A dark side of social capital? Kinship, consumption and savings

S. Di Falco, E.H. Bulte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We explore whether traditional sharing norms in kinship networks affect consumption and accumulation decisions of poor black households in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Using a proxy for the number of family dependents, our results are consistent with the interpretation that households try to evade their ‘sharing obligations’ by (i) accumulating durables that are non-sharable at the expense of durables that may be shared and (ii) reducing savings in liquid assets. By attenuating accumulation incentives, kinship sharing may come at the expense of income growth – if so, a culturally-induced poverty trap can possibly eventuate. We demonstrate tentative evidence that more extensive kinship networks are associated with lower incomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1128-1151
JournalJournal of Development Studies
Volume47
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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Social capital
Consumption and saving
Kinship
Durables
Expenses
Household
Low income
Obligation
Assets
Incentives
KwaZulu-Natal
Poverty trap
South Africa
Savings
Income growth

Cite this

Di Falco, S. ; Bulte, E.H. / A dark side of social capital? Kinship, consumption and savings. In: Journal of Development Studies. 2011 ; Vol. 47, No. 8. pp. 1128-1151.
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A dark side of social capital? Kinship, consumption and savings. / Di Falco, S.; Bulte, E.H.

In: Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 47, No. 8, 2011, p. 1128-1151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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