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Is group lending a good enforcement scheme for achieving high repayment rates? Evidence from field experiments in vietnam

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  • Hisaki Kono
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    Abstract

    Microfinance institutions employ various kinds of incentive schemes but estimating the effect of each scheme is not easy due to endogeneity bias. We conducted field experiments in Vietnam to capture the role of joint liability, monitoring, cross-reporting, social sanctions, communication and group formation in borrowers’ repayment behavior. We find that joint liability contracts cause serious free-riding problems, inducing strategic default and lowering repayment rates. When group members observe each others’ investment returns, participants are more likely to choose strategic default. Even after introducing a cross-reporting system and/or penalties among borrowers, the default rates and the ratios of participants who chose strategic default under joint liability are still higher than those under individual lending. We also find that joint liability lending often failed to induce mutual insurance among borrowers. Those who had been helped or who had repaid a little in the previous round were more likely to default strategically and repay a little again in the current round and those who paid large amounts were always the same individuals.

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    Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Artefactual Field Experiments with number 00075.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00075

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    1. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
    2. Udry, Christopher, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526, July.
    3. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," Working Papers 182, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    4. Xavier Gine & Dean Karlan, 2006. "Group versus individual liability: A field experiment in the philippines," Natural Field Experiments 00253, The Field Experiments Website.
    5. Ashok S. Rai & Tomas Sj�str�m, 2004. "Is Grameen Lending Efficient? Repayment Incentives and Insurance in Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 217-234.
    6. Klaus Abbink & Bernd Irlenbusch, 2004. "Group Size and Social Ties in Microfinance Institutions," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 404, Econometric Society.
    7. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Peer Monitoring and Credit Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 351-66, September.
    8. Jeffrey Carpenter & Amrita Daniere & Lois Takahashi, 2003. "Cooperation, Trust, and Social Capital in Southeast Asian Urban Slums," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0309, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    9. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
    10. Van Tassel, Eric, 1999. "Group lending under asymmetric information," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 3-25, October.
    11. Ashok S. Rai & Tomas Sj–str–m, 2004. "Is Grameen Lending Efficient? Repayment Incentives and Insurance in Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 217-234, 01.
    12. DeanS. Karlan, 2007. "Social connections and group banking," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F52-F84, 02.
    13. Wydick, Bruce, 1999. "Can Social Cohesion Be Harnessed to Repair Market Failures? Evidence from Group Lending in Guatemala," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 463-75, July.
    14. Townsend, R.M., 1991. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-3, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
    15. Beatriz Armendáriz de Aghion & Jonathan Morduch, 2000. "Microfinance Beyond Group Lending," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(2), pages 401-420, July.
    16. Rafael Gomez & Eric Santor, 2003. "Do Peer Group Members Outperform Individual Borrowers? A Test of Peer Group Lending Using Canadian Micro-Credit Data," Working Papers 03-33, Bank of Canada.
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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.

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