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Repayment Frequency and Default in Microfinance: Evidence From India

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  • Erica Field
  • Rohini Pande

Abstract

In stark contrast to bank debt contracts, most micro-finance contracts require that repayments start nearly immediately after loan disbursement and occur weekly thereafter. Even though economic theory suggests that a more flexible repayment schedule would benefit clients and potentially improve their repayment capacity, micro-finance practitioners argue that the fiscal discipline imposed by frequent repayment is critical to preventing loan default. In this paper we use data from a field experiment which randomized client assignment to a weekly or monthly repayment schedule and find no significant effect of type of repayment schedule on client delinquency or default. Our findings suggest that, among micro-finance clients who are willing to borrow at either weekly or monthly repayment schedules, a more flexible schedule can significantly lower transaction costs without increasing client default. (JEL: O12, O16, O22) (c) 2008 by the European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 6 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04-05)
Pages: 501-509

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:6:y:2008:i:2-3:p:501-509

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Cited by:
  1. Timothy N. Cason & Lata Gangadharan & Pushkar Maitra, 2008. "Moral Hazard and Peer Monitoring in a Laboratory Microfinance Experiment," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1208, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  2. Leonardo Becchetti & Stefano Castriota & Pierluigi Conzo, 2012. "Bank strategies in catastrophe settings: empirical evidence and policy suggestions," CEIS Research Paper 254, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 08 Oct 2012.
  3. Gan, Li & Hernandez, Manuel A. & Liu, Yanyan, 2013. "Group lending with heterogeneous types:," IFPRI discussion papers 1268, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Bruhn, Miriam & McKenzie, David, 2008. "In pursuit of balance : randomization in practice in development field experiments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4752, The World Bank.
  5. Sheremenko, Ganna & Escalante, Cesar L. & Florkowski, Wojciech J., 2012. "The Universality of Microfinance Operations Model in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Financial Sustainability vs. Poverty Outreach," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 123286, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  6. Sheremenko, Ganna & Escalante, Cesar L. & Florkowski, Wojciech J., 2012. "The Road to Financial Sustainability. Comparative Analysis of Russia and the Caucasus Region," 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama 119525, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  7. Orazio Attanasio & Britta Augsburg & Ralph de Haas & Emla Fitzsimons & Heike Harmgart, 2011. "Group lending or individual lending? Evidence from a randomised field experiment in Mongolia," IFS Working Papers W11/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski & Yongseok Shin, 2013. "The macroeconomics of microfinance," Working Papers 2013-034, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  9. Nguimkeu, Pierre, 2014. "A structural econometric analysis of the informal sector heterogeneity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 175-191.
  10. Aggarwal, Raj & Goodell, John, 2013. "Lending to women in microfinance: influence of social trust and national culture Lending to women in microfinance: influence of social trust and national culture," Working Paper 1317, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  11. Dalla Pellegrina, Lucia, 2011. "Microfinance and Investment: A Comparison with Bank and Informal Lending," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 882-897, June.
  12. Karlan, Dean & Morduch, Jonathan, 2010. "Access to Finance," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  13. Weber, Ron & Mußhoff, Oliver & Petrick, Martin, 2014. "How flexible repayment schedules affect credit risk in agricultural microfinance," DARE Discussion Papers 1404, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).

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