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Community-Driven Development and Social Capital: Evidence from Morocco


  • Nguyen, Tu Chi
  • Rieger, Matthias


Community-driven development rests on the principle of development aid through community participation, which is expected to promote pro-social behavior. This paper studies the impact of such a program in Morocco on social capital as measured by economic field experiments. We played a public goods game to measure how much people care about others in the community, an investment game to proxy interpersonal trust, as well as a dictator game to measure altruism. Our empirical strategy exploits an administrative rule stipulating that the program be rolled out only in rural communities with a poverty rate of 30% and above. Focusing on communities close to this cut-off and using a regression discontinuity design, we find that the program increases contributions in public goods games. Conversely, the program has no impact on altruism and reduces interpersonal trust. We examine possible mechanisms underlying the observed impacts by combining the behavioral data with survey information and administrative records on project spending and selection. Overall our results suggest that a shift from a centralized to a more localized decision-making process may enhance people’s sense of responsibility toward their community, but not all forms of social capital are positively affected in the process.

Suggested Citation

  • Nguyen, Tu Chi & Rieger, Matthias, 2017. "Community-Driven Development and Social Capital: Evidence from Morocco," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 28-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:91:y:2017:i:c:p:28-52
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.10.013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1995. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Italy," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 295-307, Summer.
    2. Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Ruben Enikolopov, 2013. "Randomized Impact Evaluation of Afghanistan's National Solidarity Programme," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16637, The World Bank.
    3. Platteau, Jean-Philippe & Gaspart, Frederic, 2003. "The Risk of Resource Misappropriation in Community-Driven Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1687-1703, October.
    4. Parajuli, Dilip & Acharya, Gayatri & Chaudhury, Nazmul & Thapa, Bishnu Bahadur, 2012. "Impact of social fund on the welfare of rural households : evidence from the Nepal poverty alleviation fund," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6042, The World Bank.
    5. Ghazala Mansuri, 2004. "Community-Based and -Driven Development: A Critical Review," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 1-39.
    6. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    7. Uri Gneezy & Jan Potters, 1997. "An Experiment on Risk Taking and Evaluation Periods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 631-645.
    8. Ghazala Mansuri & Vijayendra Rao, 2013. "Localizing Development : Does Participation Work?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11859, June.
    9. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1688-1699, December.
    10. Marcel Fafchamps, 2006. "Development and social capital," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(7), pages 1180-1198.
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    Cited by:

    1. El-Kogali,Safaa El Tayeb & Krafft,Caroline Gould & Abdelkhalek,Touhami & Benkassmi,Mohamed & Chavez,Monica I. & Bassett,Lucy Katherine & Ejjanoui,Fouzia & El-Kogali,Safaa El Tayeb & Krafft,Caroline Go, 2016. "The impact of a community development and poverty reduction program on early childhood development in Morocco," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7671, The World Bank.
    2. Saguin, Kidjie, 2018. "Why the poor do not benefit from community-driven development: Lessons from participatory budgeting," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 220-232.
    3. Hollard, Guillaume & Sene, Omar, 2020. "What drives the quality of schools in Africa? Disentangling social capital and ethnic divisions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    4. Pramod K Singh & Harpalsinh Chudasama, 2020. "Evaluating poverty alleviation strategies in a developing country," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(1), pages 1-23, January.
    5. Attanasio, Orazio & Polania-Reyes, Sandra & Pellerano, Luca, 2015. "Building social capital: Conditional cash transfers and cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 22-39.
    6. Artavia-Mora, L.D., 2016. "Intuitive cooperation in The Hague : A natural field experiment," ISS Working Papers - General Series 614, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.


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