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Collective action and vulnerability: Burial societies in rural Ethiopia

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  • Dercon, Stefan
  • Hoddinott, John
  • Krishnan, Pramila
  • Woldehannnam, Tassew

Abstract

"Collective action can help individuals, groups, and communities achieve common goals, thus contributing to poverty reduction. Drawing on longitudinal household and qualitative community data, the authors examine the impact of shocks on household living standards, study the correlates of participation in groups and formal and informal networks, and discuss the relationship of networks with access to other forms of capital. In this context, they assess how one form of collective action, iddir, or burial societies, help households attenuate the impact of illness. They find that iddir effectively deal with problems of asymmetric information by restricting membership geographically, imposing a membership fee, and conducting checks on how the funds were spent. The study also finds that while iddir help poor households cope with individual health shocks, but shows that the better-off households belong to more groups and have larger networks. In addition, where households have limited ability to develop spatial networks, collective action has limited ability to respond to covariate shocks. Therefore, realism is needed in terms of the ability of collective action to respond to shocks, and direct public action is more appropriate to deal with common shocks." authors' abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Dercon, Stefan & Hoddinott, John & Krishnan, Pramila & Woldehannnam, Tassew, 2008. "Collective action and vulnerability: Burial societies in rural Ethiopia," CAPRi working papers 83, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:worpps:83
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. de Brauw, Alan & Mueller, Valerie & Woldehanna, Tassew, 2011. "Insurance motives to remit: Evidence from a matched sample of Ethiopian internal migrants," ESSP working papers 25, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Abay, Kibrom A. & Kahsay, Goytom A. & Berhane, Guush, 2014. "Social networks and factor markets: Panel data evidence from Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 68, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Dercon, Stefan & Hill, Ruth Vargas & Clarke, Daniel & Outes-Leon, Ingo & Seyoum Taffesse, Alemayehu, 2014. "Offering rainfall insurance to informal insurance groups: Evidence from a field experiment in Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 132-143.
    4. Sabina Alkire, 2011. "Multidimensional Poverty and its Discontents," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp046, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    5. Gray, Clark & Mueller, Valerie, 2012. "Drought and Population Mobility in Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 134-145.
    6. Kanwal Zahra & Tasneem Zafar, 2015. "Marginality as a Root Cause of Urban Poverty: A Case Study of Punjab," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 54(4), pages 629-650.
    7. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & McNiven, Scott & Godquin, Marie, 2008. "Shocks, groups, and networks in Bukidnon, Philippines:," CAPRi working papers 84, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. de Brauw, Alan & Mueller, Valerie & Woldehanna, Tassew, 2013. "Motives to Remit: Evidence from Tracked Internal Migrants in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 13-23.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Collective action; Burial societies; Shocks; Vulnerability; Poverty; Networks;

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