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Curini, L. (2002). Social capital and microfinance: pathways of development. A case study: Arsi and Bale - Ethiopia. Catholic University of Milan, PhD Thesis

Original title: “Capitale sociale e microfinanza: sentieri di sviluppo. Un caso studio: l’Arsi e Bale, Etiopia ”

Luigi Curini

PhD Programme in Institutions and Organizations
Catholic University of Milan, Faculty of Political Science

Supervisor: Professor Simona Beretta, Catholic University of Milan, Department of International Economics, Institutions and Development

February 2002


The importance for social and political studies of the problems related to collective action and more generally to cooperation can’t be neglected. Some of these problems find a solution; others don’t. This thesis is related to the growing literature on social capital. It is shown that social capital (i.e. institutionalized expectations of cooperation) can help to explain the institutional performance of a microfinance programme settled in rural Ethiopia. At this regard, it is assumed that the rate of repayment for different credit groups is influenced by their ability to lower the transactions costs of supplying a public good (an efficient regime). The channels through which the social capital is hypothesised working – both at a micro (group level) and at a macro level (village level) - are addressed from both a theoretical and an empirical point of view (using a multilevel methodology). The consequences of these findings in terms both of politics and of policies for development, especially in the rural areas of LDC’s, are finally addressed.

Information on the author

Dr Luigi Curini is a Researcher in Political Science at the Department of Social and Political studies at the University of Milan where he teaches Political Science and Theory and Methods of Comparative Politics. He also teaches within the ‘Graduate School in Social, Economic and Political Sciences’ at the same University, in the sphere of Research Doctorate in Political studies, Institutions and public policies. His major interests are linked to the problems of collective action and of cooperation within loosely institutionalized contexts; as well as interaction between deliberative processes, communicative rationality, and game theory.

Contact details

Dr Luigi Curini
Università degli Studi di Milano
Facoltà di Scienze Politiche
Dipartimento di Studi Sociali e Politici
Via Conservatorio, 7
I - 20122 Milano
Tel. +39 02 50318831
e-mail: [email protected]


Curini, Luigi

My major interests are related to the spatial theory of voting, with a special emphasis on the Italian case. I am also interested in exploring the empirical implications of theoretical models. I have written several papers about problems of collective action and cooperation, including the...


University of Milan, Department of Social and Political Studies

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