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Are gifts and loans between households voluntary?

  • Margherita Comola

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

  • Marcel Fafchamps

    (University of Oxford (UK) - University of Oxford (UK))

Using village data from Tanzania, we test whether gifts and loans between households are voluntary while correcting for mis-reporting by the giving and receiving households. Two maintained assumptions underlie our analysis: answers to a question on who people would turn to for help are good proxies for willingness to link; and, conditional on regressors, the probability of reporting a gift or loan is independent between giving and receiving households. Building on these assumptions, we develop a new estimation methodology that corrects for response bias. Our testing strategy is based on the idea that, if lending and gift giving are voluntary, then both households should want to rely on each other for help. We find only weak evidence to support bilateral link formation. We do, however, find reasonably strong evidence to support unilateral link formation. Results suggest that if a household wishes to enter in a reciprocal relationship with someone who is sufficiently close socially and geographically, it can do so unilaterally.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00564894.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00564894
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00564894
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  1. Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, . "Risk Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines," Working Papers 97014, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  2. Siwan Anderson & Jean-Marie Baland, 2002. "The Economics Of Roscas And Intrahousehold Resource Allocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 963-995, August.
  3. Arcand, Jean-Louis & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Matching in community-based organizations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 203-219.
  4. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1997. "Informal Insurance Arrangements in Village Economies," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 97/08, Department of Economics, Keele University, revised Oct 2000.
  5. Marcel Fafchamps & Margherita Comola, 2010. "Testing Unilateral and Bilateral Link Formation," Working Papers id:2797, eSocialSciences.
  6. repec:pse:psecon:2009-30 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. De Weerdt, Joachim & Dercon, Stefan, 2006. "Risk-sharing networks and insurance against illness," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 337-356, December.
  8. Hayami, Y & Platteau, J-P, 1997. "Resource Endowments and Agricultural Development : Africa vs. Asia," Papers 192, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
  9. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, 1995. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, and the Family: Evidence from Transfer Behavior in Low-Income Rural Areas," Home Pages _075, University of Pennsylvania.
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