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Bridging the gender divide: an experimental analysis of group formation in African villages

  • Abigail Barr
  • Marleen Dekker


    (African Studies Centre (ASC), Leiden, The Netherlands)

  • Marcel Fafchamps

Assortative matching occurs in many social contexts. We experimentally investigate gender assorting in sub-Saharan villages. In the experiment, co-villagers could form groups to share winnings in a gamble choice game. The extent to which grouping arrangements were or could be enforced and, hence, the distribution of interaction costs were exogenously varied. Thus, we can distinguish between the effects of homophily and interaction costs on the extent of observed gender assorting. We find that interaction costs matter - there is less gender assorting when grouping depends on trust. In part, this is due to trust based on co-memberships in gender-mixed religions.

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Paper provided by African Studies Centre (ASC), Leiden, The Netherlands in its series ASC Working Papers with number 87.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as ASC Working Paper 87, 2009
Handle: RePEc:asc:wpaper:87
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  1. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
  2. Abigail Barr & Garance Genicot, 2007. "Risk Sharing, Commitment and Information: An experimental analysis," CSAE Working Paper Series 2007-17, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Marcel Fafchamps & Flore Gubert, 2005. "The Formation of Risk Sharing Networks," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-037, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Social Connections and Group Banking," Working Papers 181, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
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  9. Gunter J. Hitsch & Ali Horta�su & Dan Ariely, 2010. "Matching and Sorting in Online Dating," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 130-63, March.
  10. Fafchamps, Marcel & Lund, Susan, 2003. "Risk-sharing networks in rural Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 261-287, August.
  11. Doug Miller & A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach, 2006. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," Working Papers 621, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  12. Gine, Xavier & Jakiela, Pamela & Karlan, Dean & Morduch, Jonathan, 2006. "Microfinance games," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3959, The World Bank.
  13. Pitt, Mark M & Khandker, Shahidur R & Cartwright, Jennifer, 2006. "Empowering Women with Micro Finance: Evidence from Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 791-831, July.
  14. Dekker, Marleen, 2004. "Sustainability and Resourcefulness: Support Networks During Periods of Stress," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1735-1751, October.
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  19. Kinsey, Bill & Burger, Kees & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1998. "Coping with drought in Zimbabwe: Survey evidence on responses of rural households to risk," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-110, January.
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  25. Christopher Udry, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526.
  26. D'Espallier, Bert & Guérin, Isabelle & Mersland, Roy, 2011. "Women and Repayment in Microfinance: A Global Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 758-772, May.
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