The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effects of network-based individual social capital on the access of rural households to services.
In the context of development economics, an innovative data collection approach is used to determine network-based social capital. The approach originates from the field of sociology and entails a personal network survey. The authors define four social capital variables according to tie strength and social distance between the respondent and his/her network member.
Social network ties are not homogeneous. The econometric results suggest that social capital with weaker ties in combination with socially distant ties can potentially improve households’ access to rural services.
The empirical survey focusses on a single province in Northern Vietnam. Thus, the main limitation of the micro-study is its regional focus. A more representative sample of the whole country would be desirable to backup the policy recommendation.
The results indicate that access to services in rural Vietnam it still too personalized and subjective. Thus, a thorough review of the access procedures and making them more objective would be better choice. This would also root out a potential alley for corruption and nepotism.
The authors thank the German Science Foundation (DFG) for their financial support and the Uplands Program (SFB564) of the University of Hohenheim for the fruitful cooperation in the field work.
Hoang, Q.D., Dufhues, T.B. and Buchenrieder, G. (2016), "Individual social capital and access to rural services in Northern Vietnam", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 43 No. 4, pp. 363-381. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-12-2012-0234
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