Network formation through a gender lens: insights from rural Nicaragua
This paper examines the relation between gender and network formation in rural Nicaragua. Applying dyadic regression techniques and controlling for individual socio-economic characteristics, we obtain insights into the determinants of the size and density as well as the socio-economic heterogeneity of individual networks. Assuming these network characteristics correlate with one's agency and benefits from network participation, we look for differences between men's and women's networks and its relation with gender. In general, the gendered private/public dichotomy and labor division is replicated in men's and women's networks. Furthermore, consistent with the restricted mobility of poor rural women, we observe that geographic distance limits the networks of women but not men. Next, female education and mobility, and newly-residing men, have a positive influence on the integration between men and women. Finally, clique formation is stronger around women than men.
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