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The Value of social networks in rural Paraguay

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  • Ligon, Ethan A.
  • Schechter, Laura

Abstract

We conduct field experiments in rural Paraguay to measure the value of reciprocity within social networks in a set of fifteen villages. These experiments involve conducting dictator- type games; different treatments involve manipulating the information and choice that individuals have in the game. These different treatments allow us to measure and distinguish between different motives for giving in these games. The different motives we're able to measure include a general benevolence, directed altruism, fear of sanctions, and reciprocity within the social network. We're further able to draw inferences from play in the games regarding the sorts of impediments to trade which must restrict villagers' ability to share in states of the world when no researchers are present running experiments and measuring outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Ligon, Ethan A. & Schechter, Laura, 2011. "The Value of social networks in rural Paraguay," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt7507w5zw, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt7507w5zw
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2007. "How much is a friend worth?: directed altruism and enforced reciprocity in social networks," Working Papers 07-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    2. Abigail Barr & Garance Genicot, 2008. "Risk Sharing, Commitment, and Information: An Experimental Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1151-1185, December.
    3. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2000. "Mutual Insurance, Individual Savings and Limited Commitment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(2), pages 216-246, April.
    4. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1815-1851.
    5. Doepke, Matthias & Townsend, Robert M., 2006. "Dynamic mechanism design with hidden income and hidden actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 235-285, January.
    6. Fernandes, Ana & Phelan, Christopher, 2000. "A Recursive Formulation for Repeated Agency with History Dependence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 223-247, April.
    7. Lehnert, Andreas & Ligon, Ethan & Townsend, Robert M., 1999. "Liquidity Constraints And Incentive Contracts," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 1-47, March.
    8. Harold L. Cole & Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2001. "Efficient Allocations with Hidden Income and Hidden Storage," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 523-542.
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    Keywords

    Social and Behavioral Sciences;

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