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Why are Informal Loans Still a Big Deal? Evidence from North-east Thailand


  • Carmen Kislat


This article examines the use and benefit of informal loans for different income groups of rural households in north-east Thailand. Using a difference-in-differences estimation approach, which is later complemented by propensity score matching, the article shows that different household groups profit from informal loans in different ways. Poor households increase their asset endowment, and in particular farming assets, whereas rich households' (food) consumption rises, especially if households borrow due to a shock. By showing that informal loans serve different households for different purposes, this article provides an explanation why they still play an important role.

Suggested Citation

  • Carmen Kislat, 2015. "Why are Informal Loans Still a Big Deal? Evidence from North-east Thailand," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(5), pages 569-585, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:51:y:2015:i:5:p:569-585
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2014.983907

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Cynthia Kinnan, 2015. "The Miracle of Microfinance? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 22-53, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bach Nguyen, 2022. "Small business investment: The importance of financing strategies and social networks," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 2849-2872, July.
    2. Thanh-Tung Nguyen & Trung Thanh Nguyen & Ulrike Grote, 2020. "Credit and Ethnic Consumption Inequality in the Central Highlands of Vietnam," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 143-172, February.
    3. Pim Pinitjitsamut & Wisarut Suwanprasert, 2022. "Informal Loans in Thailand: Stylized Facts and Empirical Analysis," PIER Discussion Papers 173, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Thanh-Tung Nguyen & Trung Thanh Nguyen & Ulrike Grote, 2020. "Weather shocks, credit and production efficiency of rice farmers in Vietnam," TVSEP Working Papers wp-017, Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Institute of Development and Agricultural Economics, Project TVSEP.
    5. Dang, Le Phuong Xuan & Hoang, Viet-Ngu & Nghiem, Son Hong & Wilson, Clevo, 2023. "Social networks with organisational resource, generalised trust and informal loans: Evidence from rural Vietnam," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 388-402.
    6. Nguyen, Thanh-Tung & Nguyen, Trung Thanh & Grote, Ulrike, 2023. "Credit, shocks and production efficiency of rice farmers in Vietnam," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 780-791.
    7. Carolina Laureti, 2017. "Why do Poor People Co-hold Debt and Liquid Savings?," Working Papers CEB 17-007, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Duy Linh Nguyen & Trung Thanh Nguyen & Ulrike Grote, 2023. "Shocks, household consumption, and livelihood diversification: a comparative evidence from panel data in rural Thailand and Vietnam," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 56(5), pages 3223-3255, October.
    9. Marcello Pagnini & Paola Rossi & Valerio Vacca & Carmen Kislat & Lukas Menkhoff & Doris Neuberger, 2017. "Credit Market Structure and Collateral in Rural Thailand," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 46(3), pages 587-632, November.
    10. Le Phuong Xuan Dang & Viet-Ngu Hoang & Son Hong Nghiem & Clevo Wilson, 2023. "Social capital and informal credit access: empirical evidence from a Vietnamese household panel survey," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 311-340, July.
    11. Bach Nguyen & Nguyen Phuc Canh, 2021. "Formal and informal financing decisions of small businesses," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 1545-1567, October.

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