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Repayment and exclusion in a microfinance experiment

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  • Baland, Jean-Marie
  • Gangadharan, Lata
  • Maitra, Pushkar
  • Somanathan, Rohini

Abstract

Microfinance groups often engage in a variety of collective activities not directly related to credit. We design a three-stage repayment game to examine how the existence of these ancillary activities affect repayment behavior and group attrition. In the first stage, the group borrows under joint liability, each member undertakes a risky project and decides whether or not to contribute to loan repayment. In the second stage, contributing members can vote to expel others from the group. Those remaining engage in a public goods game in the last stage. The public good game represents the non-credit collective activity that members can be involved in. We identify repayment equilibria with and without exclusion and show that exclusionary equilibria are most likely when loans are large and there is significant within-group heterogeneity in the gains from the public good. Results from a laboratory experiment that embodies the main features of the repayment game are consistent with the theoretical predictions. Individual decisions to contribute to loan repayment depend on gains from the public good and groups with the largest debt burdens have the highest rates of default and attrition.

Suggested Citation

  • Baland, Jean-Marie & Gangadharan, Lata & Maitra, Pushkar & Somanathan, Rohini, 2017. "Repayment and exclusion in a microfinance experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 176-190.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:176-190
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.02.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Sugato Chakravarty & S. M. Zahid Iqbal & Abu Zafar M. Shahriar, 2013. "Are Women “Naturally” Better Credit Risks in Microcredit? Evidence from Field Experiments in Patriarchal and Matrilineal Societies in Bangladesh," Working Papers 1019, Purdue University, Department of Consumer Sciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Microfinance; Joint liability; Social exclusion; Public good; Heterogeneous productivity; Self help groups; Laboratory experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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