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Beyond Solidarity and Accumulation Networks in Urban Informal African Economies

Jean-Philippe Berrou and François Combarnous

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Abstract: This paper examines the role and nature of entrepreneurs' social networks in the urban informal economy of Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso). Using an original dataset, the configuration of social networks is described based on three salient dimensions: tie content, member attributes and network structure. Multidimensional analysis allows for the simultaneous consideration of all three dimensions. Our findings suggest that network configurations at play extend well beyond the standard distinction between solidarity and accumulation networks. The complex networks highlighted by this study are consistent with rapid social changes in contemporary urban Africa. They can also significantly enhance the outcomes of small businesses.

Keywords: Informal economy; Social networks analysis; Micro and Small Enterprises; Sub-Saharan Africa; Burkina Faso (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-hme, nep-iue, nep-soc and nep-ure
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Published in European Journal of Development Research, 2018, 30 (4), pp.652-675. ⟨10.1057/s41287-017-0093-4⟩

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DOI: 10.1057/s41287-017-0093-4

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