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Giving credit to the microlenders. Formal microlending, credit constraints and adverse selection: a case study of shrimp farmers in Bangladesh


  • Andersson, Camilla I.M.
  • Holmgren, Erik
  • MacGregor, James
  • Stage, Jesper


Smallholder farmers have long been denied access to formal credit, largely because of the high administrative fees associated with loans. A possible solution to this problem, which has become increasingly popular, is the use of microcredit financing, where innovative means of securing the loans, such as peer monitoring, are used. This paper examines the effectiveness of formal microcredit schemes as compared to the traditional informal credit sources in a rural shrimp farming district of Bangladesh. We compare the two types of credit by studying the technical and allocative efficiencies of the two groups of borrowers. The findings suggest that farmers using both types of microcredit have difficulty accessing credit, often over-utilising labour in order to reduce the need for inputs that require cash at the beginning of the season, creating inefficiencies in production. However, the informal lenders, with their closer ties to individual farmers, were more successful in identifying those small-holders most likely to make the best use of the borrowed funds. Thus, although formal microcredit schemes do not impose the high administrative fees of traditional formal lending, they do not necessarily solve the problem of how to select successful borrowers.

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  • Andersson, Camilla I.M. & Holmgren, Erik & MacGregor, James & Stage, Jesper, 2008. "Giving credit to the microlenders. Formal microlending, credit constraints and adverse selection: a case study of shrimp farmers in Bangladesh," Discussion Papers 37921, International Institute for Environment and Development, Environmental Economics Programme.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iieddp:37921

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lau, Lawrence J & Yotopoulos, Pan A, 1971. "A Test for Relative Efficiency and Application to Indian Agriculture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 94-109, March.
    2. Kumbhakar, Subal C & Bhattacharyya, Arunava, 1992. "Price Distortions and Resource-Use Efficiency in Indian Agriculture: A Restricted Profit Function Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 231-239, May.
    3. Feder, Gershon & Lau, Lawrence J. & Lin, Justin Y. & Xiaopeng Luo, 1991. "Credit's effect on productivity in Chinese agriculture : a microeconomic model of disequilibrium," Policy Research Working Paper Series 571, The World Bank.
    4. Arunava Bhattacharyya & Elliott Parker & Kambiz Raffiee, 1994. "An Examination of the Effect of Ownership on the Relative Efficiency of Public and Private Water Utilities," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(2), pages 197-209.
    5. Hoff, Karla & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Imperfect Information and Rural Credit Markets--Puzzles and Policy Perspectives," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 235-250, September.
    6. Jirong Wang & Eric J. Wailes & Gail L. Cramer, 1996. "A Shadow-Price Frontier Measurement of Profit Efficiency in Chinese Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(1), pages 146-156.
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    Cited by:

    1. Abdul Wadud, 2013. "Impact of Microcredit on Agricultural Farm Performance and Food Security in Bangladesh," Working Papers 14, Institute of Microfinance (InM).
    2. Al-Jarhi, Mabid, 2010. "Reviving the Ethics of Islamic Finance," MPRA Paper 66732, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.


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