Initial Conditions Matter: Social Capital and Participatory Development

37 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2015

See all articles by Lisa A. Cameron

Lisa A. Cameron

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; J-PAL

Susan Olivia

Monash University

Manisha Shah

UCLA; NBER

Abstract

Billions of dollars have been spent on participatory development programs in the developing world. These programs give community members an active decision-making role. Given the emphasis on community involvement, one might expect that the effectiveness of this approach would depend on communities' pre-existing social capital stocks. Using data from a large randomised field experiment of Community-Led Total Sanitation in Indonesia, we find that villages with high initial social capital built toilets and reduced open defecation, resulting in substantial health benefits. In villages with low initial stocks of social capital, the approach was counterproductive – fewer toilets were built than in control communities and social capital suffered.

Keywords: participatory development, social capital, sanitation, economic development, Indonesia

JEL Classification: O12, O22, I15

Suggested Citation

Cameron, Lisa A. and Olivia, Susan and Shah, Manisha, Initial Conditions Matter: Social Capital and Participatory Development. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9563, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2708376

Lisa A. Cameron (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=744

J-PAL ( email )

66 bis avenue Jean Moulin
Paris, 75014
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.povertyactionlab.org/cameron

Susan Olivia

Monash University

Manisha Shah

UCLA ( email )

Department of Public Policy
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656
United States

HOME PAGE: http://luskin.ucla.edu/person/manisha-shah

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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