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You Can Pick Your Friends, but You Need to Watch Them: Loan Screening and Enforcement in a Referrals Field Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Bryan, Gharad

    (London School of Economics and Innovations for Poverty Action)

  • Karlan, Dean

    (Yale University and MIT)

  • Zinman, Jonathan

    (Dartmouth College and MIT)

Abstract

We examine a randomized trial that allows separate identification of peer screening and enforcement of credit contracts. A South African microlender offered half its clients a bonus for referring a friend who repaid a loan. For the remaining clients, the bonus was conditional on loan approval. After approval, the repayment incentive was removed from half the referrers in the first group and added for half those in the second. We find large enforcement effects, a $12 (100 Rand) incentive reduced default by 10 percentage points from a base of 20%. In contrast, we find no evidence of screening.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryan, Gharad & Karlan, Dean & Zinman, Jonathan, 2012. "You Can Pick Your Friends, but You Need to Watch Them: Loan Screening and Enforcement in a Referrals Field Experiment," Working Papers 99, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:yaleco:99
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lucia dalla Pellegrina & Antonio Scollo, 2016. "The Role of Borrower-Cosigner Kinship Relations on Loan Default," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 2(3), pages 421-444, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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