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Legal Reform and Loan Repayment:The Microeconomic Impact of Debt Recovery Tribunals in India

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  • Sujata Visaria

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the micro-level link between judicial quality and eco- nomic outcomes. It uses a loan-level data set from a large Indian bank to es- timate the impact of a new quasi-legal institution, Debt Recovery Tribunals, which are aimed at accelerating banks' recovery of non-performing loans. I use a differences-in-differences strategy based on two sources of variation: the mon- etary threshold for claims to be eligible for these tribunals, and the staggered introduction of tribunals across Indian states. I find that the establishment of tribunals reduces delinquency in loan repayment by between 3 and 11 percent. The effect is statistically significant within loans as well: for the same loan, in- stallments that become due after the loan becomes treated are more likely to be paid up on time than those that become due before. Furthermore, interest rates on loans sanctioned after the reform are lower by 1.4-2 percentage points. These results suggest that legal reform and the improved enforcement of loan contracts can reduce borrower delinquency, and can lead banks to provide cheaper credit. Thus the paper illustrates a microeconomic mechanism through which improve- ments in legal institutions might affect credit market outcomes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2006-023.

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    Length: 49 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2006-023

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    References

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    1. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
    3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "History Institutions and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," Working Papers id:2811, eSocialSciences.
    5. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
    8. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1998. "Law, Finance, and Firm Growth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2107-2137, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Gani Aldashev, 2009. "Legal institutions, political economy, and development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 257-270, Summer.
    2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," NBER Working Papers 13608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Chemin, Matthieu, 2009. "Do judiciaries matter for development? Evidence from India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 230-250, June.
    4. Rathinam, Francis Xavier & Raja, Angara V., 2010. "Law, regulation and institutions for financial development: Evidence from India," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 106-118, June.
    5. Safavian, Mehnaz & Sharma, Siddharth, 2007. "When do creditor rights work?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 484-508, September.

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