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When do enterprises prefer informal credit ?

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  • Safavian, Mehnaz
  • Wimpey, Joshua
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    Abstract

    This paper tests the hypothesis that enterprises may forgo formal finance in lieu of informal credit by choice. They do so to avoid the additional regulatory scrutiny and harassment that engaging with the formal financial sector invites. We test this hypothesis using enterprise-level data on 3,564 enterprises in 29 countries. In this sample, enterprises finance approximately 57 percent of their working capital requirements with external finance. This external finance comes from formal sources, such as commercial banks (53 percent) and informal sources (42 percent), such as trade creditors, or family and friends. In our sample, 14 percent of enterprises rely exclusively on informal finance. We find that the likelihood of enterprises preferring to only use informal finance is inversely related to the quality of the regulatory environment, particularly the quality of tax administration and overall governance. For example, we find that when an enterprise has been asked for bribes by tax inspectors, it is 17 percent more likely to prefer informal finance.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4435.

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    Date of creation: 12 Nov 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4435

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    Related research

    Keywords: Access to Finance; Banks&Banking Reform; Debt Markets; Small and Medium Size Enterprises;

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    1. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio LopezdeSilanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," NBER Working Papers 7892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael Porta & Florencio C. Lopez-De-Silanes, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382, November.
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    4. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2006. "Bank supervision and corruption in lending," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 2131-2163, November.
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    6. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Working Paper 19443, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    7. Hoff, Karla & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Imperfect Information and Rural Credit Markets--Puzzles and Policy Perspectives," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 235-50, September.
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    11. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1998. "Interfirm Relationships and Informal Credit in Vietnam," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 132, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    12. Sarmistha Pal, 2002. "Household sectoral choice and effective demand for rural credit in India," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(14), pages 1743-1755.
    13. repec:fth:prinin:455 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Fisman, Raymond & Svensson, Jakob, 2007. "Are corruption and taxation really harmful to growth? Firm level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 63-75, May.
    15. Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Simeon Djankov & Caralee McLiesh & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "Private Credit in 129 Countries," NBER Working Papers 11078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    18. Bell, Clive, 1988. "Credit markets and interlinked transactions," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 763-830 Elsevier.
    19. Bell, Clive & Srinivasan, T N & Udry, Christopher, 1997. "Rationing, Spillover, and Interlinking in Credit Markets: The Case of Rural Punjab," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 557-85, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Junko Koeda & Era Dabla-Norris, 2008. "Informality and Bank Credit: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," IMF Working Papers 08/94, International Monetary Fund.

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