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Social capital and the brokerage system: the formation of debt bondage in South India


  • Augendra Bhukuth
  • Jérôme Ballet
  • Isabelle Guérin


Purpose - The concept of social capital has known unrelenting success over recent years. However, some ambiguities continue to surround the topic. Several authors have spelled out the link between social capital and trust, but there has been limited empirical analysis focusing on the creation of trust and the ensuing link with social capital. The purport of this article is to carry out such an analysis. Design/methodology/approach - The article presents some results of a research led in the brick kiln industry in the State of Tamil Nadu, India. The research was based on a qualitative and quantitative survey. The study analyses the dependency relationship between labourers/middlemen. Findings - The article shows that all the actors involved in the brick kiln industry are linked to one another by the middlemen. Originality/value - The study brings forward the role of trust in the make-up of networks and the negative effects that its absence leads to in the structure of networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Augendra Bhukuth & Jérôme Ballet & Isabelle Guérin, 2007. "Social capital and the brokerage system: the formation of debt bondage in South India," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(4), pages 311-323, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:v:34:y:2007:i:4:p:311-323

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Social capital; Debts; Labour; Poverty; India;


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