In Hinduism, the cow is a symbol of wealth, strength, abundance, selfless giving and a full earthly life.20 As almost all the sampled households reported that they were Hindu, they may also derive spiritual returns from cattle ownership. The foregone returns compared to their next best investment alternative would effectively be the cost of religiosity in this context. This of course does not explain the results for buffaloes. P. 14.And the implications for aid:
Our results suggest that merely transferring an asset alone may not be sufficient to generate higher income (beyond the value of the transferred asset). P. 15.