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

  • Paul Castãneda 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 insufficient emphasis on local banking practices. Bankers commonly use methods other than collateral to ensure repayment, such as targeting borrower characteristics that, on average, improve repayment rates. Formal land titles can signal to the bank these important characteristics. Using a household survey from Indonesia, we provide evidence that formal land titles do have a positive and significant effect on access to credit and at least part of this effect is best interpreted as an improvement in 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.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0186.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0186
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  1. 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.
  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. 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.
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