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Inequality of Opportunity in the Credit Market

  • Giuseppe Coco

    ()

    (University of bari)

  • Giuseppe Pignataro

    ()

    (DEFAP, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy)

Credit market imperfections can prevent the poor from making profitable investments. Under asymmetric information observable features, such as wealth and collateral, play an important role in determining who gets credit, in violation of the Equality of Opportunity principle. We define equality of opportunity as the equal possibility of getting credit for a given aversion to effort. We first establish that, due to larger cross subsidization in high collateral classes of borrow- ers, richer individuals are more likely to get credit for a given aversion to effort. Our second result is that Inequality of Opportunity is associated with an inefficient allocation of resources among classes of borrowers. The marginal borrower in classes that post more collateral exerts less effort in equilibrium (and therefore produces lower aggregate surplus) than the marginal borrower in lower collateral classes. This suggests that public credit policies should be targeted at poorer classes of would be borrowers both for equity and efficiency reasons, which rarely occurs in practice.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici - Università di Bari in its series series with number 0026.

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Length: 702
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision: Jan 2010
Handle: RePEc:bai:series:wp0026
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  1. Roemer, J.E., 1992. "A Pragmatic Theory of Responsibility for the Egalitarian Planner," Papers 391, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  2. Karla Hoff & Andrew B. Lyon, 1994. "Non-Leaky Buckets: Optimal Redistributive Taxation and Agency Costs," NBER Working Papers 4652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Riley, John G, 1987. "Credit Rationing: A Further Remark [Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information] [Incentives Effects of Terminations: Applications to the Credit and Labor Markets]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 224-27, March.
  4. Caterina Calsamiglia, 2009. "Decentralizing Equality Of Opportunity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 273-290, 02.
  5. Coco, Giuseppe, 2000. " On the Use of Collateral," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 191-214, April.
  6. Besley, T., 1992. "How Do Market Failures Justify Interventions in Rural Credit Markets?," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  7. Coco, Giuseppe, 1999. "Collateral, heterogeneity in risk attitude and the credit market equilibrium," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 559-574, March.
  8. Joseph Stiglitz, 1998. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: The Private Uses of Public Interests: Incentives and Institutions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
  9. 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.
  10. Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Targeted transfers in poor countries : revisiting the tradeoffs and policy options," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3048, The World Bank.
  11. de Meza, David & Webb, David, 1999. "Wealth, Enterprise and Credit Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 153-63, April.
  12. de Meza, David & Webb, David, 2000. "Does credit rationing imply insufficient lending?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 215-234, November.
  13. David de Meza, 2002. "Overlending?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages F17-F31, February.
  14. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1992. "Asymmetric Information in Credit Markets and Its Implications for Macro-economics," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(4), pages 694-724, October.
  15. 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.
  16. de Meza, David & Webb, David C, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-92, May.
  17. David De Meza & David C. Webb, 2006. "Credit Rationing: Something's Gotta Give," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(292), pages 563-578, November.
  18. Jimenez, Gabriel & Salas, Vicente & Saurina, Jesus, 2006. "Determinants of collateral," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 255-281, August.
  19. Wette, Hildegard C, 1983. "Collateral in Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information: Note," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 442-45, June.
  20. Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "Between the State and the Market: Can Informal Insurance Patch the Safety Net?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 187-207, August.
  21. Black, Jane & de Meza, David, 1994. "The nature of credit-market failure," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 243-249, November.
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