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Determinants of Moral Hazard in Microfinance: Empirical Evidence from Joint Liability Lending Programs in Malawi

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  • Simtowe, Franklin
  • Zeller, Manfred

Abstract

Moral hazard is widely reported as a problem in credit and insurance markets, mainly arising from information asymmetry. Although theorists have attempted to explain how group lending with joint liability can be an important tool for mitigating moral hazard among the poor, empirical studies are rare and sometimes give mixed results. In Malawi, for example, although, group lending with joint liability has been practiced for nearly four decades, the unwillingness to repay loans remains the single major cause of default. This paper examines the extent of occurrence of moral hazard and investigates its determinants of occurrence among joint liability lending programs from Malawi, using group level data from 99 farm and non-farm credit groups. Results reveal that peer selection, peer monitoring, peer pressure, dynamic incentives and variables capturing the extent of matching problems explain most of the variation in the incidence of moral hazard among credit groups. The implications are that joint liability lending institutions will continue to rely on social cohesion and dynamic incentives as a means to enhancing their performance which has a direct implication on their outreach, impact and sustainability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 461.

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Date of creation: 12 Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:461

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Keywords: moral hazard; joint liability; dynamic incentives; group lending; Malawi;

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References

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  1. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1991. "Group Lending, Repayment Incentives And Social Collateral," Papers 152, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  2. 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.
  3. Conning, Jonathan, 1999. "Outreach, sustainability and leverage in monitored and peer-monitored lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 51-77, October.
  4. Che Yeon-Koo, 2002. "Joint Liability and Peer Monitoring under Group Lending," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-28, July.
  5. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
  6. de Aghion, Beatriz Armendariz & Gollier, Christian, 2000. "Peer Group Formation in an Adverse Selection Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 632-43, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Kangogo, Daniel & Lagat, Job & Ithinji, Gicuru, 2013. "The Influence of Social Capital Dimensions on Household Participation in Micro-Credit Groups and Loan Repayment Performance in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya," MPRA Paper 48624, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Nogales Carvajal, Cristian Ricardo, 2008. "El éxito de la autorregulación de las instituciones microfinancieras en Bolivia: una prueba empírica
    [The success of micro financial institutions' auto-regulation: empiric evidence of the Bolivi
    ," MPRA Paper 53018, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2008.
  3. Ricardo N. Bebczuk, 2008. "Financial Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean: Review and Lessons," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0068, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  4. Jeffrey Carpenter & Tyler Williams, 2010. "Moral hazard, peer monitoring, and microcredit: field experimental evidence from Paraguay," Working Papers 10-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  5. Kasarjyan, Milada, 2011. "Improving the functioning of the rural financial markets of Armenia," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Central and Eastern Europe, Leib­niz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO), volume 62, number 62.
  6. Ricardo Bebczuk & Francisco Haimovich, 2007. "MDGs and Microcredit: An Empirical Evaluation for Latin American Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0048, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

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