UCL Department of Economics


Bansi Malde

I am a Phd candidate at University College London and a Senior Research Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

My main field of research is development economics, with interests extending to social networks and Applied microeconomics more broadly. My job market paper considers how socially close and socially distant connections contribute to risk sharing in poor, rural communities.

In other research, I study how group size affects risk sharing, how household choices are distorted by incorrect knowledge of the child health production function, and the relationship between family size and education choices. I have also conducted a review of methods for social networks data.

      • Development Economics
      • Applied Microeconomics
      • Social Networks

      "Socially Close and Socially Distant Connections in Risk Sharing"


      This paper studies the role of socially close and socially distant connections in providing informal risk sharing in social networks.
      Socially close connections are considered to be more effective in enforcing informal risk sharing arrangements, but they may be more economically similar and less numerous than socially distant connections, and hence provide fewer risk sharing opportunities. A simple theoretical framework incorporating these features indicates that larger networks should yield better risk sharing. More socially close connections are beneficial. However, socially distant connections become more valuable when incomes of socially close households are sufficiently positively correlated. I then test the predictions of this model using data on a large number of village based extended family networks in rural Mexico. I document that the incomes of socially close households covary more positively than those of socially distant households. I find that households in large networks achieve better risk sharing. However, this effect is driven primarily by socially distant connections, suggesting that opportunities for risk sharing are relatively more important in this context.

        • Prof. Orazio Attanasio (University College London)
        • Prof. Imran Rasul (University College London)
        • Dr. Marcos Vera-Hernandez (University College London)
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