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Social Identity And Manipulative Interhousehold Transfers Among East African Pastoralists

  • Huysentruyt, Marieke
  • Barrett, Christopher B.
  • McPeak, John G.

We model interhousehold transfers between nomadic livestock herders as the state-dependent consequence of individuals' strategic interdependence resulting from the existence of multiple, opposing externalities. A public good security externality among individuals sharing a social (e.g., ethnic) identity in a potentially hostile environment creates incentives to band together. Self-interested interhousehold wealth transfers from wealthier herders to poorer ones may emerge endogenously within a limited wealth space as a means to motivate accompanying migration by the recipient. The distributional reach and size of the transfer are limited, however, by a resource appropriation externality related to the use of common property grazing lands. When this effect dominates, it can induce distributionally regressive transfers from ex ante poor households who want to relieve grazing pressures caused by larger herds. As compared to the extant literature on transfers, our model appears more consistent with the limited available empirical evidence on heterogeneous and changing transfers patterns among east African pastoralists.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/14746
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Paper provided by Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management in its series Working Papers with number 14746.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:14746
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  2. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1992. "Solidarity Networks in Preindustrial Societies: Rational Peasants with a Moral Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 147-74, October.
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  7. Nathan, Martha A. & Fratkin, Elliot M. & Roth, Eric Abella, 1996. "Sedentism and child health among rendille pastoralists of Northern Kenya," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 503-515, August.
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  9. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, 1995. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, and the Family: Evidence from Transfer Behavior in Low-Income Rural Areas," Home Pages _075, University of Pennsylvania.
  10. Kirchler, Erich & Fehr, Ernst & Evans, Robert, 1996. "Social exchange in the labor market: Reciprocity and trust versus egoistic money maximization," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 313-341, June.
  11. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
  12. Kimball, Miles S, 1988. "Farmers' Cooperatives as Behavior Toward Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 224-32, March.
  13. Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Altruism, the Samaritan's Dilemma, and Government Transfer Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 46-57, March.
  14. P. Lundborg, 1998. "Foreign Aid and International Support as a Gift Exchange," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 127-142, 07.
  15. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  16. Samuelson, Paul A, 1993. "Altruism as a Problem Involving Group versus Individual Selection in Economics and Biology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 143-48, May.
  17. C. Barrett & K. Smith & P. Box, 2001. "Not Necessarily In The Same Boat: Heterogeneous Risk Assessment Among East African Pastoralists," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(5), pages 1-30.
  18. John G. McPeak & Christopher B. Barrett, 2001. "Differential Risk Exposure and Stochastic Poverty Traps Among East African Pastoralists," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 674-679.
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