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Cultural Proximity and Loan Outcomes

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  • Raymond Fisman
  • Daniel Paravisini
  • Vikrant Vig

Abstract

We present evidence that cultural proximity (shared codes, beliefs, ethnicity) between lenders and borrowers increases the quantity of credit and reduces default. We identify in-group lending using dyadic data on religion and caste for officers and borrowers from an Indian bank, and a rotation policy that induces exogenous matching between them. Having an in-group officer increases credit access and loan size dispersion, reduces collateral requirements, and induces better repayment even after the in-group officer leaves. We consider a range of explanations and suggest that the findings are most easily explained by cultural proximity serving to mitigate information frictions in lending.

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  • Raymond Fisman & Daniel Paravisini & Vikrant Vig, 2017. "Cultural Proximity and Loan Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(2), pages 457-492, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:2:p:457-92
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20120942
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    2. Ejaz Ghani & William R. Kerr & Christopher Stanton, 2014. "Diasporas and Outsourcing: Evidence from oDesk and India," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(7), pages 1677-1697, July.
    3. Thorsten Beck & Patrick Behr & Andreas Madestam, 2011. "Sex and Credit: Is There a Gender Bias in Lending?," Working Papers 411, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    4. Gomes, Joseph, 2014. "The health costs of ethnic distance: evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-33, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    5. Pierrick Baraton & Florian LEON, 2018. "Do banks and microfinance institutions compete? Microevidence from Madagascar," CREA Discussion Paper Series 18-04, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    6. Giampaolo Lecce & Laura Ogliari, 2015. "Institutional Transplant and Cultural Proximity: Evidence from Nineteenth-Century Prussia," CESifo Working Paper Series 5652, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Giampaolo Lecce & Laura Ogliari & Tommaso Orlando, 2017. "Resistance to Institutions and Cultural Distance: Brigandage in Post-Unification Italy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2097, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    8. Jonas Hjort, 2013. "Ethnic Divisions and Production in Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 4449, CESifo Group Munich.
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    10. Jonathan Lehne & Jacob N. Shapiro & Oliver Vanden Eynde, 2016. "Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India," Working Papers halshs-01349350, HAL.
    11. Danielle Li, 2017. "Expertise versus Bias in Evaluation: Evidence from the NIH," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 60-92, April.
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    13. Baghai, Ramin & Becker, Bo, 2016. "Non-rating revenue and conflicts of interest," CEPR Discussion Papers 11508, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Jaspersen, Stefan & Limbach, Peter, 2017. "Knowing Me, Knowing You? Similarity to the CEO and Fund Managers’ Investment Decisions," CFR Working Papers 17-02, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    15. Lehne, Jonathan & Shapiro, Jacob N. & Vanden Eynde, Oliver, 2018. "Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 62-78.
    16. Zhong Chunping & Pan Li & Shu Lingwei, 2016. "Do religious beliefs affect borrowing behavior? Evidence from Chinese households," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 989-1005, December.
    17. repec:eee:jbfina:v:87:y:2018:i:c:p:380-396 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Brogaard, Jonathan & Engelberg, Joseph & Parsons, Christopher A., 2014. "Networks and productivity: Causal evidence from editor rotations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 251-270.
    19. Jonathan Lehne & Jacob Shapiro & Oliver Vanden Eynde, 2018. "Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India," Post-Print halshs-01802896, HAL.
    20. Eliasson, Tove, 2014. "Immigrant entrepreneurship and the origin of bankers," Working Paper Series 2014:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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