IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/irs/cepswp/2014-06.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Small businesses performance in West African border regions: Do social networks pay off?

Author

Listed:
  • KUEPIE Mathias
  • TENIKUE Michel
  • WALTHER Olivier

Abstract

This paper studies the link between economic performance and social networks in West Africa. Using first-hand data collected on 358 small-scale traders in five border markets between Niger, Nigeria and Benin, we are particularly interested in testing whether the most well-connected actors of trade networks are also the most successful in terms of monthly sales and profit. The paper shows that the overall economic performance of traders is affected by the socio-professional position of the actors with whom they are connected. While social ties with local religious leaders have no effect on their business, support received from civil servants, politicians, and security authorities translates into economic performance. The paper also shows significant differences between countries, regions and marketplaces. Social connections developed with state representatives have a much greater effect on economic performances in Niger and Benin than in Nigeria, where average profit is much higher. Experience is more closely correlated with profit in the region where traders have developed re-export trade activities than where petty trade is the dominant form of business.

Suggested Citation

  • KUEPIE Mathias & TENIKUE Michel & WALTHER Olivier, 2014. "Small businesses performance in West African border regions: Do social networks pay off?," LISER Working Paper Series 2014-06, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2014-06
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.liser.lu/publi_viewer.cfm?tmp=2517
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, December.
    2. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David J. & Woodruff, Christopher, 2009. "Measuring microenterprise profits: Must we ask how the sausage is made?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 19-31, January.
    3. Volker Schöer & Neil Rankin & Gareth Roberts, 2014. "Accessing The First Job In A Slack Labour Market: Job Matching In South Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 1-22, January.
    4. Peter Urwin & Giorgio Di Pietro & Patrick Sturgis & Gregor Jack, 2008. "Measuring the Returns to Networking and the Accumulation of Social Capital: Any Evidence of Bonding, Bridging, or Linking?," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(5), pages 941-968, November.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12204 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Burns, Justine & Godlonton, Susan & Keswell, Malcolm, 2010. "Social networks, employment and worker discouragement: Evidence from South Africa," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 336-344, April.
    7. Philippe LeMay-Boucher & Joël Noret & Vincent Somville, 2013. "Facing Misfortune: Expenditures on Magico-Religious Powers for Cure and Protection in Benin," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(2), pages 300-322, March.
    8. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
    9. Kuepie, Mathias & Nordman, Christophe J. & Roubaud, François, 2009. "Education and earnings in urban West Africa," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 491-515, September.
    10. Christophe Nordman & Laure Pasquier-Doumer, 2013. "Transitions in a West African Labour Market: The Role of Social Networks," Working Papers DT/2013/12, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    11. ISHIWATA Ayako & Petr MATOUS & TODO Yasuyuki, 2014. "Effects of Business Networks on Firm Growth in a Cluster of Microenterprises: Evidence from rural Ethiopia," Discussion papers 14014, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    12. Parsley, David C. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2001. "Explaining the border effect: the role of exchange rate variability, shipping costs, and geography," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 87-105, October.
    13. Olivier Walther, 2012. "Traders, agricultural entrepreneurs and the development of cross-border regions in West Africa," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3-4), pages 123-141, April.
    14. Torben Dall Schmidt & Peter Sandholt Jensen, 2012. "Social networks and regional recruitment of foreign labour: Firm recruitment methods and spatial sorting in Denmark," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(4), pages 795-821, November.
    15. Marcel Fafchamps, 2002. "Returns to social network capital among traders," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 173-206, April.
    16. World Bank, 2014. "World Development Indicators 2014," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 18237, December.
    17. John E. Akoten & Keijiro Otsuka, 2007. "From Tailors to Mini-Manufacturers: The Role of Traders in the Performance of Garment Enterprises in Kenya," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(4), pages 564-595, August.
    18. Mark Granovetter, 2005. "The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 33-50, Winter.
    19. Andre Hofmeyr, 2010. "Social Networks And Ethnic Niches: An Econometric Analysis Of The Manufacturing Sector In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 78(1), pages 107-130, March.
    20. Lydon,Ghislaine, 2009. "On Trans-Saharan Trails," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521887243, December.
    21. Mano, Yukichi & Yamano, Takashi & Suzuki, Aya & Matsumoto, Tomoya, 2011. "Local and Personal Networks in Employment and the Development of Labor Markets: Evidence from the Cut Flower Industry in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1760-1770.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Walther, Olivier J. & Tenikue, Michel & Trémolières, Marie, 2019. "Economic performance, gender and social networks in West African food systems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-1.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Walther, Olivier J. & Tenikue, Michel & Trémolières, Marie, 2019. "Economic performance, gender and social networks in West African food systems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-1.
    2. Olivier Walther, 2015. "Social Network Analysis and informal trade," Working Papers 4, University of Southern Denmark, Centre for Border Region Studies.
    3. Olivier J. Walther, 2015. "Business, Brokers and Borders: The Structure of West African Trade Networks," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(5), pages 603-620, May.
    4. repec:sdn:wpaper:1-kopi is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Songsermsawas, Tisorn & Baylis, Kathy & Chhatre, Ashwini & Michelson, Hope, 2016. "Can Peers Improve Agricultural Revenue?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 163-178.
    6. Sommarat Chantarat & Christopher Barrett, 2012. "Social network capital, economic mobility and poverty traps," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 10(3), pages 299-342, September.
    7. Kibrom A. Abay & Goytom A. Kahsay & Guush Berhane, 2018. "Social Networks and Factor Markets: Panel Data Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(1), pages 174-190, January.
    8. Pramila Krishnan & Emanuela Sciubba, 2009. "Links and Architecture in Village Networks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 917-949, April.
    9. Dev, Pritha, 2010. "Identity and Fragmentation in Networks," MPRA Paper 21632, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Bart Minten & Anneleen Vandeplas & Johan Swinnen, 2011. "Regulations, Brokers, and Interlinkages: The Institutional Organization of Wholesale Markets in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(7), pages 864-886, May.
    11. Girum Abebe & Tetsushi Sonobe, 2012. "Management Practices, Self-Selection into Management Training Participation, and Training Effects in the Garment Industry in Ethiopia," GRIPS Discussion Papers 11-23, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    12. Getahun Fenta Kebede, 2018. "Social Capital and Entrepreneurial Outcomes: Evidence from Informal Sector Entrepreneurs in Ethiopia," Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, vol. 27(2), pages 209-242, September.
    13. Maru, Yiheyis & Sparrow, Ashley & Stirzaker, Richard & Davies, Jocelyn, 2018. "Integrated agricultural research for development (IAR4D) from a theory of change perspective," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 310-320.
    14. Marcel Fafchamps & Sanjeev Goyal & Marco J. van der Leij, 2010. "Matching and Network Effects," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 203-231, March.
    15. Michelson, Hope & Fairbairn, Anna & Ellison, Brenna & Maertens, Annemie & Manyong, Victor, 2021. "Misperceived quality: Fertilizer in Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    16. Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp, 2021. "Germs, Social Networks, and Growth [Unbundling Institutions]," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(3), pages 1074-1100.
    17. Serneels, Pieter & Beegle, Kathleen & Dillon, Andrew, 2017. "Do returns to education depend on how and whom you ask?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 5-19.
    18. Apoorv Gupta & Jacopo Ponticelli & Andrea Tesei, 2020. "Information, Technology Adoption and Productivity: The Role of Mobile Phones in Agriculture," NBER Working Papers 27192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Tsusaka, Takuji W. & Kajisa, Kei & Pede, Valerien O. & Aoyagi, Keitaro, 2015. "Neighborhood effects and social behavior: The case of irrigated and rainfed farmers in Bohol, the Philippines," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 227-246.
    20. Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699, Elsevier.
    21. Olivia Bertelli, 2020. "Investing in Agriculture when it is worth it. Empirical evidence from rural Uganda," Working Papers hal-02446820, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social networks; border markets; economic performance; Benin; Niger; Nigeria;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2014-06. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cepsslu.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Library and Documentation The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Library and Documentation to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cepsslu.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.