The formation of risk pooling groups in rural Zimbabwe: what can we learn from a behavioral experiment

Seminar date: 
15 April 2008
Speaker(s): Dr. Marleen Dekker (researcher ASC)

In this seminar I would like to present work that builds on my PhD research on social security and networks in Zimbabwe and is conducted in collaboration with colleagues from Oxford University, UK. The paper starts from the observation that it is common for people in developing countries to pool risk, for instance through mutual insurance arrangements or through group loans with joint liability. The way these risk pooling arrangements are enforced varies with the institutional and legal environment. In the paper we examine the extent to which enforcement mechanisms affect the formation of risk sharing groups. This question is answered by combining data from a specifically designed behavioral experiment, survey data and a genealogical mapping exercise. In the seminar I will discuss methodological issues related to the use of behavioral experiments and present the social, economic and cultural factors that explain group formation in the context of rural Zimbabwe.

You are all very welcome. Please bring your own lunch.