Purpose – The aim is to discuss the role of social capital in alleviating poverty in the rural setting of Africa by viewing it as an individual and collective asset. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use primary data from a survey on rural households living in three different districts in rural Africa. The authors design a social complexity index giving evidence on the poverty alleviation effect of complex patterns of civic participation at district level. Findings – Results support the view that social capital may mitigate poverty only if a rural household simultaneously participates in a plurality of social communities. Such mitigation is reinforced if she also lives in a socially complex district, whereas on the contrary the social complexity of a district, per se, is not enough to alleviate poverty. Originality/value – This paper contributes to advance the knowledge of African rural areas and to identify potential developments of poverty policies in Africa based on diversified social capital as a valuable ingredient for poverty alleviation policies. This paper also contributes to the debate on social capital by showing that diversified social capital has a prevailing individual nature rather than a collective one.

Social capital, poverty alleviation and complexity in Africa. Evidence from rural areas

Scuderi, Raffaele;Tesoriere, Giuseppe;Fasone, Vincenzo;Pedrini, Giulio
2022

Abstract

Purpose – The aim is to discuss the role of social capital in alleviating poverty in the rural setting of Africa by viewing it as an individual and collective asset. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use primary data from a survey on rural households living in three different districts in rural Africa. The authors design a social complexity index giving evidence on the poverty alleviation effect of complex patterns of civic participation at district level. Findings – Results support the view that social capital may mitigate poverty only if a rural household simultaneously participates in a plurality of social communities. Such mitigation is reinforced if she also lives in a socially complex district, whereas on the contrary the social complexity of a district, per se, is not enough to alleviate poverty. Originality/value – This paper contributes to advance the knowledge of African rural areas and to identify potential developments of poverty policies in Africa based on diversified social capital as a valuable ingredient for poverty alleviation policies. This paper also contributes to the debate on social capital by showing that diversified social capital has a prevailing individual nature rather than a collective one.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/152363
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