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Interest And Identity In Network Formation

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  • Santos, Paulo
  • Barrett, Christopher B.

Abstract

In this paper, we use an unusually rich data set from Ghana to explore the endogenous formation of information network linkages among farmers. We propose and test a new measure of social distance that accommodates possible asymmetries in social distance. Using this improved measure, we show that social distance plays a major role in shaping network structure, but that other factors related to the inherent costs and benefits of linkage matter significantly as well. Network interlinkages appear relatively modest. We are also able to corroborate the sociological "strength of weak ties" hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Santos, Paulo & Barrett, Christopher B., 2004. "Interest And Identity In Network Formation," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 19920, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea04:19920
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/19920
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. De Weerdt, Joachim & Dercon, Stefan, 2006. "Risk-sharing networks and insurance against illness," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 337-356, December.
    2. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    3. Fafchamps, Marcel & Lund, Susan, 2003. "Risk-sharing networks in rural Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 261-287, August.
    4. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
    5. Jean Ensminger, 1997. "Transaction Costs and Islam: Explaining Conversion in Africa," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(1), pages 1-4, March.
    6. Jere R. Behrman & Hans-Peter Kohler & Susan Cotts Watkins, 2001. "How can we measure the causal effects of social networks using observational data? Evidence from the diffusion of family planning and AIDS worries in South Nyanza District, Kenya," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-022, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    8. Barrett, Christopher B. & Sherlund, Shane M. & Adesina, Akinwumi A., 2003. "Macroeconomic Shocks, Human Capital And Productive Efficiency: Evidence From West African Farmers," Working Papers 14744, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sommarat Chantarat & Christopher Barrett, 2012. "Social network capital, economic mobility and poverty traps," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 10(3), pages 299-342, September.
    2. Dev, Pritha, 2010. "Identity and Fragmentation in Networks," MPRA Paper 21632, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Santos, Paulo & Barrett, Christopher B., 2006. "Informal Insurance in the Presence of Poverty Traps: Evidence from Southern Ethiopia," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25487, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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    Keywords

    Research Methods/ Statistical Methods;

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