IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Informal finance: A theory of moneylenders

  • Madestam, Andreas

I present a model that analyzes the coexistence of formal and informal finance in underdeveloped credit markets. Formal banks have access to unlimited funds but are unable to control the use of credit. Informal lenders can prevent non-diligent behavior but often lack the needed capital. The theory implies that formal and informal credit can be either complements or substitutes. The model also explains why weak legal institutions increase the prevalence of informal finance in some markets and reduce it in others, why financial market segmentation persists, and why informal interest rates can be highly variable within the same sub-economy.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 107 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 157-174

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:107:y:2014:i:c:p:157-174
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Hoff, Karla & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1997. "Moneylenders and bankers: price-increasing subsidies in a monopolistically competitive market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 429-462, April.
  2. Raghuram G. Rajan & Rodney Ramcharan, 2009. "Land and Credit: A Study of the Political Economy of Banking in the United States in the Early 20th Century," NBER Working Papers 15083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bell, Clive, 1990. "Interactions between Institutional and Informal Credit Agencies in Rural India," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 297-327, September.
  4. Anand V. Swamy & Rachel E. Kranton, 2006. "Contracts, Hold-Up, and Exports: Textiles and Opium in Colonial India," Center for Development Economics 2006-01, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  5. Sujata Visaria, 2009. "Legal Reform and Loan Repayment: The Microeconomic Impact of Debt Recovery Tribunals in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 59-81, July.
  6. M. Irfan & G. M. Arif & Syed Mubashir Ali & Hina Nazli, 1999. "The Structure of Informal Credit Market in Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 1999:168, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  7. Reardon, Thomas & Timmer, C. Peter, 2007. "Transformation of Markets for Agricultural Output in Developing Countries Since 1950: How Has Thinking Changed?," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
  8. Burgess, Robin & Pande, Rohini, 2004. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4211, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Government Ownership of Banks," Working Paper Series rwp01-016, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  10. James R. Barth & Gerard Caprio, Jr. & Ross Levine, 2002. "Bank Regulation and Supervision: What Works Best?," NBER Working Papers 9323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. repec:oup:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:2:p:491-515 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Ulf von Lilienfeld‐Toal & Dilip Mookherjee & Sujata Visaria, 2012. "The Distributive Impact of Reforms in Credit Enforcement: Evidence From Indian Debt Recovery Tribunals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(2), pages 497-558, 03.
  14. Jain, Sanjay, 1999. "Symbiosis vs. crowding-out: the interaction of formal and informal credit markets in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 419-444, August.
  15. Xiaoqiang Cheng & Hans Degryse, 2010. "The Impact of Bank and Non-Bank Financial Institutions on Local Economic Growth in China," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 179-199, June.
  16. Meghana Ayyagari & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2010. "Formal versus Informal Finance: Evidence from China," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(8), pages 3048-3097, August.
  17. Arnott, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1991. "Moral Hazard and Nonmarket Institutions: Dysfunctional Crowding Out or Peer Monitoring?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 179-90, March.
  18. Besley, T. & Coate, S. & Loury, G., 1992. "The economics of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations," Papers 157, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  19. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
  20. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Competition in the Changing World of Banking," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 535-547.
  21. Pranab Bardhan & Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 1998. "Wealth Inequality, Wealth Constraints and Economic Performance," Microeconomics 9805002, EconWPA.
  22. repec:oup:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:2:p:407-43 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Jonathan Conning & Christopher Udry, 2005. "Rural Financial Markets in Developing Countries," Working Papers 914, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  24. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-50, July.
  25. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1688-1699, December.
  26. Ghatak, M. & Guinnane, T.W., 1998. "The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice," Papers 791, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  27. Juro Teranishi, 2007. "Were Banks Really at the Center of the Prewar Japanese Financial System?," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 25(1), pages 49-76, March.
  28. repec:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:3:p:663-91 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. repec:oup:restud:v:61:y:1994:i:3:p:495-526 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Bouman, F J A & Houtman, R, 1988. "Pawnbroking as an Instrument of Rural Banking in the Third World," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 69-89, October.
  31. Burkart, Mike & Ellingsen, Tore, 2002. "In-Kind Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 3536, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. Bhaduri, Amit, 1977. "On the Formation of Usurious Interest Rates in Backward Agriculture," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(4), pages 341-52, December.
  33. Wang, Ta-Chen, 2008. "Banks, Credit Markets, and Early American Development: A Case Study of Entry and Competition," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(02), pages 438-461, June.
  34. Timothy J. Besley & Konrad B. Burchardi & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2012. "Incentives and the De Soto Effect," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 237-282.
  35. repec:inr:wpaper:245709 is not listed on IDEAS
  36. Boot, Arnoud W. A., 2000. "Relationship Banking: What Do We Know?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 7-25, January.
  37. Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Kin Groups and Reciprocity: A Model of Credit Transactions in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1730-1751, December.
  38. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Paul J. Gertler & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2002. "Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 239-280, April.
  39. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2009. "Rent Preservation and the Persistence of Underdevelopment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 178-218, January.
  40. Biais, Bruno & Mariotti, Thomas, 2003. "Credit, Wages and Bankruptcy Laws," CEPR Discussion Papers 3996, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  41. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1991. "Group Lending, Repayment Incentives And Social Collateral," Papers 152, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  42. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  43. Genicot, Garance & Ray, Debraj, 2006. "Bargaining power and enforcement in credit markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 398-412, April.
  44. Mitra, Pradeep K., 1983. "A theory of interlinked rural transactions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 167-191, March.
  45. Ashok S. Rai & Tomas Sj�str�m, 2004. "Is Grameen Lending Efficient? Repayment Incentives and Insurance in Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 217-234.
  46. repec:oup:restud:v:65:y:1998:i:4:p:631-53 is not listed on IDEAS
  47. Aleem, Irfan, 1990. "Imperfect Information, Screening, and the Costs of Informal Lending: A Study of a Rural Credit Market in Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 329-49, September.
  48. Ken Binmore & Ariel Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1986. "The Nash Bargaining Solution in Economic Modelling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(2), pages 176-188, Summer.
  49. Anderson, Siwan & Baland, Jean-Marie & Moene, Karl Ove, 2009. "Enforcement in informal saving groups," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 14-23, September.
  50. Simeon Djankov & Caralee McLiesh & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "Private Credit in 129 Countries," NBER Working Papers 11078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  51. Floro, Maria Sagrario & Ray, Debraj, 1997. "Vertical Links between Formal and Informal Financial Institutions," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 34-56, February.
  52. Cull, Robert & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2005. "Institutions, ownership, and finance: the determinants of profit reinvestment among Chinese firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 117-146, July.
  53. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther, 2006. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," CEPR Discussion Papers 5968, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  54. Mike Burkart & Tore Ellingsen, 2004. "In-Kind Finance: A Theory of Trade Credit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 569-590, June.
  55. Steel, William F. & Aryeetey, Ernest & Hettige, Hemamala & Nissanke, Machiko, 1997. "Informal financial markets under liberalization in four African countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 817-830, May.
  56. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2002. "Contractual Structure and Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 818-849, September.
  57. Basu, Kaushik, 1987. "Disneyland monopoly, interlinkage and usurious interest rates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-17, October.
  58. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2000. "Screening by the Company You Keep: Joint Liability Lending and the Peer Selection Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 601-31, July.
  59. Juro Teranishi, 2005. "Evolution of the Economic System in Japan," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2881.
  60. repec:oup:qjecon:v:104:y:1989:i:4:p:753-70 is not listed on IDEAS
  61. Kochar, Anjini, 1997. "An empirical investigation of rationing constraints in rural credit markets in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 339-371, August.
  62. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital And Predict Financial Decisions," Working Papers 909, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  63. repec:oup:restud:v:53:y:1986:i:5:p:709-24 is not listed on IDEAS
  64. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2004. "Bank competition and access to finance: international evidence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 627-654.
  65. Raghuram G. Rajan & Rodney Ramcharan, 2008. "Landed Interests and Financial Underdevelopment in the United States," NBER Working Papers 14347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  66. Bose, Pinaki, 1998. "Formal-informal sector interaction in rural credit markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 265-280, August.
  67. Udry, Christopher, 1990. "Credit Markets in Northern Nigeria: Credit as Insurance in a Rural Economy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 251-69, September.
  68. Dilip Mookherjee, 2012. "Incentives in Hierarchies
    [The Handbook of Organizational Economics]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  69. Siamwalla, Ammar, et al, 1990. "The Thai Rural Credit System: Public Subsidies, Private Information, and Segmented Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 271-95, September.
  70. Jain, Sanjay & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2003. "A little at a time: the use of regularly scheduled repayments in microfinance programs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 253-279, October.
  71. 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.
  72. Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "Reciprocal Exchange: A Self-Sustaining System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 830-51, September.
  73. Sapienza, Paola, 2004. "The effects of government ownership on bank lending," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 357-384, May.
  74. Junko Koeda & Era Dabla-Norris, 2008. "Informality and Bank Credit: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," IMF Working Papers 08/94, International Monetary Fund.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:107:y:2014:i:c:p:157-174. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.