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University of Trento (2015)

Social Capital and the Urban Informal Economy:The Case of Street Vendors in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Kebede, Getahun Fenta

Titre : Social Capital and the Urban Informal Economy:The Case of Street Vendors in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Auteur : Kebede, Getahun Fenta

Université de soutenance : University of Trento

Grade : Doctoral Thesis (PhD) 2015

Résumé partiel
Micro-enterprise development has become one of the most important approaches to reduce poverty in the LDCs. Like other LDCs, in Ethiopia micro-enterprise development forms the major component in the promotion of broad based growth and improvement of the well-being of the poor by providing income generating opportunities. Accordingly, formalizing informal sector activities has become one of the priorities of micro-enterprise programs. The main aspect of micro-enterprise programs is the use of social capital as a substitute for collateral in providing credit and forming enterprise groups. Despite the significance of social capital in micro-enterprise programs in particular and the informal economy in general, its nature and potential contributions remain under-investigated in Ethiopia. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to examine the configuration of social capital among the poor street vendors in Addis Ababa. The study has employed the network approach to social capital. Data were collected from 154 street vendors living in Addis Ababa. Multi-stage sampling procedures involving purposive and systematic random-walk techniques were used to draw samples. The study applies a mixed-methods research design. Accordingly, quantitative and qualitative data were collected through name and position generator surveys and in-depth interviews. While the quantitative data were analyzed through social network analysis procedures and statistical techniques, the data from interviews were transcribed, classified, and presented in a narrative form. Two-sample T-test, one-way-ANOVA, and OLS and Instrumental Variable regression models were used as statistical tools for the study. The results of the study reveal that homophily in religion and ethnic lines forms the strongest divide among street vendors’ personal networks followed by sex and marital status homophily. However, street vendors exhibit heterophilous networks regarding income, age, and occupation. Street vendors demonstrate dense, less effective, less efficient, and highly constrained network structures. They also exhibit greater proportion of strong ties in their personal networks. Street vendors have most of their relationships with people of lower occupational prestige.

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