, 2006. "Reemployment of dislocated workers in urban China: The roles of information and incentives," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 582-607, September.
  3. Maurizio Mazzocco & Shiv Saini, 2012. "Testing Efficient Risk Sharing with Heterogeneous Risk Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 428-468, February.
  4. Fafchamps, Marcel & Lund, Susan, 2003. "Risk-sharing networks in rural Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 261-287, August.
  5. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
  6. Shing-Yi Wang, 2013. "Marriage Networks, Nepotism, and Labor Market Outcomes in China," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 91-112, July.
  7. Maoz, Yishay D & Moav, Omer, 1999. "Intergenerational Mobility and the Process of Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 677-697, October.
  8. Zhang, Xiaobo & Li, Guo, 2003. "Does guanxi matter to nonfarm employment?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 315-331, June.
  9. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
  10. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
  11. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 1996. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 757-793.
  12. Amrita Dhillon & Vegard Iversen & Gaute Torsvik, 2013. "Employee Referral, Social Proximity and Worker Discipline: Theory and Evidence from India," CESifo Working Paper Series 4309, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Jeremy R. Magruder, 2010. "Intergenerational Networks, Unemployment, and Persistent Inequality in South Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 62-85, January.
  14. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
  15. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2006. "Traditional Institutions Meet the Modern World: Caste, Gender, and Schooling Choice in a Globalizing Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1225-1252, September.
  16. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
  17. Krishna Patel & Francis Vella, 2013. "Immigrant Networks and Their Implications for Occupational Choice and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1249-1277, October.
  18. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
  19. Kaivan Munshi, 2011. "Strength in Numbers: Networks as a Solution to Occupational Traps," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 1069-1101.
  20. Grimard, Franque, 1997. "Household consumption smoothing through ethnic ties: evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 391-422, August.
  21. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Persistent Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 369-393.
  22. Dhillon, Amrita & Iversen, Vegard & Torsvik, Gaute, 2012. "Employee referral, social proximity and worker discipline," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 90, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  23. Abhijit Banerjee & Kaivan Munshi, 2004. "How Efficiently is Capital Allocated? Evidence from the Knitted Garment Industry in Tirupur," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 19-42.
  24. Luke, Nancy & Munshi, Kaivan, 2011. "Women as agents of change: Female income and mobility in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 1-17, January.
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