IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The supply and demand side impacts of credit market information

  • Alain de Janvry
  • Craig McIntosh
  • Elisabeth Sadoulet

We utilize a unique pair of experiments to study the precise ways in which reductions in asymmetric information alter the outcome in a credit market. We formulate a general model in which the information set held by lenders, and what borrowers believe their lenders to know, enter separately. This model illustrates that non-experimental identification of the supply- and demand-side information in a market will be confounded. We then present a unique natural experiment, wherein a Guatemalan credit bureau was implemented without the knowledge of borrowers, and subsequently borrowers were given a randomized course describing the existence and workings of the bureau. Using this pairing of randomized and natural experiment, we find that the most powerful effect of new information in the hands of lenders is seen on the extensive margin, in their ability to select better clients. Changes in contracts for ongoing borrowers are muted. When borrower in group loans learn that their lender possesses this new information set, on the other hand, we see strong responses on both the intensive margin (changes in moral hazard) and the extensive margin (groups changing their composition to improve performance). We find some evidence that disadvantaged and female borrowers are disproportionately impacted. Our results indicate that credit bureaus allow for large efficiency gains, that these gains are augmented when borrowers understand the rules of the game, and that economic mobility both upwards and downwards is likely to be increased.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): Nov ()

in new window

Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2006:i:nov:x:12
Contact details of provider: Postal: P.O. Box 7702, San Francisco, CA 94120-7702
Phone: (415) 974-2000
Fax: (415) 974-3333
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1999. "Information Sharing, Lending and Defaults: Cross-Country Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2184, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Guinnane, Timothy W., 1999. "The economics of lending with joint liability: theory and practice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 195-228, October.
  3. A. Jorge Padilla & Marco Pagano, 1999. "Sharing Default Information as a Borrower Discipline Device," CSEF Working Papers 21, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  4. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 1999. "Property rights in a flea market economy," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-25, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  5. Padilla, A.J. & Pagano, M., 1994. "Endogenous Communication Among Lenders and Entrepreneurial Incentives," Papers 9407, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  6. Jonathan Conning & Sergio Navajas & Claudio Gonzalez-Vega, 2003. "Lending Technologies, Competition, and Consolidation in the Market for Microfinance in Bolivia," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 213, Hunter College Department of Economics.
  7. Beatriz Armendariz & Jonathan Morduch, 2007. "The Economics of Microfinance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262512017, June.
  8. Posner, Richard A, 1981. "The Economics of Privacy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 405-09, May.
  9. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
  10. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "Observing unobservables: identifying information asymmetries with a consumer-credit field experiment," Proceedings 961, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Gehrig, Thomas & Stenbacka, Rune, 2007. "Information sharing and lending market competition with switching costs and poaching," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 77-99, January.
  12. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  13. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1991. "Information Sharing in Credit Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 579, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Vercammen, James A, 1995. "Credit Bureau Policy and Sustainable Reputation Effects in Credit Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(248), pages 461-78, November.
  15. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  16. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
  17. Richard A. Posner, 1980. "The Economics of Privacy," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 16, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  18. Robert Marquez, 2002. "Competition, Adverse Selection, and Information Dispersion in the Banking Industry," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 901-926.
  19. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-74, September.
  20. Conning, Jonathan, 1999. "Outreach, sustainability and leverage in monitored and peer-monitored lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 51-77, October.
  21. McIntosh, Craig & Wydick, Bruce, 2005. "Competition and microfinance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 271-298, December.
  22. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2006:i:nov:x:12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Noah Pollaczek)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.