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Social capital, finance, and consumption: evidence from a representative sample of Chinese households

Author

Listed:
  • Cull,Robert J.
  • Gan,Li
  • Gao,Nan
  • Xu,L. Colin
  • Cull,Robert J.
  • Gan,Li
  • Gao,Nan
  • Xu,L. Colin

Abstract

Using a new, nationally representative sample of Chinese households, this paper studies how social capital affects access to credit and its implications for consumption levels. The paper focuses on two specific forms of social capital: private social networks and membership in the Communist Party. Although party affiliation is linked to higher consumption in rural areas, those benefits are direct and thus do not work through credit markets. The main finding is a strong link between private social networks, use of informal credit, and household consumption. Instrumental variable regressions indicate that the link is causal. However, the study finds no evidence that social capital has facilitated formal credit market development in China, as it has in countries with higher levels of private sector development.

Suggested Citation

  • Cull,Robert J. & Gan,Li & Gao,Nan & Xu,L. Colin & Cull,Robert J. & Gan,Li & Gao,Nan & Xu,L. Colin, 2016. "Social capital, finance, and consumption: evidence from a representative sample of Chinese households," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7873, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7873
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