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Self-help groups, savings and social capital : evidence from a field experiment in Cambodia

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  • Ban,Radu
  • Gilligan,Michael J.
  • Rieger,Matthias

Abstract

This paper studies how self-help groups?village-based organizations designed to encourage savings, household production and social cohesion among the poor?can promote economic and social capital. The paper uses survey data and a wide array of social capital measures to assess the impact of a pilot program that was randomly rolled out in rural villages in Cambodia. The study finds that the program encouraged savings and associations via self-help groups. However it did not improve social capital measured by household and network surveys and lab activities that gauge trust, trustworthiness and the willingness to contribute to public goods. The findings contradict recent work that has found significant positive impacts of such groups on social capital. This paper evaluates community-wide impacts while most previous studies focus on program participants. In addition, the empirical strategy is based on a broader array of social capital measures, including behavioral indicators, suggesting that finding impacts of such programs on social capital is sensitive to the measurement strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Ban,Radu & Gilligan,Michael J. & Rieger,Matthias, 2015. "Self-help groups, savings and social capital : evidence from a field experiment in Cambodia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7382, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7382
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    Cited by:

    1. Mai, Nhat Chi, 2017. "Comparative Evaluation on Community-Managed Savings-Led Approaches in the Mekong," OSF Preprints ng8a9, Center for Open Science.
    2. Ajay Purohit & Gaurav Chopra & Parshuram G. Dangwal, 2022. "Measuring the Effectiveness of the Project Management Information System (PMIS) on the Financial Wellness of Rural Households in the Hill Districts of Uttarakhand, India: An IS-FW Model," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(21), pages 1-29, October.
    3. Murphy, David M.A., 2023. "Sobriety, social capital, and village network structures," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 166(C).
    4. N. Rajagopal, 2020. "Social Impact of Women SHGs: A Study of NHGs of ‘Kudumbashree’ in Kerala," Management and Labour Studies, XLRI Jamshedpur, School of Business Management & Human Resources, vol. 45(3), pages 317-336, August.
    5. Nyda Chhinh & Serey Sok & Veasna Sou & Pheakdey Nguonphan, 2022. "Local Engagement in the Agricultural Cooperatives (ACs) Operation in Cambodia," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(24), pages 1-33, December.
    6. Baldwin, Kate & Karlan, Dean & Udry, Christopher & Appiah, Ernest, 2023. "How political insiders lose out when international aid underperforms: Evidence from a participatory development experiment in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 169(C).
    7. Gonzales Martinez, Rolando & D’Espallier, Bert & Mersland, Roy, 2021. "Bifurcations in business profitability: An agent-based simulation of homophily in self-financing groups," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 495-514.
    8. Chan Mono Oum & Gazi M. Hassan & Mark J. Holmes, 2022. "Impact of Microcredit on Labour Migration Decisions: Evidence from a Cambodian Household Survey," Working Papers in Economics 22/01, University of Waikato.
    9. Nguyen, Tu Chi & Rieger, Matthias, 2017. "Community-Driven Development and Social Capital: Evidence from Morocco," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 28-52.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Housing&Human Habitats; Services&Transfers to Poor; Social Capital; Rural Poverty Reduction; Community Development and Empowerment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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