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Subjectivity in credit allocation to micro-entrepreneurs: evidence from Brazil

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  • Isabelle Agier

    ()

  • Ariane Szafarz

    ()

Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of loan officer subjectivity on microcredit granting by exploiting an exceptionally detailed database from a Brazilian microfinance institution. The loan officers collect field data, meet with applicants, and make recommendations to the credit committee, which has the final say on both loan approval and loan size (LS). The loan officer’s subjectivity is captured through gender bias. Our estimations indeed show subjective gender gap in LS. This gap is almost exclusively attributable to loan officers. We interpret this finding as evidence that, despite monitoring and wage incentivization, microcredit officers let their subjective preferences interfere with loan granting. We conclude by suggesting alternative means to curb subjectivity in credit allocation to micro-entrepreneurs. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Isabelle Agier & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Subjectivity in credit allocation to micro-entrepreneurs: evidence from Brazil," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 263-275, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:41:y:2013:i:1:p:263-275
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-012-9429-9
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2018. "Gender Biases in Bank Lending: Lessons from Microcredit in France," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 631-650, February.
    2. Simon Cornée & Ariane Szafarz, 2014. "Vive la Différence: Social Banks and Reciprocity in the Credit Market," Post-Print CEB, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 125(3), pages 361-380.
    3. Amélie Artis & Simon Cornée, 2013. "Transformation informationnelle, certification et intermédiation financière : le cas de la banque solidaire," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201326, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    4. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Female Access to Credit in France: How Microfinance Institutions Import Disparate Treatment from Banks," AMSE Working Papers 1350, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised Dec 2013.
    5. Luminita Postelnicu, 2012. "Social Capital and Repayment Performance of Group Lending in Microfinance," Working Papers CEB 12-032, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Labie, Marc & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Mersland, Roy & Szafarz, Ariane, 2015. "Discrimination by microcredit officers: Theory and evidence on disability in Uganda," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 44-55.
    7. Luminita Postelnicu & Niels Hermes & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Defining Social Collateral in Microfinance Group Lending," Working Papers CEB 13-050, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Amélie Artis & Simon Cornée, 2017. "Composition, Interpretation and Memorisation of the Idiosyncratic Knowledge in Social Banking," Working Papers CEB 17-002, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Bert D'Espallier & Marek Hudon & Ariane Szafarz, 2016. "Aid Volatility and Social Performance in Microfinance," Working Papers CEB 16-015, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    10. Supriya Garikipati & Susan Johnson & Isabelle Guérin & Ariane Szafarz, 2017. "Microfinance and Gender: Issues, Challenges and The Road Ahead," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(5), pages 641-648, May.
    11. D’Espallier, Bert & Hudon, Marek & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Unsubsidized microfinance institutions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 174-176.
    12. Schicks, Jessica, 2014. "Over-Indebtedness in Microfinance – An Empirical Analysis of Related Factors on the Borrower Level," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 301-324.
    13. Périlleux, Anaïs & Szafarz, Ariane, 2015. "Women Leaders and Social Performance: Evidence from Financial Cooperatives in Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 437-452.
    14. repec:spr:elcore:v:17:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10660-016-9247-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Women’s Access to Credit in France: How Microfinance Institutions Import Disparate Treatment from Banks," Working Papers CEB 13-037, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    16. Jessica Schicks, 2013. "The Sacrifices of Micro-Borrowers in Ghana -- A Customer-Protection Perspective on Measuring Over-Indebtedness," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(9), pages 1238-1255, September.
    17. Marc Labie & Carolina Laureti & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Flexible Products in Microfinance: Overcoming the Demand-Supply Mismatch," Working Papers CEB 13-044, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    18. repec:eee:quaeco:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:237-244 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:vls:rojfme:v:4:y:2017:i:1:p:258-260 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Simon Cornée, 2012. "The Relevance of Soft Information for Predicting Small Business Credit Default: Evidence from a Social Bank," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201226, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS, revised Sep 2015.
    21. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2016. "Microcredit in Industrialized Countries: Unexpected Consequences of Regulatory Loan Ceilings," Working Papers CEB 16-021, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    22. Dongyu Chen & Xiaolin Li & Fujun Lai, 0. "Gender discrimination in online peer-to-peer credit lending: evidence from a lending platform in China," Electronic Commerce Research, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-31.
    23. Shchetinin, Oleg & Wollbrant, Conny, 2013. "The intermediary role of microloan officers: Evidence from Ethiopia," Working Papers in Economics 581, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjectivity; Microcredit; Gender; Loan officer; Loan size; Entrepreneurs; O16; D82; J33; L31;

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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