Repayment incentives and the distribution of gains from group lending
AbstractGroup loans with joint liability are a distinguishing feature of many microfinance programs. While such lending benefits millions of borrowers, major lending institutions acknowledge its limited impact among the very poor and have shifted towards individual loans. This paper attempts to explain this trend by exploring the relationship between borrower wealth and the benefits from group lending when access to credit is limited by strategic default. In our model, individuals of heterogeneous wealth face a given investment opportunity so poor investors demand larger loans. We show that the largest loan offered as an individual contract cannot be supported as a group loan. Joint liability cannot therefore extend credit outreach in the absence of additional social sanctions within groups. We also find that the benefits from group loans are increasing in borrower wealth and that optimal group size depends on project characteristics. By allowing for multi-person groups and wealth heterogeneity in the population, the paper extends the standard framework to analyze joint liability and contributes to an understanding of the conditions under which microcredit can reduce poverty.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.
Volume (Year): 105 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec
Microcredit; Joint-liability; Group lending; Repayment incentives; Social sanctions;
Other versions of this item:
- Baland, Jean-Marie & Somanathan, Rohini & Wahhaj, Zaki, 2011. "Repayment incentives and the distribution of gains from group lending," CEPR Discussion Papers 8197, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jean-Marie Baland & Rohini Somanathan & Zaki Wahhaj, 2010. "Repayment Incentives And The Distribution Of Gains From Group Lending," Working papers 192, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Karlan, Dean & Gine, Xavier, 2009.
"Group versus Individual Liability: Long Term Evidence from Philippine Microcredit Lending Groups,"
61, Yale University, Department of Economics.
- Xavier Giné & Dean Karlan, 2009. "Group versus Individual Liability: Long Term Evidence from Philippine Microcredit Lending Groups," Working Papers 970, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Bulow, J. & Rogoff, K., 1988.
"Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?,"
411, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1998. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget," Levine's Working Paper Archive 209, David K. Levine.
- Jeremy I. Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," NBER Working Papers 2623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bulow, J. & Rogoff, K., 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," Working papers 8813, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Hermes, Niels & Lensink, Robert, 2011. "Microfinance: Its Impact, Outreach, and Sustainability," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 875-881, June.
- Coleman, Brett E., 2006. "Microfinance in Northeast Thailand: Who benefits and how much?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1612-1638, September.
- Klaus Abbink & Bernd Irlenbusch & Elke Renner, 2006.
"Group Size and Social Ties in Microfinance Institutions,"
Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(4), pages 614-628, October.
- Klaus Abbink & Bernd Irlenbusch, 2004. "Group Size and Social Ties in Microfinance Institutions," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 404, Econometric Society.
- Abbink, Klaus & Bernd Irlenbusch & Elke Renner, 2002. "Group Size and Social Ties in Microfinance Institutions," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 1, Royal Economic Society.
- Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988.
"Income Distribution and Macroeconomics,"
51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
- Ashok S. Rai & Tomas Sj�str�m, 2004. "Is Grameen Lending Efficient? Repayment Incentives and Insurance in Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 217-234.
- de Quidt, Jonathan & Fetzer, Thiemo & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2012.
"Market Structure and Borrower Welfare in Microfinance,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
9165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Thiemo Fetzer & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jonathan de Quidt, 2012. "Market Structure and Borrower Welfare in Microfinance," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 40, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Ghatak, Maitreesh & de Quidt, Jonathan & Fetzer, Thiemo, 2013. "Market Structure and Borrower Welfare in Micro Finance," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 123, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
- Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2005.
"Observing unobservables: identifying information asymmetries with a consumer-credit field experiment,"
961, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "Observing Unobservables: Identifying Information Asymmetries With a Consumer Credit Field Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1993-2008, November.
- Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2004. "Observing unobservables: Identifying information asymmetries with a consumer credit field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00283, The Field Experiments Website.
- Dean S. Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "Observing Unobservables: Identifying Information Asymmetries with a Consumer Credit Field Experiment," Working Papers 911, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Karlan, Dean S. & Zinman, Jonathan, 2007. "Observing Unobservables: Identifying Information Asymmetries with a Consumer Credit Field Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6182, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Alessandra Cassar & Luke Crowley & Bruce Wydick, 2007. "The effect of social capital on group loan repayment: evidence from field experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F85-F106, 02.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993.
"Occupational Choice and the Process of Development,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Christian Ahlin & Robert Townsend, 2003.
"Selection into and across Credit Contracts: Theory and Field Research,"
Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers
0323, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- Ahlin, Christian & Townsend, Robert M., 2007. "Selection into and across credit contracts: Theory and field research," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 665-698, February.
- Bond, Philip & Rai, Ashok S., 2008. "Cosigned vs. group loans," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 58-80, February.
- Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1991.
"Group Lending, Repayment Incentives And Social Collateral,"
152, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
- Ghatak, M. & Guinnane, T.W., 1998.
"The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice,"
791, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Ghatak, Maitreesh & Guinnane, Timothy W., 1999. "The economics of lending with joint liability: theory and practice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 195-228, October.
- Maitreesh Ghatak & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1998. "The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice," Discussion Papers 98-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Matsuyama, Kiminori, 2000.
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 743-59, October.
- Ashok S. Rai & Tomas Sj–str–m, 2004. "Is Grameen Lending Efficient? Repayment Incentives and Insurance in Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 217-234, 01.
- Bhole, Bharat & Ogden, Sean, 2010. "Group lending and individual lending with strategic default," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 348-363, March.
- Jonathan Morduch, 1998. "Does Microfinance Really Help the Poor? New Evidence from Flagship Programs in Bangladesh," Working Papers 198, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Dewan, Isha & Somanathan, Rohini, 2011. "The application of nonparametric tests to poverty targeting," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 58-61, October.
- Thiemo Fetzer & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jonathan de Quidt, 2013.
"Group Lending Without Joint Liability,"
STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series
44, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.