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And when you think about it, "developing countries" are quite developed in some respects. In countries where government safety nets are practically nonexistent, people step forward to help out, says Mead Over, who studies the economics of health interventions at the Center for Global Development. "People donate money at a funeral to help the bereaved family, or people receive gifts from a neighbor to pay the doctor in a time of family emergency." We in the West, he says, often neglect social networks "and they wither away."