Social Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Credit Access: Evidence from Rural Guatemala
Summary We measure the extent to which social networks determine sources of credit from a survey of 465 households in western Guatemala. We estimate correlated, contextual, and endogenous effects of networks at the neighborhood, church, and village levels, finding that church networks display endogenous effects in credit access. We calculate an elasticity of social imitation (ESI) indicating if the percentage of people accessing microfinance in a church network doubles, the probability of an individual household accessing microfinance increases by 14.1%, a magnitude similar to our estimated ESIs for televisions and cell phones within church and neighbor networks.
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