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Creditworthiness as a signal of trustworthiness: field experiment in microfinance and consequences on causality in impact studies

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  • Leonardo Becchetti

    ()
    (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

  • Pierluigi Conzo

    ()
    (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

Abstract

Creditworthiness and trustworthiness are almost synonyms since the act of conferring a loan has the indirect effect of signaling the trustworthiness of the borrower. We test the creditworthiness-trustworthiness nexus in an investment game experiment on a sample of participants/non participants to a microfinance program in Argentina and find that trustors give significantly more to (and believe they will receive more from) microfinance borrowers. Trustees’ first and second order beliefs are also consistent with this picture. Our findings identify a “horizontal trustworthiness externality” which creates a direct (loan-performance) causality nexus since the mere loan provision increases the borrower’s attractiveness as a business partner.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Econometica in its series Econometica Working Papers with number wp17.

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Length: 63
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ent:wpaper:wp17

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Keywords: field experiment; microfinance; investment game; trust; trustworthiness;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Leonardo Becchetti, 2012. "Voting with the wallet," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 59(3), pages 245-268, September.
  2. Conzo, Pierluigi, 2014. "Trust and Cheating in Sri Lanka: The Role of Experimentally-Induced Emotions about Tsunami," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201403, University of Turin.

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