On June 4th 2015, Global Food Studies lecturer Dr. Alexandra Peralta presented her research on trust among farmers participating in development projects at the 11th Australasian Development Economics Workshop (ADEW), held at Monash University in Melbourne.
ADEW is an annual workshop series bringing together development economists from around Australia and internationally. The event provides a forum for rigorous research in the field of development economics, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Attendees to this event included faculty, researchers, and students from economics from Australian and New Zealand Universities, and scholars from the Asian and the Pacific region.
Dr. Peralta presented the paper “Trust, Trust Attitudes and Group Participation in Rural Development Activities” co-authored with Associate Professor Robert Shupp from Michigan State University. On this paper the authors use an investment game to measure trust levels among participants and non-participants in a group-based rural development intervention in Nicaragua. The main goal is to answer the question of whether most trusting individuals tend to join groups or not, or if interaction within the promoted groups helps boost trust among members of a community. Enhanced trust constitutes then, an additional outcome that gets overlook when evaluating group-based interventions, that is likely to result in more sustainable and lasting impacts of development interventions.
The paper was presented in the session Trust, Genocide and Behaviour. With this paper, Peralta and Shupp wanted to contribute to the discussion of the use of field experiments as a tool to evaluate development projects effects on social capital and changes in behaviour.
*This article is written by Dr Alexandra Peralta. Please contact her at alexandra.peralta[at]adelaide.edu.au for further information about the project.