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Crowding Out Trust in the Informal Monetary Relationships: The Curious Case of the Hawala System

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  • Alexander Lascaux

Abstract

Trust, along with other influential norms of cooperation, has been traditionally viewed as an important coordination mechanism stabilizing expectations of the participants in the informal economic exchanges. Drawing on the example of the informal value transfer system called hawala, this paper, however, shows that the role of safeguard against opportunism in the informal monetary settings is much more reliably performed by the instruments of social control. Norms of control embedded in community beliefs and common social practices among the hawala members entirely replace trusting attitudes, rendering them superfluous for the purpose of protecting financial interests of clients and intermediaries in this informal system of monetary exchanges.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Lascaux, 2015. "Crowding Out Trust in the Informal Monetary Relationships: The Curious Case of the Hawala System," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 87-107, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:fosoec:v:44:y:2015:i:1:p:87-107
    DOI: 10.1080/07360932.2014.954250
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Claudius Gräbner & Wolfram Elsner & Alexander Lascaux, 2018. "To Trust or to Control: Informal Value Transfer Systems and Computational Analysis in Institutional Economics," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(2), pages 559-569, April.

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