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Do Cooperatives Improve the Well-being of the Individual? - A Case Study of a Bolivian Farmers' Cooperative

Holmgren, Cecilia LU (2012) NEKH01 20112
Department of Economics
Abstract
This thesis investigates how cooperative membership impacts on the well-being of the individual. The case of the umbrella cooperative El Ceibo, operating in Bolivia, is investigated. Organizations such as the UN, the World Bank, and the ILO have high hopes for agricultural cooperatives as partners in the struggle for rural development. However, there is a lack of empirical studies investigating the role that agricultural cooperatives may have in the process. This thesis aims at making a contribution to the understanding of long term, non-economic impacts of cooperative membership. In order to understand the complex nature of cooperatives, they are put into context by the UK Department for International Development’s version of a... (More)
This thesis investigates how cooperative membership impacts on the well-being of the individual. The case of the umbrella cooperative El Ceibo, operating in Bolivia, is investigated. Organizations such as the UN, the World Bank, and the ILO have high hopes for agricultural cooperatives as partners in the struggle for rural development. However, there is a lack of empirical studies investigating the role that agricultural cooperatives may have in the process. This thesis aims at making a contribution to the understanding of long term, non-economic impacts of cooperative membership. In order to understand the complex nature of cooperatives, they are put into context by the UK Department for International Development’s version of a Sustainable Livelihoods Framework.

Subjective measures of life satisfaction and family health were used as
measures of well-being. Using face to face surveys among member farmers, data was collected and analysed with ordinary least square linear regression methods. A small, positive relation between membership length and life satisfaction was found. Thus it seems that cooperative membership does impact positively on overall well-being. It is possible that the relation is caused by reversed causality, since early joiners may have certain socio-economic characteristics that make them more satisfied with life. This is argued to be unlikely, since the long-term members do not have better averages of education or sociability than others, and also seem to be less satisfied than middle-term members.

On the contrary to life satisfaction, membership appears to impact negatively on family health. A possible explanation for this may be aging parents causing what appears to be a negative relation, when in fact it is positive. In general, it seems that cooperatives are better prepared to improve member’s life satisfaction, rather than health. (Less)
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author
Holmgren, Cecilia LU
supervisor
organization
course
NEKH01 20112
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
cooperative, co-operative, sustainable livelihood, Rural development, Agricultural development
language
English
id
2342055
date added to LUP
2012-02-14 09:23:43
date last changed
2012-02-14 09:23:43
@misc{2342055,
  abstract     = {This thesis investigates how cooperative membership impacts on the well-being of the individual. The case of the umbrella cooperative El Ceibo, operating in Bolivia, is investigated. Organizations such as the UN, the World Bank, and the ILO have high hopes for agricultural cooperatives as partners in the struggle for rural development. However, there is a lack of empirical studies investigating the role that agricultural cooperatives may have in the process. This thesis aims at making a contribution to the understanding of long term, non-economic impacts of cooperative membership. In order to understand the complex nature of cooperatives, they are put into context by the UK Department for International Development’s version of a Sustainable Livelihoods Framework.

Subjective measures of life satisfaction and family health were used as
measures of well-being. Using face to face surveys among member farmers, data was collected and analysed with ordinary least square linear regression methods. A small, positive relation between membership length and life satisfaction was found. Thus it seems that cooperative membership does impact positively on overall well-being. It is possible that the relation is caused by reversed causality, since early joiners may have certain socio-economic characteristics that make them more satisfied with life. This is argued to be unlikely, since the long-term members do not have better averages of education or sociability than others, and also seem to be less satisfied than middle-term members.

On the contrary to life satisfaction, membership appears to impact negatively on family health. A possible explanation for this may be aging parents causing what appears to be a negative relation, when in fact it is positive. In general, it seems that cooperatives are better prepared to improve member’s life satisfaction, rather than health.},
  author       = {Holmgren, Cecilia},
  keyword      = {cooperative,co-operative,sustainable livelihood,Rural development,Agricultural development},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Do Cooperatives Improve the Well-being of the Individual? - A Case Study of a Bolivian Farmers' Cooperative},
  year         = {2012},
}