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Risk, Wealth, and Sectoral Choice in Rural Credit Markets

  • Steve Boucher
  • Catherine Guirkinger

We model the role of the informal credit sector in developing countries. The informational advantage of informal lenders is portrayed as the ability to monitor borrowers. Monitoring reduces the incentive problem and allows for contracts with lower collateral. This enables informal lenders to serve both individuals who cannot post the collateral required by the formal sector and those who are able but do not want to post collateral. The model is consistent with the conventional view of the informal sector as recipient of spillover demand from the formal sector. It also shows that the informal sector may provide partial insurance as the lower collateral requirement implies greater consumption smoothing for borrowers. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-8276.2007.01009.x
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Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 89 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 991-1004

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:89:y:2007:i:4:p:991-1004
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  1. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  2. Barham, Bradford L. & Boucher, Stephen & Carter, Michael R., 1996. "Credit constraints, credit unions, and small-scale producers in Guatemala," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 793-806, May.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Bell, Clive & Srinivasan, T N & Udry, Christopher, 1997. "Rationing, Spillover, and Interlinking in Credit Markets: The Case of Rural Punjab," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 557-85, October.
  6. Thiele, Henrik & Wambach, Achim, 1999. "Wealth Effects in the Principal Agent Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 247-260, December.
  7. Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249, June.
  8. Carter, Michael R., 1988. "Equilibrium credit rationing of small farm agriculture," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 83-103, February.
  9. Kochar, Anjini, 1997. "An empirical investigation of rationing constraints in rural credit markets in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 339-371, August.
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