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Ethnic Ties and the Provision of Credit: Relationship-Level Evidence from African Firms

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  • Fisman Raymond J

    () (Columbia University GSB)

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of ethnic ties on trade credit provision. Previous work in Africa has found that entrepreneurs of Asian and European descent are more likely to obtain credit from their suppliers. However, since these analyses use firm-level data, one cannot distinguish the effect of community ties from that of unobserved firm quality that is correlated with the owner's ethnic background. Using data on specific supplier relationships of African firms, this paper more directly examines the effect of ethnic ties on trade credit provision. Results from random and fixed-effects models indicate that firms are twice as likely to obtain credit from suppliers from within the owners' ethnic communities as from outsiders, suggestive of a very strong effect of communal ties. However, these ties accounts for only a small proportion (15 percent) of the overall preferential credit access enjoyed by entrepreneurs of non-African descent.

Suggested Citation

  • Fisman Raymond J, 2003. "Ethnic Ties and the Provision of Credit: Relationship-Level Evidence from African Firms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:advances.3:y:2003:i:1:n:4
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial Sector Policy and the Poor : Selected Findings and Issues," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14874.
    2. Nikolaj A. Harmon, 2010. "The End of the European Welfare States? Migration, Ethnic Diversity and Public Goods," Working Papers 1277, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Macours, Karen, 2014. "Ethnic divisions, contract choice, and search costs in the Guatemalan land rental market," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-18.
    5. Bramoullé, Yann & Goyal, Sanjeev, 2016. "Favoritism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 16-27.
    6. Togba, Edith Leadaut, 2012. "Microfinance and households access to credit: Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 473-486.
    7. Marcel Fafchamps & Marco J. van der Leij, 2006. "Scientific Networks and Co-authorship," Economics Series Working Papers 256, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Giulia Lamattina, 2008. "Conflict Migration and Social Networks: Empirical Evidence from Sri Lanka," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 98(6), pages 161-194, November-.
    9. Bengtsson, Ola & Hsu, David H., 2015. "Ethnic matching in the U.S. venture capital market," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 338-354.
    10. Berardi, Nicoletta, 2009. "The Remains of Informality in the Formal Sector: Social Networks and Wages in Senegal's Labor Market," TSE Working Papers 09-129, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    11. 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.
    12. Niels Hermes & Robert Lensink & Clemens Lutz & Uyen Nguyen Lam Thu, 2016. "Trade credit use and competition in the value chain," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 24(4), pages 765-795, October.
    13. Masakure, Oliver & Cranfield, John & Henson, Spencer, 2008. "The Financial Performance of Non-farm Microenterprises in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2733-2762, December.
    14. Tanika Chakraborty & Anirban Mukherjee & Sarani Saha, 2015. "Court-ship, kinship and business: a study on the interaction between the formal and the informal institutions and its effect on entrepreneurship," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-21, December.
    15. Raymond Fisman & Mayank Raturi, 2004. "Does Competition Encourage Credit Provision? Evidence from African Trade Credit Relationships," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 345-352, February.
    16. Arne Bigsten & Mans Söderbom, 2006. "What Have We Learned from a Decade of Manufacturing Enterprise Surveys in Africa?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 241-265.
    17. Micheline Goedhuys & Leo Sleuwaegen, 2010. "High-growth entrepreneurial firms in Africa: a quantile regression approach," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 31-51, January.
    18. Henrik Hansen & John Rand, 2011. "Another Perspective on Gender Specific Access to Credit in Africa," IFRO Working Paper 2011/14, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
    19. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01c247ds102 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Patrick Honohan & Thorsten Beck, 2007. "Making Finance Work for Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6626.

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