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Social Capital and Consumption among Agricultural Households

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  • Jonathan Isham

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Abstract

This paper develops a life cycle model for agricultural households in which social capital is a fixed input into household production. The intertemporal solutions of the model yield four results that are consistent with recent empirical and qualitative literature on social capital and consumption among agricultural households: commodity consumption will rise for an agricultural household in a village where public social capital is increasing - even if the household itself has invested little in their own accumulation of social relations; increased inequality within villages is associated with lower social capital; public social capital will decrease significantly in the presence of migration of young from rural communities; and current consumption levels will be less sensitive to increases in income uncertainty when social capital is increasing. The paper uses information on agricultural households in Tanzania to illustrate the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Isham, 2002. "Social Capital and Consumption among Agricultural Households," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0202, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0202
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    File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0202.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dercon, Stefan, 1996. "Risk, Crop Choice, and Savings: Evidence from Tanzania," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(3), pages 485-513, April.
    2. Grootaert, Christiaan, 1999. "Social capital, houshold welfare, and poverty in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2148, The World Bank.
    3. Nugent, Jeffrey B., 1993. "Between state, markets and households: A neoinstitutional analysis of local organizations and institutions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 623-632, April.
    4. Betancourt, Roger R, 1996. "Growth Capabilities and Development: Implications for Transition Processes in Cuba," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 315-331, January.
    5. Bardhan, Pranab, 1993. "Analytics of the institutions of informal cooperation in rural development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 633-639, April.
    6. Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1999. "Cents and Sociability: Household Income and Social Capital in Rural Tanzania," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(4), pages 871-897, July.
    7. Jonathan Isham, 2002. "The Effect of Social Capital on Fertiliser Adoption: Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(1), pages 39-60, March.
    8. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-950, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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