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Joint liability versus individual liability in credit contracts

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  • Madajewicz, Malgosia
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    Abstract

    Abstract I offer an explanation for the coexistence of joint-liability and individual-liability microcredit contracts. I show that both contracts maximize welfare when credit is rationed due to limited liability, but for different borrowers. Borrowers monitor each other when liability is joint, while the lender monitors individual loans. Joint liability offers poorer borrowers larger loans with less monitoring effort than would have to be exerted by the lender. Individual liability offers the wealthier among credit-constrained borrowers larger loans even without monitoring. The theory explains why individual loans serve the wealthier among poor borrowers and are larger, and why businesses funded with individual loans grow more.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

    Volume (Year): 77 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 107-123

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:77:y:2011:i:2:p:107-123

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

    Related research

    Keywords: Joint liability Peer monitoring Credit rationing Group loans Individual loans;

    References

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    1. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Peer Monitoring and Credit Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 351-66, September.
    2. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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    4. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
    5. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
    8. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 2000. "Collusion and Group Lending with Adverse Selection," IDEI Working Papers 95, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    9. Hossain, Mahabub, 1988. "Credit for alleviation of rural poverty: the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh," Research reports 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
    11. Christian Ahlin & RobertM. Townsend, 2007. "Using Repayment Data to Test Across Models of Joint Liability Lending," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F11-F51, 02.
    12. Itoh Hideshi, 1993. "Coalitions, Incentives, and Risk Sharing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 410-427, August.
    13. Aleem, Irfan, 1990. "Imperfect Information, Screening, and the Costs of Informal Lending: A Study of a Rural Credit Market in Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 329-49, September.
    14. Armendariz de Aghion, Beatriz, 1999. "On the design of a credit agreement with peer monitoring," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 79-104, October.
    15. Jonathan Conning & Sergio Navajas & Claudio Gonzalez-Vega, 2003. "Lending Technologies, Competition, and Consolidation in the Market for Microfinance in Bolivia," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 213, Hunter College Department of Economics.
    16. Jain, Sanjay & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2003. "A little at a time: the use of regularly scheduled repayments in microfinance programs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 253-279, October.
    17. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
    18. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1994. "Poverty, Incentives, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 211-15, May.
    19. Wydick, Bruce, 2001. "Group Lending under Dynamic Incentives as a Borrower Discipline Device," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 406-20, October.
    20. Beatriz Armendáriz de Aghion & Jonathan Morduch, 2000. "Microfinance Beyond Group Lending," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(2), pages 401-420, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Attanasio, O. & Augsburg, B. & Haas, R. de & Fitzsimons, E. & Harmgart, H., 2013. "Group Lending or Individual Lending? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Rural Mongolia," Discussion Paper 2013-074, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Giné, Xavier & Karlan, Dean S., 2014. "Group versus individual liability: Short and long term evidence from Philippine microcredit lending groups," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 65-83.
    3. Maurizio Caserta & Francesco Reito, 2013. "Outreach and Mission Drift in Microfinance: An Interpretation of the New Trend," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 167-178.

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