Contract Structure, Risk Sharing and Investment Choice
AbstractFew microfinance-funded businesses grow beyond subsistence entrepreneurship. This paper considers one possible explanation: that the structure of existing microfinance contracts may discourage risky but high-expected return investments. To explore this possibility, I develop a theory that unifies models of investment choice, informal risk sharing, and formal financial contracts. I then test the predictions of this theory using a series of experiments with clients of a large microfinance institution in India. The experiments confirm the theoretical predictions that joint liability creates two inefficiencies. First, borrowers free-ride on their partners, making risky investments without compensating partners for this risk. Second, the addition of peer-monitoring overcompensates, leading to sharp reductions in risk-taking and profitability. Equity-like financing, in which partners share both the benefits and risks of more profitable projects, overcomes both of these inefficiencies and merits further testing in the field.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series with number 023.
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp
investment choice; informal insurance; risk sharing; contract design; microfinance; experiment.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-02-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENT-2011-02-26 (Entrepreneurship)
- NEP-IAS-2011-02-26 (Insurance Economics)
- NEP-MFD-2011-02-26 (Microfinance)
- NEP-PPM-2011-02-26 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
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.:
- Xavier Gine & Pamela Jakiela & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Morduch, 2006.
2102, The Field Experiments Website.
- Gine, Xavier & Jakiela, Pamela & Karlan, Dean & Morduch, Jonathan, 2006. "Microfinance games," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3959, The World Bank.
- Dean Karlan & Xavier Gine & Jonathan Morduch & Pamela Jakiela, 2006. "Microfinance Games," Working Papers 936, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Xavier Gine & Pamela Jakiela & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Morduch, 2006. "Microfinance games," Framed Field Experiments 00150, The Field Experiments Website.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.