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Legal Reform and Loan Repayment: The Microeconomic Impact of Debt Recovery Tribunals in India

  • Sujata Visaria

    ()

    (Institute for Economic Development, Boston University)

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    This paper investigates the micro-level link between judicial quality and eco- nomic outcomes. It uses a loan-level data set from a large Indian bank to es- timate the impact of a new quasi-legal institution, Debt Recovery Tribunals, which are aimed at accelerating banks' recovery of non-performing loans. I use a dfferences-in-dfferences strategy based on two sources of variation: the mon- etary threshold for claims to be eligible for these tribunals, and the staggered introduction of tribunals across Indian states. I find that the establishment of tribunals reduces delinquency in loan repayment by between 3 and 11 percent. The ffect is statistically significant within loans as well: for the same loan, in- stallments that become due after the loan becomes treated are more likely to be paid up on time than those that become due before. Furthermore, interest rates on loans sanctioned after the reform are lower by 1.4-2 percentage points. These results suggest that legal reform and the improved enforcement of loan contracts can reduce borrower delinquency, and can lead banks to provide cheaper credit. Thus the paper illustrates a microeconomic mechanism through which improve- ments in legal institutions might affect credit market outcomes.

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    File URL: http://www.bu.edu/econ/ied/dp/papers/dp157-Visaria.pdf
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    Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series with number dp-157.

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    Length: 49 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-157
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    1. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
    2. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1998. "Law, Finance, and Firm Growth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2107-2137, December.
    3. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    4. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
    5. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
    8. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
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