Does Africa Need a Rotten Kin Theorem? Experimental Evidence from Village Economies
Review of Economic Studies, (2016) 83 (1): 231-268
Joint with Pamela Jakiela
(Earlier version appears as World Bank WPS 6085; also available from SSRN.)
Abstract: This paper measures the economic impacts of social pressures to share income with kin and neighbors in rural Kenyan villages. We conduct a lab experiment in which we randomly vary the observability of investment returns to test whether subjects reduce their income in order to keep it hidden. We find that women adopt an investment strategy that conceals the size of their initial endowment in the experiment, though that strategy reduces their expected earnings. This effect is largest among women with relatives attending the experiment. Parameter estimates suggest that women anticipate that observable income will be "taxed" at a rate above four percent; this effective tax rate nearly doubles when kin can observe income directly. At the village level, we find a robust association between willingness to forgo expected return to keep income hidden in the laboratory experiment, and worse economic outcomes outside the laboratory. Though this paper provides experimental evidence from a single African country - Kenya - observational studies suggest that similar kin pressures may be prevalent in many parts of the developing world.
Data and analysis files
- Featured in World Bank Development Research Human Development Quarterly Update 2015 Q3
- Blog coverage by Markus Goldstein on Development Impact: Pull him down? How about pull her down...- Featured in World Bank September 2012 Research e-Newsletter
Monitoring and evaluating the impact of national school-based deworming in Kenya: study design and baseline results
Parasites and Vectors, July 2013, 6:198
Joint with CS Mwandawiro, B Nikolay, JH Kihara, DA Mukoko, MT Mwanje, A Hakobyan, RL Pullan, SJ Brooker, SM Njenga
Abstract: An increasing number of countries in Africa and elsewhere are developing national plans for the control of neglected tropical diseases. A key component of such plans is school-based deworming (SBD) for the control of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) and schistosomiasis. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of national programmes is essential to ensure they are achieving their stated aims and to evaluate when to reduce the frequency of treatment or when to halt it altogether. The article describes the M&E design of the Kenya national SBD programme and presents results from the baseline survey conducted in early 2012.