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Kinship and Financial Networks, Formal Financial Access, and Risk Reduction

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  • Cynthia Kinnan
  • Robert Townsend

Abstract

Kinship networks are beneficial for smoothing consumption and investment, but the channels are not well understood. We study the financing devices used for consumption and investment by Thai households. Households that are connected to banks achieve significantly better consumption smoothing than unconnected households; indirect connections via inter-household borrowing are as effective as direct borrowing. Investment appears to be facilitated by kinship: households with kin in the village display reduced sensitivity of investment to income, while connections to banks do not significantly reduce sensitivity. Kin may act as "implicit collateral," permitting borrowing that would violate repayment constraints in its absence.

Suggested Citation

  • Cynthia Kinnan & Robert Townsend, 2012. "Kinship and Financial Networks, Formal Financial Access, and Risk Reduction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 289-293, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:3:p:289-93
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.3.289
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dean Karlan & Markus Mobius & Tanya Rosenblat & Adam Szeidl, 2009. "Trust and Social Collateral," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1307-1361.
    2. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Felipe Kast & Dina Pomeranz, 2013. "Saving More to Borrow Less: Experimental Evidence from Access to Formal Savings Accounts in Chile," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-001, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2014.
    2. Goodspeed, Tyler Beck, 2016. "Microcredit and adjustment to environmental shock: Evidence from the Great Famine in Ireland," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 258-277.
    3. Arthur Campbell, 2014. "Signaling in social network and social capital formation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 57(2), pages 303-337, October.
    4. Diego A.Vera-Cossio, 2017. "Targeting Credit through Community Members," PIER Discussion Papers 78, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Dec 2017.
    5. Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2013. "The Value of Connections: Evidence from the Italian-American Mafia," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 335, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    6. Alem, Mauro & Townsend, Robert M., 2014. "An evaluation of financial institutions: Impact on consumption and investment using panel data and the theory of risk-bearing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 183(1), pages 91-103.
    7. Lindner, Ines & Strulik, Holger, 2014. "From tradition to modernity: Economic growth in a small world," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 17-29.
    8. Amberg, Niklas & Jacobson, Tor & von Schedvin, Erik & Townsend, Robert, 2016. "Curbing Shocks to Corporate Liquidity: The Role of Trade Credit," Working Paper Series 320, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    9. Jackson, Matthew O. & Rogers, Brian & Zenou, Yves, 2016. "Networks: An economic perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 11452, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Diego A. Vera-Cossio, 2017. "Targeting credit through community members," Development Research Working Paper Series 07/2017, Institute for Advanced Development Studies.
    11. Miguel Ángel Borrella Mas & Mariano Bosch Mossi & Marcello Sartarelli, 2016. "Non-Contributory Pensions Number-Gender Effects on Poverty and Household Decisions," Working Papers. Serie AD 2016-02, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    12. Attila Ambrus & Arun G. Chandrasekhar & Matt Elliott, 2014. "Social Investments, Informal Risk Sharing, and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 20669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Alexander Karaivanov & Robert M. Townsend, 2014. "Dynamic Financial Constraints: Distinguishing Mechanism Design From Exogenously Incomplete Regimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(3), pages 887-959, May.

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