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Gift Giving with Coercion in Rural Communities of Tanzania Open Access


Other title
Gift Motivations
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Yang, Meng
Supervisor and department
Wichmann, Bruno (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Marcoul, Philippe (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Examining committee member and department
Rude, James (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
Agricultural and Resource Economics
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-11:Fall 2017
Master of Science
Degree level
Poor households may face various risks, especially in countries with limited access to public safety nets. In order to cope with these risks, poor households can implement ex ante risk-reducing strategies or rely on risk-coping system such as inter-household transfers. These transfers, which are mostly in kind, are often requested by the household in need and, as such, some amount of haggling and moral coercion take place in these demands. From the perspective of the receiver, exerting coercion to obtain more gifts when he is in real need, may be a way to help him to cope with risks and raise his welfare. To have a better understand of gifting behaviors among households, and especially how coercive effort from receiver influences gift values and well-being, this study uses a primary rich dataset collected from two Districts of Tanzania to examine the impact of altruism, coercion, gifting motivations, and demographic factors on gift values, and investigate the impact of gifting transfers on households' well-being. To do so, we first develop a gifting model where gift value is due to the combined effect of altruism and coercion. Consistent with our theoretical model, empirical results show that the gift monetary value is positively related to altruism, and that receivers extract more expensive gifts when they exert coercion on their close family members. Moreover, gift motivations and household demographic characteristics have various significant impacts on gift values. The model contributes to our understanding of mutual-help systems, and how coercion helps individuals to obtain gifts. Thoroughly examining what empirically determines the gifting value sheds light on existing mechanisms of insurance and emphasizes the hidden influence of social networks. We then use propensity score matching approach to explore the effect of gifting on the well-being of households. We find household that headed by male and elderly are less likely to be involved in gifting. And being involved in gifting indeed helps households to improve their consumption and production levels. These findings provide important policy implications to local government and NGOs.
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