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The Development Of Trust And Social Capital In Rural Uganda: An Experimental Approach

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  • Arjan Verschoor
  • Paul Mosley

Abstract

Trust is important for development but can be hard to build. In this paper, we report on experiments designed to understand the determinants of trust in villages in eastern Uganda, and in particular whether trust can be `built´ by offering insurance to people as a protection against the possibility that the trust they offer will not be reciprocated. We find, firstly, that the effects of income and wealth on trust are ambiguous: trust is higher in the richer than the poorer village, but once association and female education are added as explanatory variables, the wealth effect disappears. Secondly, although the offer of insurance is taken up by a majority of players, this is in most cases not an `effective demand´ in the sense of incentivising higher levels of trust. Effective demand for insurance, defined in this way, however responds positively to high levels of risk efficacy, microfinance membership and female education. Insurance offered in this form, therefore, is on its own apparently not a reliable technology for building trust; but its effectiveness as a trust-building instrument appears to increase if certain complementary institutions are in position.
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  • Arjan Verschoor & Paul Mosley, 2004. "The Development Of Trust And Social Capital In Rural Uganda: An Experimental Approach," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 106, Royal Economic Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2004:106
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    Cited by:

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    3. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
    4. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2006. "Preferences, Poverty and Politics: Experimental and Survey Data from Vietnam," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000054, UCLA Department of Economics.
    5. Alvin Etang Ndip & David Fielding & Stephen Knowles, 2007. "Survey Trust, Experimental Trust and ROSCA Membership in Rural Cameroon," Working Papers 0713, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2007.
    6. Borghans, José A.M. & Borghans, Lex & ter Weel, Bas, 2005. "Is There a Link between Economic Outcomes and Genetic Evolution? Cross-Country Evidence from the Major Histocompatibility Complex," IZA Discussion Papers 1838, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Sascha Fullbrunn & Katharina Richwien & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2011. "Trust and Trustworthiness in Anonymous Virtual Worlds," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 48-63.
    8. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Mahmud, Minhaj & Martinsson, Peter, 2013. "Trust, trust games and stated trust: Evidence from rural Bangladesh," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 286-298.
    9. Mao, Hui & Zhou, Li & Ifft, Jennifer & Ying, RuiYao, 2019. "Risk preferences, production contracts and technology adoption by broiler farmers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 147-159.
    10. Mao, Hui & Zhou, Li & Ifft, Jennifer, 2017. "Risk Preferences, Contracts and Technology Adoption by Broiler Farmers in China," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 257248, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Greig, Fiona & Bohnet, Iris, 2005. "Is There Reciprocity in a Reciprocal Exchange Economy? Evidence from a Slum in Nairobi, Kenya," Working Paper Series rwp05-044, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    12. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2006. "Poverty, politics, and preferences: Field Experiments and survey data from Vietnam," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001099, UCLA Department of Economics.
    13. Alvin Etang, 2008. "Modelling the Effects of Socio-Economic Characteristics on Survey Trust: Empirical Evidence from Cameroon," Working Papers 0808, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2008.
    14. Alvin Etang & David Fielding & Stephen Knowles, 2011. "Does trust extend beyond the village? Experimental trust and social distance in Cameroon," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(1), pages 15-35, March.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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