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Trust and livelihood adaptation: evidence from rural Mexico

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  • Sytske Groenewald

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  • Erwin Bulte

    ()

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between trust and household adaptation strategies for a sample of respondents in a Mexican agrarian community. In particular, we analyze how levels of personalized, generalized, and institutionalized trust shape the adaptation strategies of smallholders, and find that households characterized by low levels of generalized and institutionalized trust are less likely to be involved in a diversified livelihood strategy. Instead, they tend to continue with the traditional activity of maize production. In contrast, high levels of personalized trust are associated with a livelihood strategy that focuses on cattle breeding and pasture growing. We argue that trust explains why some people more readily ‘catch up’ with opportunities created by an expanding market, while others lag behind in poverty. This paper thus seeks to contribute to the debate on the role of trust in economic actions and decision-making processes of smallholders. Copyright The Author(s) 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Sytske Groenewald & Erwin Bulte, 2013. "Trust and livelihood adaptation: evidence from rural Mexico," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 30(1), pages 41-55, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:30:y:2013:i:1:p:41-55
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-012-9383-9
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10460-012-9383-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
    2. Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699 Elsevier.
    3. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-338, May.
    4. Paul F. Whiteley, 2000. "Economic Growth and Social Capital," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 48(3), pages 443-466, June.
    5. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
    6. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 2001. "Estimating Wealth Effects Without Expenditure Data—Or Tears: An Application To Educational Enrollments In States Of India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 115-132, February.
    7. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Social Capital and Development," Economics Series Working Papers 214, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Ahlerup, Pelle & Olsson, Ola & Yanagizawa, David, 2007. "Social Capital vs Institutions in the Growth Process," Working Papers in Economics 248, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    9. Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fédes Rijn & Ephraim Nkonya & Adewale Adekunle, 2015. "The impact of agricultural extension services on social capital: an application to the Sub-Saharan African Challenge Program in Lake Kivu region," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 32(4), pages 597-615, December.
    2. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9863-y is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Peter Brown & Zvi Hochman & Kerry Bridle & Neil Huth, 2015. "Participatory approaches to address climate change: perceived issues affecting the ability of South East Queensland graziers to adapt to future climates," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 32(4), pages 689-703, December.
    4. Xiaoxing Qi & Laiyuan Zhong & Liming Liu, 2015. "A framework for a regional integrated food security early warning system: a case study of the Dongting Lake area in China," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 32(2), pages 315-329, June.
    5. repec:eee:wodepe:v:4:y:2016:i:c:p:38-47 is not listed on IDEAS

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