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Technology Replaces Culture in Microcredit Markets: the Case of Italian MAGs

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  • Alessandro Fedele
  • Federica Calidoni Lundberg

Abstract

We collect data from three Italian microcredit institutions, MAG2, MAG4 and MAG6, which operate in Milan, Turin and Reggio Emilia respectively, by targeting two categories of wealthless borrowers: single entrepreneurs and organizations (cooperatives and associations). Evidence shows that organizations repay with higher probability and are charged a lower average interest rate than individuals. We use these findings to construct a lending scheme which consists of granting loans provided that borrowers form production teams (i.e. organizations). We consider a microcredit market with adverse selection à la De Meza-Webb and we verify that both repayment rate and welfare increase, while interest rate falls with respect to individual lending if the above scheme, which we refer to as production team lending, is implemented. Our instrument, like joint liability implemented in rural economies, is able to extract information from borrowers through a peer selection mechanism but, differently from joint liability, fits to urban contexts where borrowers do not know each other and social sanctions are weak.

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Paper provided by Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Dipartimento di Statistica in its series Working Papers with number 20060902.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision: Sep 2006
Handle: RePEc:mis:wpaper:20060902

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Keywords: microcredit; urban areas; production team lending.;

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  1. Jean-Jacques Laffont, 2000. "Collusion and Group Lending with Adverse Selection," Development Working Papers 147, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  2. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  3. Gine, Xavier & Jakiela, Pamela & Karlan, Dean & Morduch, Jonathan, 2006. "Microfinance games," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3959, The World Bank.
  4. Alessandro Fedele, 2006. "Joint Liability Lending in Microcredit Markets with Adverse Selection: a Survey," Working Papers 20060901, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Dipartimento di Statistica, revised Sep 2006.
  5. de Meza, David & Webb, David C, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-92, May.
  6. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Guinnane, Timothy W., 1999. "The economics of lending with joint liability: theory and practice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 195-228, October.
  7. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & N'Guessan, Tchetche, 2000. "Group lending with adverse selection," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 773-784, May.
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