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When is the optimal lending contract in microfinance state non-contingent?

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  • Jeon, Doh-Shin
  • Menicucci, Domenico

Abstract

Whether a microfinance institution should use a state-contingent repayment or not is very important since a state-contingent loan can provide insurance for borrowers. However, the classic Grameen bank used state non-contingent repayment, which is puzzling since it forces poor borrowers to make their payments even under hard circumstances. This paper provides an explanation to this puzzle. We consider two modes of lending, group and individual lending, and for each mode we characterize the optimal lending and supervisory contracts when a staff member (a supervisor) can embezzle borrowers' repayments by misrepresenting realized returns. We identify the main trade-off between the insurance gain and the cost of controlling the supervisor's misbehavior. We also find that group lending dominates individual lending either by providing more insurance or by saving audit costs.

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  • Jeon, Doh-Shin & Menicucci, Domenico, 2011. "When is the optimal lending contract in microfinance state non-contingent?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 720-731, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:5:p:720-731
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Labie & Carolina Laureti & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Flexible Products in Microfinance: Overcoming the Demand-Supply Mismatch," Working Papers CEB 13-044, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Menicucci, Domenico, 2011. "When is the optimal lending contract in microfinance state non-contingent?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 720-731, June.
    3. Carolina Laureti & Alain De Janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2017. "Flexible Microfinance Products for Financial Management by the Poor: Evidence from SafeSave," Working Papers CEB 17-036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Sara Biancini & David Ettinger & Baptiste Venet, 2017. "Mission Drift in Microcredit and Microfinance Institution Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 6332, CESifo.
    5. Michael Hamp & Carolina Laureti, 2011. "Balancing flexibility and discipline in microfinance: Innovative financial products that benefit clients and service providers," Working Papers CEB 11-044, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Sara Biancini & David Ettinger & Baptiste Venet, 2021. "When Pro-Poor Microcredit Institutions Favor Richer Borrowers - A Moral Hazard Story," CESifo Working Paper Series 8893, CESifo.
    7. Sara Biancini & David Ettinger & Baptiste Venet, 2019. "Mission Drift in Microcredit: A Contract Theory Approach," Working Papers hal-02304352, HAL.
    8. Tchakoute-Tchuigoua, Hubert & Soumaré, Issouf, 2019. "The effect of loan approval decentralization on microfinance institutions' outreach and loan portfolio quality," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 1-17.
    9. Marc Labie & Carolina Laureti & Ariane Szafarz, 2016. "Discipline and Flexibility: A Behavioral Perspective on Product Design in Microfinance," Working Papers CEB 15-020, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Microfinance Repayment Contract Group lending Embezzlement Insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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