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Identification strategy : a field experiment on dynamic incentives in rural credit markets

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  • Gine, Xavier
  • Goldberg, Jessica
  • Yang, Dean

Abstract

How do borrowers respond to improvements in a lender's ability to punish defaulters? This paper reports the results of a randomized field experiment in rural Malawi that examines the impact of fingerprinting borrowers in a context where a unique identification system is absent. Fingerprinting allows the lender to more effectively use dynamic repayment incentives: withholding future loans from past defaulters while rewarding good borrowers with better loan terms. Consistent with a simple model of borrower heterogeneity and information asymmetries, fingerprinting led to substantially higher repayment rates for borrowers with the highest ex ante default risk, but had no effect for the rest of the borrowers. The change in repayment rates is driven by reductions in adverse selection (smaller loan sizes) and lower moral hazard (for example, less diversion of loan-financed fertilizer from its intended use on the cash crop).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5438.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5438

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Related research

Keywords: Access to Finance; Debt Markets; Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress; Microfinance; Economic Theory&Research;

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References

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  1. Dean Karlan & Xavier Gine & Jonathan Morduch & Pamela Jakiela, 2006. "Microfinance Games," Working Papers 936, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  2. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J. David, 2001. "An Introduction to the Economics of Information: Incentives and Contracts," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199243273, September.
  3. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michele Tertilt, 2006. "Accounting for the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," Discussion Papers 06-001, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  5. Bencivenga, V.R. & Smith, B.D., 1988. "Financial Intermediation And Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 124, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Pierre-André Chiappori & Bernard Salanié, 1997. "Testing for Asymmetric Information in Insurance Markets," Working Papers 97-11, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  7. Guesnerie Roger & Picard Pierre & Rey P, 1986. "Adverse selection and moral hazard with risk-neutral agent," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8624, CEPREMAP.
  8. Pierre‐André Chiappori & Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanié & François Salanié, 2006. "Asymmetric information in insurance: general testable implications," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 783-798, December.
  9. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2004. "Observing unobservables: Identifying information asymmetries with a consumer credit field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00283, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Jonathan Conning & Christopher Udry, 2005. "Rural Financial Markets in Developing Countries," Working Papers 914, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  11. Gine, Xavier & Yang, Dean, 2007. "Insurance, credit, and technology adoption : field experimental evidence from Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4425, The World Bank.
  12. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  13. Dan Bernhardt & Huw Lloyd-Ellis, 1993. "Enterprise, Inequality and Economic Development," Working Papers 893, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  14. Juan M. Sanchez, 2009. "The role of information in the rise in consumer bankruptcies," Working Paper 09-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  15. Nava Ashraf & Dean S. Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2005. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," Working Papers 917, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  16. Ligon, Ethan & Thomas, Jonathan P & Worrall, Tim, 2002. "Informal Insurance Arrangements with Limited Commitment: Theory and Evidence from Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 209-44, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Caterina Giannetti & Nicola Jentzsch, 2011. "Credit Reporting, Access to Finance and Identification Systems: International Evidence," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-031, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  2. Thorsten Beck & Samuel Munzele Maimbo & Issa Faye & Thouraya Triki, 2011. "Financing Africa : Through the Crisis and Beyond," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2355.

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