Ties that bind: Network redistributive pressure and economic decisions in village economies

Peer Reviewed
1 January 2018

In this paper, we identify economic implications of the pressure to share resources within a social network. Through a set of field experiments in rural Tanzania we randomly increased the expected harvest of the treatment group by the assignment of an improved and much more productive variety of maize.

We find that treated individuals reduced the interaction with their social network by discussing with fewer people in the village the type of seed they received, so as not to reveal their improved seed. We also find that treated individuals reduced labor input by asking fewer people in the village to work on their farm during the growing season and, as a result, obtained fewer actual harvest gains.

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Publication | 19 January 2018