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Print Price: $100.95

382 pp.
numerous tables and figures, 156 mm x 234 mm


Publication date:
September 2002

Imprint: OUP UK

Group Behaviour and Development

Is the Market Destroying Cooperation?

Edited by Judith Heyer, Frances Stewart and Rosemary Thorp

Series : WIDER Studies in Development Economics

This book focuses on group behaviour in developing countries. It includes studies of producer and community organizations, NGOs, and some public sector groups.

Despite the fact that most economic decisions are taken by people acting within groups -- families, firms, neighbourhood or community associations, and networks of producers -- the analysis of group functioning has not received enough attention, particularly among economists.

Some groups function well, from the perspectives of equity, efficiency, and well-being, while others do not. This book explores why. It covers groups that perform three types of function: overcoming market failures (e.g. producer organizations); improving the position of their members (e.g. Trade Unions), and distributing resources to the less well-off (e.g. NGOs and the public sector). It contrasts three modes of group behaviour: power and control; cooperation; and the use of material incentives. It explores what determines modes of behaviour of groups, and the consequences for efficiency, equity, and well-being.

The book includes eleven case studies by different authors, including producers' associations in Brazil, farmers' organizations in Korea and Taiwan, community forestry groups in South Asia, organizations of sex-workers in Calcutta, and health NGOs in Uganda. Claims groups tended to be the most cooperative, cooperation fostering empowerment and self-esteem. Distributive or pro bono groups mostly operated according to power and control, while market failure groups often combined all three modes.

The studies show the strong impact of norms in society as a whole on group behaviour. The recent shift towards a stronger role for market incentives has exerted powerful pressures on groups to use more material incentives, undermining the cooperation essential to sustain efficiency and equity. The universal presumption in favour of monetary incentives needs to be abandoned. Non-market behaviour needs to be valued and protected as well.

Readership : Academics and graduate students in economics and development studies; members of NGOs and international development agencies

1. Judith Heyer, J. Mohan Rao, Frances Stewart, and Rosemary Thorp: Group Behaviour and Development
2. Frances Stewart: Dynamic Interactions Between the Macro-environment, Development Thinking, and Group Behaviour
3. Sabina Alkire and Séverine Deneulin: Individual Motivation, its Nature, Determinants, and Consequences for Within-group Behaviour
4. Frederic Gaspart and Jean-Philippe Platteau: Collective Action for Local-Level Effort Regulation: An Assessment of Recent Experiences in Senegalese Small-Scale Fisheries
5. Tito Bianchi: Leaders and Intermediaries as Economic Development Agents in Producers' Associations
6. Larry Burmeister, Gustav Ranis, and Michael Wang: Group Behaviour and Development: A Comparison of Farmers' Organizations in South Korea and Taiwan
7. Rosemary Thorp: Has the Coffee Federation Become Redundant? Collective Action and the Market in Colombian Development
8. David Sneath: Producer Groups and the Decollectivization of the Mongolian Pastoral Economy
9. Bina Agarwal: The Hidden Side of Group Behaviour: A Gender Analysis of Community Forestry in South Asia
10. Simeen Mahmud: Information Women's Groups in Rural Bangladesh: Group Operation and Outcomes
11. Nandini Gooptu: Sex Workers in Calcutta and the Dynamics of Collective Action: Political Activism, Community Identity, and Group Behaviour
12. Maureen Mackintosh and Lucy Gilson: Non-market Relationships in Health Care
13. Paula Tibandebage and Maureen Mackintosh: Institutional Cultures and Regulatory Relationships in a Liberalizing Health Care System: A Tanzanian Case Study
14. Christy Cannon Lorgen: The Case of Indigenous NGOs in Uganda's Health Sector
15. Judith Heyer, Frances Stewart, and Rosemary Thorp: Conclusions

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Judith Heyer has worked on different aspects of rural development in Kenya and in Tropical Africa. Her work on Kenya has included work on agricultural policy issues related to production and marketing, food policy, and poverty. She has also worked on villages in South India with a special interest in gender, caste, and class. She has been a Fellow and Tutor in Economics at Somerville, and University Lecturer at Oxford University since 1975. and before that lectured at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Frances Stewart is Professor of Development Economics and Director of the International Development Centre, University of Oxford and a fellow of Somerville College. Her major research interests concern the impact of development processes on poor people. She has worked on appropriate technology, basic needs and the impact of adjustment policies on poverty. Recent work has focussed on the economic and social causes and consequences of large scale violent conflict, as well as on group behaviour. Rosemary Thorp has been the Lecturer in the Economics of Latin America at the University of Oxford since 1971. Before that she taught at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research has been in the field of economic history of Latin America and the macro economic management problems of that continent. She has worked extensively on Peru, Chile, and Colombia.

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Special Features

  • Explores alternative modes of group behaviour, including power and control, cooperation, and monetary incentives
  • Eleven case studies including community forest organizations in South Asia, sex workers in Calcutta, and the Coffee Federation in Colombia
  • Argues that cooperative behaviour is essential for efficiency as well as equity