Group lending and individual lending with strategic default
Papers that compare group lending and individual lending in the presence of strategic default suggest that unless group members can impose costly social sanctions on one another, or unless the bank uses cross-reporting mechanisms group lending may do worse than individual lending. In this paper, we show that if, (1) the amount that a successful borrower owes for his defaulting partner is optimally determined, and (2) the penalty is allowed to vary across group members, then even in the absence of any social sanctions or cross-reporting, (1) expected borrower welfare is strictly higher with group lending when both group lending and individual lending are feasible and (2) group lending is feasible for a greater range of opportunity cost of capital. These results are robust to collusion between borrowers.
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