IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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


  • Paul Dower

    () (New Economic School and the Center for Economic and Financial Research)

  • Elizabeth Potamites


Many land titling programs have produced lackluster results in terms of achieving access to credit for the poor. This may re ect insucient empha- sis on local banking practices. Bankers commonly use sophisticated methods other than collateral to ensure repayment. Some methods rely on ex-ante in- formation ows and formal land titles can improve these ows by signaling to the bank important characteristics about borrowers. Using a household survey from Indonesia, we provide evidence that formal land titles do have a positive and significant e ect on access to credit and at least part of this effect is best interpreted as an improvement in ex-ante information ows. This result stands in contrast to the prevailing notion that land titles only function as collateral. Analysts who neglect local banking practices may misinterpret the observed effect of systematic land titling programs on credit access because these programs tend to dampen the signaling value of formal land titles.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Dower & Elizabeth Potamites, 2010. "Signaling Credit-Worthiness: Land Titles, Banking Practices and Access to Formal Credit in Indonesia," Working Papers w0155, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0155

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Galiani, Sebastian & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2010. "Property rights for the poor: Effects of land titling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 700-729, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Boucher, Stephen R. & Guirkinger, Catherine & Trivelli, Carolina, 2005. "Direct elicitation of credit constraints: Conceptual and practical issues with an empirical application," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19272, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. 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.
    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. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
    9. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-855, September.
    10. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Institutional Economics: Credit Markets and Land Titling
      by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2012-12-18 18:47:00


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Domeher & Raymond Abdulai, 2012. "Land registration, credit and agricultural investment in Africa," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 72(1), pages 87-103, March.
    2. Mauricio Moura & Rodrigo Bueno, 2014. "The Effect of Land Title on Child Labor Supply: Empirical Evidence from Brazil," Research in Labor Economics,in: Factors Affecting Worker Well-being: The Impact of Change in the Labor Market, volume 40, pages 195-222 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    3. Misha Saleem, 2011. "The Effect of Ownership Rights on Urban Households' Access to Credit in Lahore," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 16(2), pages 111-139, Jul-Dec.
    4. William Easterly, 2009. "Can the West Save Africa?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 373-447, June.
    5. Daniel Domeher, 2012. "Land rights and SME credit: evidence from Ghana," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 11(2), pages 129-143, June.
    6. Caio Piza & Mauricio José Serpa Barros de Moura, 2011. "How Does Land Title Affect Access to Credit? Empirical Evidence from an Emerging Economy," Working Paper Series 2211, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    7. Deininger, Klaus, 2010. "Towards sustainable systems of land administration: Recent evidence and challenges for Africa," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 5(1), September.
    8. Daniel Domeher & Raymond T., Abdulai, 2012. "Land registration and access to SME credit: preliminary findings," ERES eres2012_002, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
    9. Shapiro, D.A., 2015. "Microfinance and dynamic incentives," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 73-84.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0155. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julia Babich). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.