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Consumption and Investment in Resource Pooling Family Networks

Angelucci, M; De Giorgi, G; Rasul, I; (2018) Consumption and Investment in Resource Pooling Family Networks. The Economic Journal , 128 (615) pp. 2613-2651. 10.1111/ecoj.12534. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper examines a novel motive for resource pooling in family networks in rural economies: to relax credit constraints and facilitate investment in non-collateralizeable assets for which credit market imperfections are most binding. We thus complement established literatures examining risk-sharing motives for resource transfers within family networks, as well as motives based on kinship tax obligations. We do so exploiting the Progresa program data, in which family networks can be identified, households are subject to large exogenous resource inflows, and detailed responses on consumption and an array of investments can be tracked in a household panel over five years. We find that for every dollar that accrues to the family network through Progresa transfers, food consumption expenditures increase by around 65c/ for both households eligible for Progresa and ineligible members of the same family network. Hence the marginal propensity of families to invest/save out of every dollar is around .35, and we document how this is channelled towards easing credit constraints poorer network members face in financing non-collateralizable investments into their children's human capital. We show these consumption and investment benefits of being embedded within a family network are sustained five years after households first experience resource transfers from Progresa. Hence the interplay between resource inflows and resource pooling by family networks can place network members on sustained paths out of poverty.

Type: Article
Title: Consumption and Investment in Resource Pooling Family Networks
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12534
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12534
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1572329
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