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Trust, membership in groups, and household welfare

  • Haddad, Lawrence James
  • Maluccio, John A.

This paper explores the relationship between group membership and trust. Specifically, the authors examine (1) the importance of trust in the decision to join groups, (2) the subsequent ability of groups to generate trust, and (3) the influence of group membership and trust on a measure of well-being, per capita household income. They use longitudinal data from KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, allowing them to control for potential simultaneity and measurement-error problems in the estimation. They disaggregate groups into financial and nonfinancial and “trust in people” by type of agent or actor. They can thus examine whether different types of trust are important for participating in different types of groups and whether different types of group participation are important for generating different types of trust. The research finds that (1) trust in local agents is an important determinant of membership in financial groups but not for membership in nonfinancial groups, (2) membership in both types of groups generates trust in nonlocal agents but not local agents, and (3) membership in financial and nonfinancial groups leads to higher well-being. The first two results suggest that financial groups serve a role in expanding the radius of trust, while the first and third results suggest a role for trust in improving well-being.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND discussion papers with number 135.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:135
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation In Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904, August.
  2. La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Inequality and group participation: theory and evidence from rural Tanzania," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 235-273, August.
  3. Julian May & Michael Carter & Lawrence Haddad & John Maluccio, 2000. "KwaZulu-Natal Income Dynamics Study (KIDS) 1993-98: A longitudinal household database for South African policy analysis," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 567-581.
  4. Zeller, Manfred, 1998. "Determinants of Repayment Performance in Credit Groups: The Role of Program Design, Intragroup Risk Pooling, and Social Cohesion," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 599-620, April.
  5. Woolcock, Michael & Narayan, Deepa, 2000. "Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research, and Policy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 225-49, August.
  6. John Maluccio & Lawrence Haddad & Julian May, 2000. "Social capital and household welfare in South Africa, 1993-98," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 54-81.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "The Determinants of Trust," NBER Working Papers 7621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Barr, Abigail, 2000. "Social Capital and Technical Information Flows in the Ghanaian Manufacturing Sector," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 539-59, July.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846, August.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "The Economic Approach to Social Capital," NBER Working Papers 7728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Francis Fukuyama, 2000. "Social Capital and Civil Society," IMF Working Papers 00/74, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2000. "Ethnicity and credit in African manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 205-235, February.
  13. Bebbington, Anthony, 1999. "Capitals and Capabilities: A Framework for Analyzing Peasant Viability, Rural Livelihoods and Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(12), pages 2021-2044, December.
  14. Bouis, Howarth E., 1994. "Agricultural technology and food policy to combat iron deficiency in developing countries," FCND discussion papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  15. John A. Maluccio, 2004. "Using Quality of Interview Information to Assess Nonrandom Attrition Bias in Developing-Country Panel Data," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 91-109, 02.
  16. Wydick, Bruce, 1999. "Can Social Cohesion Be Harnessed to Repair Market Failures? Evidence from Group Lending in Guatemala," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 463-75, July.
  17. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  19. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
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