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Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of network based individual social capital on the access of rural households to services. In the context of development economics, an innovative data collection approach is used to determine network based social capital. The approach originates from the field of sociology and entails a personal network survey. We define four social capital variables according to tie strength (bonding/bridging) and social distance (bondinglink/bridginglink) between the respondent and his/her network member. The econometric results suggest that social capital with weaker ties in combination with socially distant ties bridginglink social capital) can potentially improve households’ access to rural services.

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