S-WoPEc
 
Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
HomeAboutSeriesSubject/JEL codesAdvanced Search
Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics SITE Working Paper Series

No 40:
Can the Poor Be Mobilized? Cooperation and Public Goods in Rural India

Anders Olofsgård (), Shareen Joshi () and Raj M Desai ()

Abstract: High coordination costs are often blamed for the low quality of public goods available to the poor. Participatory development programs have sought to lower these costs by improving trust and cooperation, but the evidence of their impact is mixed. We examine financial “self-help” groups in one of the poorest districts in India, using a unique combination of a village-randomized controlled trial and a lab-in-the-field experiment. A survey of 1,600 women before and after the intervention shows that the presence of these groups improved access to, and quality of, a critical local public good: water. Public goods games played with 184 participants in a subset of control and treatment villages indicate that cooperative norms are stronger where self-help groups were present. We find little evidence that membership leads to a convergence of tastes among group members. These results suggest that, in contrast to traditional community initiatives, self-help groups can build durable social capital in poor communities.

Keywords: self-help groups; RCT; lab-in-the-field; public goods games; India; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: F63; J16; O12; O17; (follow links to similar papers)

86 pages, November 4, 2016

Before downloading any of the electronic versions below you should read our statement on copyright.
Download GhostScript for viewing Postscript files and the Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing pdf files.

Full text versions of the paper:

hasite0040.pdf    PDF-file (1.05MB) 
Download Statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Evelina Bonnier ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson () or Helena Lundin ().

Programing by
Design by Joachim Ekebom

Handle: RePEc:hhs:hasite:0040 This page was generated on 2016-11-22 14:54:11