Econ 479b. Social Networks and Development

Day / time: 
W 1:30 - 3:20 pm
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Permission of instructor required

Social networks are important for finding jobs, deciding which technologies to adopt, determining how to vote, and protecting against unemployment and crop failure. Such networks may be even more crucial in developing countries where individuals lack access to social security, health insurance, the internet, and other sources of information and social safety nets. Much quantitative work in economics uses data on characteristics of individual or households. While interactions between these individuals have important ramifications for economic outcomes, the study of these interactions necessitates different strategies of data collection and analysis.

We will discuss social networks as conduits for the enforcement of monetary flows including: informal insurance, mobile money, and vote-buying. Next we will discuss social networks as conduits for information including: agricultural technology adoption, adoption of microfinance, and adoption of health-related technologies. We will end by looking at interactions which may mix both information and enforcement, including default behavior in microfinance and job referrals

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