Social Capital and targeted beneficiaries of a development project: A lab-in-the-field experiment in rural Zimbabwe
PhD at UMR G-EAU (Cirad )
Biases are inherent to the selection of development project beneficiaries. Three biases have been identified in the literature: 1) self-selection of individuals into projects, 2) the criteria of the implementation agency and 3) the intermediary/delivering agent bias. This paper looks at the initial level of social capital in targeted beneficiaries of a development project, as it has been showed that social capital is a key ingredient for the success of development programs. We measure, through survey and incentivized lab-in-the-field experiments, ex-ante social capital levels in beneficiaries of a project aiming at the development of loans and savings associations in rural Zimbabwe. Our hypothesis is that, due to the combined effects of beneficiaries’ self-selection, targeting criteria and DAs interventions, prior to the start of the project, social capital is already higher in targeted beneficiaries than in non-beneficiaries. The results show that targeted beneficiaries show higher level of social capital. From the experimental games we find that targeted beneficiaries are more altruist, trusting and trustworthy than non-beneficiaries. When looking at the measures of structural capital, we find that the density of relations in the treated group is higher than the one in the control group.
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