Can the Poor Be Mobilized? Cooperation and Public Goods in Rural India
High coordination costs are often blamed for the low quality of public goods available to the poor. Participatory development programs have sought to lower these costs by improving trust and cooperation, but the evidence of their impact is mixed. We examine financial “self-help” groups in one of the poorest districts in India, using a unique combination of a village-randomized controlled trial and a lab-in-the-field experiment. A survey of 1,600 women before and after the intervention shows that the presence of these groups improved access to, and quality of, a critical local public good: water. Public goods games played with 184 participants in a subset of control and treatment villages indicate that cooperative norms are stronger where self-help groups were present. We find little evidence that membership leads to a convergence of tastes among group members. These results suggest that, in contrast to traditional community initiatives, self-help groups can build durable social capital in poor communities.
|Date of creation:||04 Nov 2016|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden|
Phone: (+46 8) 736 9670
Fax: (+46 8) 31 64 22
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/site/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hainmueller, Jens, 2012. "Entropy Balancing for Causal Effects: A Multivariate Reweighting Method to Produce Balanced Samples in Observational Studies," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 25-46, December.
- Priya Basu, 2006. "Improving Access to Finance for India's Rural Poor," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6927.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:hasite:0040. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Evelina Bonnier)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.