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Community Networks and PovertyReductionProgrammes: Evidence from Bangladesh

Author

Listed:
  • Oriana Bandiera
  • Robin Burgess
  • Selim Gulesci
  • Imran Rasul

Abstract

Whether basic entrepreneurship can be inculcated amongst the poorest in society and serve as a route out of poverty remains an open question. We provide evidence on this issue by looking at the effects of a large-scale asset transfer and training programme which is targeted at the poorest women in rural Bangladesh. We use a randomized control trial research design, and survey all households in the community. This allows us to map the full social network of the beneficiaries, on multiple dimensions of interaction. We find that beneficiaries' wealth levels and occupational structure converge to that of lower-middle class households. Beneficiaries use their newly found wealth to purchase household durables, and improve their human capital, as measured by business skills and their health status. We find the programme affects the composition of beneficiary households' networks: they form ties to wealthier residents after the programme. The programme also affects outcomes among social network members, but has no effect on households that are not socially connected to beneficiaries. Our findings suggest that such programs have effects beyond beneficiary households, and that the network structures and outcomes in targeted communities are transformed by them.

Suggested Citation

  • Oriana Bandiera & Robin Burgess & Selim Gulesci & Imran Rasul, 2009. "Community Networks and PovertyReductionProgrammes: Evidence from Bangladesh," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 015, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stieop:015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Christian Lehman, 2014. "Long-Run Effects Of Conditional Cash Transfers," Anais do XLI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 41th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 223, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    2. Barrientos, Armando & Nino-Zarazua, Miguel, 2010. "Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database Version 5.0," MPRA Paper 20001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Kolstad, Ivar & Wiig, Arne & Moazzem, Khondaker Golam, 2014. "Returns to education among entrepreneurs in Bangladesh," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, pages 54-65.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    asset transfers; social networks; ultra-poor programme.;

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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