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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Huysentruyt, Marieke & Barrett, Christopher B. & McPeak, John G., 2002. "Social Identity And Manipulative Interhousehold Transfers Among East African Pastoralists," Working Papers 14746, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:14746

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Travis J. Lybbert & Christopher B. Barrett & Solomon Desta & D. Layne Coppock, 2004. "Stochastic wealth dynamics and risk management among a poor population," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 750-777, October.
    2. Barrett, Christopher B., 2002. "Food Aid Effectiveness: "It'S The Targeting, Stupid!"," Working Papers 14754, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.

    More about this item


    Agribusiness; D; O; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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