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Social Connections and Group Banking

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  • Karlan, Dean S.

Abstract

Lending to the poor is expensive due to high screening, monitoring, and enforcement costs. Group lending advocates believe lenders overcome this by harnessing social connections. Using data from FINCA-Peru, I exploit a quasi-random group formation process to find evidence of peers successfully monitoring and enforcing joint-liability loans. Individuals with stronger social connections to their fellow group members (i.e., either living closer or being of a similar culture) have higher repayment and higher savings. Furthermore, I observe direct evidence that relationships deteriorate after default, and that through successful monitoring, individuals know who to punish and who not to punish after default.

Suggested Citation

  • Karlan, Dean S., 2005. "Social Connections and Group Banking," Center Discussion Papers 28522, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:yaleeg:28522
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/28522/files/dp050913.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Armendariz de Aghion, Beatriz, 1999. "On the design of a credit agreement with peer monitoring," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 79-104, October.
    2. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2000. "Screening by the Company You Keep: Joint Liability Lending and the Peer Selection Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 601-631, July.
    3. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    4. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
    5. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Timothy Besley & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1994. "Thy Neighbor's Keeper: The Design of a Credit Cooperative with Theory and a Test," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 491-515.
    6. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
    7. de Aghion, Beatriz Armendariz & Gollier, Christian, 2000. "Peer Group Formation in an Adverse Selection Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 632-643, July.
    8. Sharma, Manohar & Zeller, Manfred, 1997. "Repayment performance in group-based credit programs in Bangladesh: An empirical analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(10), pages 1731-1742, October.
    9. Wydick, Bruce, 1999. "Can Social Cohesion Be Harnessed to Repair Market Failures? Evidence from Group Lending in Guatemala," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 463-475, July.
    10. Yaron, Jacob, 1994. "What Makes Rural Finance Institutions Successful?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(1), pages 49-70, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ahlin, Christian & Jiang, Neville, 2008. "Can micro-credit bring development?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 1-21, April.
    2. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1688-1699, December.
    3. Xavier Gine & Dean Karlan, 2006. "Group versus Individual Liability: A Field Experiment in the Philippines," Working Papers 940, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    4. Gine, Xavier & Jakiela, Pamela & Karlan, Dean S. & Morduch, Jonathan, 2006. "Microfinance Games," Center Discussion Papers 28520, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    5. Becchetti, Leonardo & Conzo, Pierluigi, 2011. "Enhancing capabilities through credit access: Creditworthiness as a signal of trustworthiness under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 265-278.
    6. Xavier Giné & Pamela Jakiela & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Morduch, 2010. "Microfinance Games," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 60-95, July.
    7. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Smyth, Russell, 2017. "Ethnic Diversity and Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 285-302.
    8. Gine, Xavier & Karlan, Dean S., 2006. "Group versus Individual Liability: A Field Experiment in the Philippines," Center Discussion Papers 28413, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    9. Joel M. Guttman, 2006. "Repayment Performance in Group Lending Programs: A Survey," NFI Working Papers 2006-WP-01, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.

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