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Enhancing capabilities through credit access: Creditworthiness as a signal of trustworthiness under asymmetric information

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  • Becchetti, Leonardo
  • Conzo, Pierluigi

Abstract

Creditworthiness and trustworthiness are almost synonyms because, under asymmetric information, the act of conferring a loan has the indirect effect of signaling the trustworthiness of the borrower. We test the creditworthiness/trustworthiness nexus in an investment game experiment on a sample of participants/non-participants in a microfinance program in Argentina and find that trustors give significantly more to (and believe they will receive more from) microfinance borrowers. The first- and second-order beliefs of trustees are also consistent with this picture. Our findings then show that MF participants appear more trustworthy and this may help microfinance to work. A related consequence is that, if (and only if) borrower's trustworthiness is not public information, the mere loan provision acts as a reputation enhancing signal increasing the borrower's attractiveness as a business partner. In such case we have a channel through which a private financial intermediary contributes to the provision of a public good like information, thereby reducing the adverse consequences of market failures on the creation of economic value.

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  • Becchetti, Leonardo & Conzo, Pierluigi, 2011. "Enhancing capabilities through credit access: Creditworthiness as a signal of trustworthiness under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3-4), pages 265-278, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:3-4:p:265-278
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    2. Bhuiyan, Muhammad Faress & Ivlevs, Artjoms, 2019. "Micro-entrepreneurship and subjective well-being: Evidence from rural Bangladesh," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 625-645.
    3. Cozarenco, Anastasia & Szafarz, Ariane, 2020. "The regulation of prosocial lending: Are loan ceilings effective?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 121(C).
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    6. Pierluigi Conzo, 2018. "Natural Disasters and Social Preferences: The Effect of Tsunami-Memories on Cheating in Sri Lanka," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(10), pages 1912-1931, October.
    7. Ha Ta & Terry L. Esper & Kenneth Ford & Sebastian Garcia‐Dastuge, 2018. "Trustworthiness Change and Relationship Continuity after Contract Breach in Financial Supply Chains," Journal of Supply Chain Management, Institute for Supply Management, vol. 54(4), pages 42-61, October.
    8. Leonardo Becchetti, 2013. "Ethical finance: an introduction," Chapters, in: Luigino Bruni & Stefano Zamagni (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Reciprocity and Social Enterprise, chapter 13, pages 134-143, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Aaron H. Anglin & Jeremy C. Short & David J. Ketchen Jr. & Thomas H. Allison & Aaron F. McKenny, 2020. "Third-Party Signals in Crowdfunded Microfinance: The Role of Microfinance Institutions," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 44(4), pages 623-644, July.
    10. Shahriar, Abu Zafar M. & Unda, Luisa A. & Alam, Quamrul, 2020. "Gender differences in the repayment of microcredit: The mediating role of trustworthiness," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Field experiment Microfinance Investment game Trust Trustworthiness;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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