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Of Religion and Redemption: Evidence from Default on Islamic Loans

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  • Baele, Lieven
  • Farooq, Moazzam
  • Ongena, Steven

Abstract

Do religious beliefs affect real economic decisions? We investigate this fundamental question by comparing default rates on conventional and Islamic loans using a comprehensive monthly dataset from Pakistan that follows more than 150,000 loans over the period 2006:04 to 2008:12. We find robust evidence that the default rate on Islamic loans is less than half the default rate on conventional loans. The evidence comes from a variety of specifications that contain pertinent combinations of time-varying borrower, loan contract and bank characteristics, and time, borrower, bank and borrower*bank fixed effects. For the same borrower taking both conventional and Islamic loans from the same bank, the hazard rate on Islamic loans drops to one fifth the hazard rate on conventional loans. Islamic loans are less likely to default during Ramadan and in big cities if the share of votes to religious-political parties increases, suggesting that religion--either through individual piousness or network effects--may play a role in determining loan default.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8504.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8504

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Keywords: Duration Analysis; Islamic Loans; Loan Default; Religion;

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Cited by:
  1. Pejman Abedifar & Philip Molyneux & Amine Tarazi, 2012. "Risk in Islamic Banking," Working Papers hal-00915115, HAL.
  2. Weill, Laurent & Godlewski, Christophe, 2012. "Why do large firms go for Islamic loans?," BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2012, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  3. Nathan Berg & Jeong-Yoo Kim, 2013. "Prohibition of Riba and Gharar: A signaling and screening explanation?," Working Papers 1314, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2013.
  4. Sajjad Zaheer & Steven Ongena & Sweder J.G. van Wijnbergen, 2013. "The Transmission of Monetary Policy Through Conventional and Islamic Banks," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(4), pages 175-224, December.
  5. Laurent Weill, 2012. "How Quality of Institutions Shape the Expansion of Islamic Finance," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2012-08, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg (France).
  6. Zaheer, S. & Ongena, S. & Wijnbergen, S.J.G. van, 2011. "The Transmission of Monetary Policy through Conventional and Islamic Banks," Discussion Paper 2011-078, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Weber, Ron & Musshoff, Oliver, 2012. "Microfinance for Agricultural Firms- Credit Access and Loan Repayment in Tanzania," 123rd Seminar, February 23-24, 2012, Dublin, Ireland 122552, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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