IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/egc/wpaper/936.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Microfinance Games

Author

Listed:
  • Dean Karlan

    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Xavier Gine

    (World Bank)

  • Jonathan Morduch

    (New York University)

  • Pamela Jakiela

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

Microfinance has been heralded as an effective way to address imperfections in credit markets. From a theoretical perspective, however, the success of microfinance contracts has puzzling elements. In particular, the group-based mechanisms often employed are vulnerable to free-riding and collusion, although they can also reduce moral hazard and improve selection. We created an experimental economics laboratory in a large urban market in Lima, Peru and over seven months conducted eleven different games that allow us to unpack microfinance mechanisms in a systematic way. We find that risk-taking broadly conforms to predicted patterns, but that behavior is safer than optimal. The results help to explain why pioneering microfinance institutions have been moving away from group-based contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Karlan & Xavier Gine & Jonathan Morduch & Pamela Jakiela, 2006. "Microfinance Games," Working Papers 936, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:936
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp936.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    2. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2000. "Screening by the Company You Keep: Joint Liability Lending and the Peer Selection Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 601-631, July.
    3. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    4. Karlan, Dean S. & Zinman, Jonathan, 2009. "Expanding Microenterprise Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts in Manila," Center Discussion Papers 52600, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    5. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
    6. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    7. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & N'Guessan, Tchetche, 2000. "Group lending with adverse selection," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 773-784, May.
    8. de Aghion, Beatriz Armendariz & Gollier, Christian, 2000. "Peer Group Formation in an Adverse Selection Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 632-643, July.
    9. Xavier Gine & Dean Karlan, 2006. "Group versus Individual Liability: A Field Experiment in the Philippines," Working Papers 940, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    10. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1688-1699, December.
    11. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
    12. Karlan, Dean & Zinman, Jonathan, 2009. "Expanding Microenterprise Credit Access: Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts in Manila," Working Papers 68, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    13. repec:pri:rpdevs:gamespaper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    14. DeanS. Karlan, 2007. "Social connections and group banking," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 52-84, February.
    15. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Guinnane, Timothy W., 1999. "The economics of lending with joint liability: theory and practice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 195-228, October.
    16. Nidhiya Menon, 2004. "Consumption Smoothing in Micro Credit Programs," Development and Comp Systems 0403005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Alexander Tedeschi, Gwendolyn, 2006. "Here today, gone tomorrow: Can dynamic incentives make microfinance more flexible?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 84-105, June.
    18. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Timothy Besley & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1994. "Thy Neighbor's Keeper: The Design of a Credit Cooperative with Theory and a Test," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 491-515.
    19. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "Observing Unobservables: Identifying Information Asymmetries With a Consumer Credit Field Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1993-2008, November.
    20. Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman & Menendez, Ana Maria, 2002. "Violent Crime: Does Social Capital Matter?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(3), pages 509-539, April.
    21. Beatriz Armendariz & Jonathan Morduch, 2007. "The Economics of Microfinance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262512017.
    22. John A. List, 2004. "Neoclassical Theory Versus Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Marketplace," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 615-625, March.
    23. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Peer Monitoring and Credit Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 351-366, September.
    24. Kennedy, Bruce P. & Kawachi, Ichiro & Prothrow-Stith, Deborah & Lochner, Kimberly & Gupta, Vanita, 1998. "Social capital, income inequality, and firearm violent crime," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 7-17, July.
    25. Wydick, Bruce, 1999. "Can Social Cohesion Be Harnessed to Repair Market Failures? Evidence from Group Lending in Guatemala," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 463-475, July.
    26. Abigail Barr & Bill Kinsey, 2002. "Do men really have no shame?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    27. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
    28. Fisman, Raymond & Khanna, Tarun, 1999. "Is trust a historical residue? Information flows and trust levels," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 79-92, January.
    29. Ashok S. Rai & Tomas Sjöström, 2004. "Is Grameen Lending Efficient? Repayment Incentives and Insurance in Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 217-234.
    30. Beatriz Armendáriz de Aghion & Jonathan Morduch, 2000. "Microfinance Beyond Group Lending," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(2), pages 401-420, July.
    31. Alessandra Cassar & Lucas Crowley & Bruce Wydick, 2005. "The effect of social capital on group loan repayment: Evidence from artefactual field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00036, The Field Experiments Website.
    32. de Meza, David & Webb, David, 1990. "Risk, Adverse Selection and Capital Market Failure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 206-214, March.
    33. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    34. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    35. repec:pri:rpdevs:gamespaper is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Xavier Gine & Dean Karlan, 2006. "Group versus Individual Liability: A Field Experiment in the Philippines," Working Papers 940, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    2. DeanS. Karlan, 2007. "Social connections and group banking," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 52-84, February.
    3. Chowdhury, Shyamal & Chowdhury, Prabal Roy & Sengupta, Kunal, 2014. "Sequential lending with dynamic joint liability in micro-finance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 167-180.
    4. Shyamal Chowdhury & Prabal Roy Chowdhury & Kunal Sengupta, 2014. "Sequential lending with dynamic joint liability in micro-finance," Discussion Papers 14-07, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi.
    5. Czura, Kristina, 2015. "Pay, peek, punish? Repayment, information acquisition and punishment in a microcredit lab-in-the-field experiment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 119-133.
    6. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata & Maitra, Pushkar, 2012. "Moral hazard and peer monitoring in a laboratory microfinance experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 192-209.
    7. Xavier Giné & Dean Karlan, 2009. "Group versus Individual Liability: Long Term Evidence from Philippine Microcredit Lending Groups," Working Papers 970, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    8. Ahlin, Christian, 2015. "The role of group size in group lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 140-155.
    9. Al-Azzam, Moh'd & Carter Hill, R. & Sarangi, Sudipta, 2012. "Repayment performance in group lending: Evidence from Jordan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 404-414.
    10. Ahlin, Christian & Jiang, Neville, 2008. "Can micro-credit bring development?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 1-21, April.
    11. Li Gan & Manuel A. Hernandez & Yanyan Liu, 2018. "Group Lending With Heterogeneous Types," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(2), pages 895-913, April.
    12. Hisaki Kono, 2006. "Is group lending a good enforcement scheme for achieving high repayment rates? Evidence from field experiments in vietnam," Artefactual Field Experiments 00075, The Field Experiments Website.
    13. Chowdhury, Prabal Roy, 2005. "Group-lending: Sequential financing, lender monitoring and joint liability," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 415-439, August.
    14. Abdul Karim, Zulkefly, 2009. "Microfinance and Mechanism Design: The Role of Joint Liability and Cross-Reporting," MPRA Paper 23934, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 Jan 2010.
    15. Beatriz Armendáriz & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "On Mission Drift in Microfinance Institutions," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Beatriz Armendáriz & Marc Labie (ed.), The Handbook Of Microfinance, chapter 16, pages 341-366, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    16. Joel M. Guttman, 2006. "Repayment Performance in Group Lending Programs: A Survey," NFI Working Papers 2006-WP-01, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
    17. Agarwal, Sumit & Ambrose, Brent W. & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Liu, Chunlin, 2016. "Joint liability lending and credit risk: Evidence from the home equity market," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 47-66.
    18. Baulia, Susmita, 2019. "Take-up of joint and individual liability loans: An analysis with laboratory experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    19. Kibrom A. ABAY & Bethelhem KORU & Gashaw Tadesse ABATE & Guush BERHANE, 2019. "How Should Rural Financial Cooperatives Be Best Organized? Evidence From Ethiopia," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(1), pages 187-215, March.
    20. Hisaki KONO & Kazushi TAKAHASHI, 2010. "Microfinance Revolution: Its Effects, Innovations, And Challenges," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 48(1), pages 15-73, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Microfinance; Group Lending; Information Asymmetries; Contract Theory; Experimental Economics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:egc:wpaper:936. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/egyalus.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Benjamin King (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/egyalus.html .

    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.