Volume 23 - Article 6 | Pages 117–152

A description of within-family resource exchange networks in a Malawian village

By Gail E. Potter, Mark S. Handcock

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Date received:18 May 2009
Date published:20 Jul 2010
Word count:4244
Keywords:Malawi, Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH), networks, resource exchange, social network


In this paper we explore patterns of economic transfers between adults within household and family networks in a village in Malawi’s Rumphi district, using data from the 2006 round of the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health. We fit Exponential-family Random Graph Models (ERGMs) to assess individual, relational, and higher-order network effects. The network effects of cyclic giving, reciprocity, and in-degree and out-degree distribution suggest a network with a tendency away from the formation of hierarchies or "hubs." Effects of age, sex, working status, education, health status, and kinship relation are also considered.

Author's Affiliation

Gail E. Potter - University of Washington, United States of America [Email]
Mark S. Handcock - University of California, Los Angeles, United States of America [Email]

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