Overcoming Information Asymmetries in Low-Income Lending: Lessons from the “Working Wheels” Program
AbstractWithout access to transportation, the welfare-to-work transition is nearly impossible, yet little is known about the effectiveness of programs designed to improve credit access. Since 1998, Vermont's TANF funds have provided automobile loans through the “Working Wheels” program. We use microlevel data from this program to explore how to cost-effectively provide loans to clients who cannot obtain affordable loans elsewhere. Our results verify the importance of relationship lending, particularly among those without documented credit histories. In the presence of information asymmetries about credit history, our results justify the increased trust placed in clients with whom the bank has a stronger relationship; such clients, ceteris paribus, are less likely to default. We conclude that in the current climate of welfare reform, policymakers should consider programs that encourage welfare recipients to establish and maintain relationships with financial institutions in order to facilitate access to credit and minimize the risk of default.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.
Volume (Year): 72 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Other versions of this item:
- Jessica Holmes & Jonathan Isham & Jessica Wasilewski, 2002. "Overcoming Information Asymmetries in Low-Income Lending: Lessons from the "Working Wheels" Program," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0244, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
- Jessica Holmes & Jonathan Isham & Jessica Wasilewski, 2004. "Overcoming Information Asymmetries in Low-Income Lending: Lessons from the 'Working Wheels' Program," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0244r, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
- H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
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