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The Role of Social Networks in the Economic Opportunities of Bolivian Women


  • Dante Contreras
  • Daniela Zapata
  • Diana Kruger
  • Marcelo Ochoa


This paper explores the role of social networks in determining the participation of Bolivian women in income-generating activities. The empirical analysis intends to explore the impact of this new social variable on the economic choices of women and its relative importance with respect to other individual characteristics, such as education or number of children in the household. The empirical framework defines social network as the average outcome of people living in the same neighborhood. Estimation results suggest that social networks are an effective channel through which women obtain access to salaried jobs, which are of higher quality than jobs as self-employers. In contrast, their male counterparts find a positive but statistically insignificant effect from social networks. When considering the sex of the contact, it is found that women in urban areas benefit from other women being employed, while in rural areas women benefit from the presence of more employed male workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Dante Contreras & Daniela Zapata & Diana Kruger & Marcelo Ochoa, 2007. "The Role of Social Networks in the Economic Opportunities of Bolivian Women," Research Department Publications 3240, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3240

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    Cited by:

    1. Zuluaga, Blanca, 2013. "Quality of social networks and educational investment decisions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 72-82.
    2. Oscar Molina Tejerina & Sergio Bobka Calcina, 2016. "Comercio internacional y brechas salariales no explicadas por género: Evidencia para el sector agrícola en Bolivia," Investigación & Desarrollo 0416, Universidad Privada Boliviana, revised Jun 2016.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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