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Social Networks in Developing Countries


  • Yating Chuang
  • Laura Schechter

    () (Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706)


Social networks function as an important safety net in developing countries, which often lack formal financial instruments. Such networks are also an important source of information in developing countries with relatively low access to the Internet and literacy rates. We review the empirical literature that uses explicit social network data collected in developing countries. We focus on social networks as conduits for both monetary transfers and information. We also briefly discuss the network-formation literature and comment on data collection strategies, mentioning some areas we believe to be especially ripe for future study.

Suggested Citation

  • Yating Chuang & Laura Schechter, 2015. "Social Networks in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 451-472, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:7:y:2015:p:451-472

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    1. repec:bla:jecsur:v:32:y:2018:i:4:p:1016-1044 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:jsecdv:v:20:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s40847-018-0065-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Manchin, Miriam & Orazbayev, Sultan, 2018. "Social networks and the intention to migrate," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 360-374.
    4. Mbugua, M. & Nzuma, J. & Muange, E. & Njuguna, M. & Jaeckering, L., 2018. "Social Networks and Household Dietary Diversity, Evidence from Smallholder Farmers in Kenya," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277341, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Islam, Asadul & Ushchev, Philip & Zenou, Yves & Zhang, Xin, 2018. "The Value of Information in Technology Adoption: Theory and Evidence from Bangladesh," CEPR Discussion Papers 13419, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item


    social networks; technology adoption; information flows; development economics;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


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