Tuesday, 1/17, Wan-Zi Lu at Money, Markets, and Governance: Authority Structures and Founding of Financial Institution: Credit Unions Across Indigenous Communities in Taiwan, 1965-2014

Please join us for the next meeting of Money, Markets, and Governance, in collaboration with Politics, History, and Society on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 5 – 6:30 in classroom 401 at Social Science Research Building.

Wan-Zi Lu
PhD student, Sociology, The University of Chciago

Authority Structures and Founding of Financial Institution:
Credit Unions Across Indigenous Communities in Taiwan, 1965-2014

Discussant: Austin Kozlowski
PhD student, Sociology, The University of Chicago

Abstract: Economic sociologists have repeatedly demonstrated that social relations affect economic activities such as market formation and the adoption of novel institutions. This claim also generates expectations about transition to modern economies, processes during which traditional societies adopt credit unions and institutionalized peer lending arrangements. However, this existing embeddedness approach has yet explained both the variation in organizational founding across communities and the divergent paths of economic transitions. To assess the relationship between types of traditional authority structures and the adoption of new economic forms, this study compares the establishment of credit unions in aboriginal communities in Taiwan. These communities are organized by one of two possible authority structures – chief and big man, characterized by difference in nature of power inheritance, leadership competition and stability, trust between common people, and openness to novel institutions. Regression and event history analyses show the influence of authority structures on the establishment of credit unions. Communities with ascribed power and inherited hierarchy (i.e. chief villages) are less likely and slower to adopt credit unions; their credit unions, when established, are less durable than those in communities whose leadership is determined by individual talents and achievement (i.e. big man villages). The traditionally decentralized power structure of big men villages also explains why church settlement has a stronger effect on credit union founding than in chief communities.

The paper is circulated in the workshop’s mailing-list, and can be requested from the coordinators.

For accessibility or any other concerns please e-mail yanivr {at} uchicago {dot} edu

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