Missing links, missing markets: Internal exchanges, reciprocity and external connections in the economic networks of Gambian villages
A unique dataset of social and economic networks collected in 60 rural Gambian villages is used to study the ways in which households with links outside the village (that are considered as a proxy for market connections) behave in the locally available exchange networks for land, labor, input and credit. Using measures gleaned from the social network analysis literature, the econometric results at both household and link (dyadic) level provide evidence of: (i) substitutability between internal and external links, and (ii) substitutability between internal reciprocation and external links. These findings provide support for the transformation process of primitive economies described in a long tradition of anthropological work as well as recent theoretical models.
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