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Social capital and poverty in Uganda


  • Rashid Hassan
  • Patrick Birungi


This paper investigates the links between social capital and household poverty in Uganda. It assumes a two-way causal relationship between poverty and access to social capital. This suggests an endogeneity problem, so the paper uses econometric techniques that control for endogeneity. Using two nationally representative datasets, the authors' analyses revealed that access to social capital defined in terms of membership of social organisations positively affects household income and reduces poverty. Education was the key determinant of income and increases the probability of joining social networks. Their results further show that household income and welfare are positively associated with access to social capital or group participation. This suggests that government strategies to increase household income that take into consideration existing social institutions will go a long way to encourage associational growth and performance and consequently reduce poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Rashid Hassan & Patrick Birungi, 2011. "Social capital and poverty in Uganda," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(1), pages 19-37.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:28:y:2011:i:1:p:19-37
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2011.545168

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Yanlong & Zhou, Xiaoyu & Lei, Wei, 2017. "Social Capital and Its Contingent Value in Poverty Reduction: Evidence from Western China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 350-361.
    2. Galey Tenzin & Kozo Otsuka & Kaoru Natsuda, 2015. "Can Social Capital Reduce Poverty? A Study of Rural Households in Eastern Bhutan," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 243-264, September.
    3. repec:eco:journ1:2017-02-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Giuseppina Guagnano & Elisabetta Santarelli & Isabella Santini, 2016. "Can Social Capital Affect Subjective Poverty in Europe? An Empirical Analysis Based on a Generalized Ordered Logit Model," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 881-907, September.

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    poverty; social capital; rural; Uganda; Africa;


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