Does social capital build women's assets? The long-term impacts of group-based and individual dissemination of agricultural technology in Bangladesh

Abstract

This paper investigates the long-term impact of agricultural technologies, disseminated using different implementation modalities on men’s and women’s asset accumulation in rural Bangladesh. Panel data spanning a 10-year period are used to examine the effects of the adoption of new vegetable varieties and polyculture fish pond management technologies on household resource allocation, incomes, and nutrition. A difference-in-differences model combined with nearest-neighbour matching is used to compare changes in husbands and wives’ assets within the same household. The results show women’s assets increase more relative to men’s when technologies are disseminated through women’s groups, suggesting that implementation modalities are important in determining the gendered impact of new technologies. These findings are robust to controls for unobserved household-level characteristics. These results suggest that social capital, as embodied through women’s groups, not only serves as a substitute for physical assets in the short run, but helps to build up women’s asset portfolios in the long run.

Citation

Quisumbing, A.; Kumar, N. Does social capital build women’s assets? The long-term impacts of group-based and individual dissemination of agricultural technology in Bangladesh. Journal of Development Effectiveness (2011) 3 (2) 220-242. [DOI: 10.1080/19439342.2011.570450]

Does social capital build women’s assets? The long-term impacts of group-based and individual dissemination of agricultural technology in Bangladesh

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