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Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard in Joint Liability Loan Contracts: Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Giorgia Barboni

    (Institute of Economics and LEM, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy)

  • Alessandra Cassar

    () (Department of Economics, University of San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

  • Arturo Rodriguez Trejo

    (Department of Economics, University of San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

  • Bruce Wydick

    (Department of Economics, University of San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

Abstract

We design an artefactual field experiment to study the relationship between joint-liability lending and adverse selection, moral hazard and risk preferences. While theories concerning joint-liability lending have highlighted its ability to mitigate adverse selection in credit transactions, our experimental results indicate that joint-liability lending may actually induce problems of adverse selection. The results of our experiment, carried on in partnership with a Bolivian microlender, show that borrowers exogenously endowed with a risky project are disproportionately likely to choose jointly-liability contracts over individually-liable contracts. This behavior does not appear to be motivated by risk-diversification, but rather by free-riding, as these subjects disproportionally switch from safe to risky projects when exogenously given a joint-liability contract instead of an individual contract. Thus the results of our experiment offer a possible explanation why joint liability loans have diminished in popularity in recent years among both borrowers and microfinance lenders.

Suggested Citation

  • Giorgia Barboni & Alessandra Cassar & Arturo Rodriguez Trejo & Bruce Wydick, 2013. "Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard in Joint Liability Loan Contracts: Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment," Journal of Economics and Management, College of Business, Feng Chia University, Taiwan, vol. 9(2), pages 153-184, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:jec:journl:v:9:y:2013:i:2:p:153-184
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1688-1699, December.
    3. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    4. Wydick, Bruce, 2001. "Group Lending under Dynamic Incentives as a Borrower Discipline Device," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 406-420, October.
    5. Abigail Barr & Garance Genicot, 2008. "Risk Sharing, Commitment, and Information: An Experimental Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1151-1185, December.
    6. Alessandra Cassar & Luke Crowley & Bruce Wydick, 2007. "The effect of social capital on group loan repayment: evidence from field experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 85-106, February.
    7. Alessandra Cassar & Bruce Wydick, 2010. "Does social capital matter? Evidence from a five-country group lending experiment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 715-739, October.
    8. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
    9. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Timothy Besley & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1994. "Thy Neighbor's Keeper: The Design of a Credit Cooperative with Theory and a Test," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 491-515.
    10. Wydick, Bruce, 1999. "Can Social Cohesion Be Harnessed to Repair Market Failures? Evidence from Group Lending in Guatemala," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 463-475, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kun Liang & Cuiqing Jiang & Zhangxi Lin & Weihong Ning & Zelin Jia, 2017. "The nature of sellers’ cyber credit in C2C e-commerce: the perspective of social capital," Electronic Commerce Research, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 133-147, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    joint-liability lending; microfinance; asymmetric information; adverse selection; social capital; artefactual field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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