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Signaling Credit-Worthiness: Land Titles, Banking Practices and Access to Formal Credit in Indonesia

  • Dower, Paul
  • Potamites, Elizabeth

It is often suggested that the poor are credit-rationed due to their lack of formal collateral. Using a household survey from Indonesia, we estimate the impact of having a land title on formal credit access. Adopting an instrumental variable approach, we find that having a formal title significantly increases a household's probability of ever having had a formal loan and the observed loan amount. Why land titles increase access to credit is still not clear. Incorporating data from a unique survey of bankers in Indonesia, we will argue that possessing a formal title increases a household's incidences of formal credit not because the value of the title as collateral but because of what possessing a title signals about the household to the banker. We apply a simple model of contract choice to show how title can act as an indirect signal.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/19120
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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI with number 19120.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19120
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  1. Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "Property Rights for the Poor: Effects of Land Titling," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0103, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  2. Jean O. Lanjouw & Philip I. Levy, 1998. "Untitled: A Study of Formal and Informal Property Rights in Urban Ecuador," Working Papers 788, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  3. Jean O. Lanjouw & Philip I. Levy, 2002. "Untitled: A Study of Formal and Informal Property Rights in Urban Ecuador," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 986-1019, October.
  4. Michael R. Carter & Pedro Olinto, 2003. "Getting Institutions “Right” for Whom? Credit Constraints and the Impact of Property Rights on the Quantity and Composition of Investment," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 173-186.
  5. Frank Place & S. E. Migot-Adholla, 1998. "The Economic Effects of Land Registration on Smallholder Farms in Kenya: Evidence from Nyeri and Kakamega Districts," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(3), pages 360-373.
  6. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-55, September.
  7. Quy-Toan Do & Lakshmi Iyer, 2008. "Land Titling and Rural Transition in Vietnam," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 531-579.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2003. "Unbundling Institutions," NBER Working Papers 9934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  10. 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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