Contract structure, risk sharing and investment choice
Few microfinance-funded businesses grow beyond subsistence entrepreneurship. This paper considers one possible explanation: that the structure of existing microfinance contracts may discourage risky but high-expected return investments. To explore this possibility, I develop a theory that unifies models of investment choice, informal risk sharing, and formal financial contracts. I then test the predictions of this theory using a series of experiments with clients of a large microfinance institution in India. The experiments confirm the theoretical predictions that joint liability creates two inefficiencies. First, borrowers free-ride on their partners, making risky investments without compensating partners for this risk. Second, the addition of peer-monitoring overcompensates, leading to sharp reductions in risk-taking and profitability. Equity-like financing, in which partners share both the benefits and risks of more profitable projects, overcomes both of these inefficiencies and merits further testing in the field.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.|
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Carlsson, Hans & van Damme, Eric, 1993.
"Global Games and Equilibrium Selection,"
Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 989-1018, September.
- Carlsson, H. & Van Damme, E., 1990. "Global Games And Equilibrium Selection," Papers 9052, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
- Carlsson, H. & van Damme, E.E.C., 1993. "Global games and equilibrium selection," Other publications TiSEM 49a54f00-dcec-4fc1-9488-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- Hans Carlsson & Eric van Damme, 1993. "Global Games and Equilibrium Selection," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001088, David K. Levine.
- Carlsson, H. & van Damme, E.E.C., 1990. "Global games and equilibrium selection," Discussion Paper 1990-52, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Karlan, Dean S., 2007.
"Social Connections and Group Banking,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6194, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, .
"Risk Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines,"
97014, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Guinnane, T. & Banerjee, A. & Besley, T., 1993.
"Thy Neighbor's Keeper: the Design of a Credit Cooperative with Theory and a Test,"
705, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- 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.
- Sylvain Chassang, 2010. "Fear of Miscoordination and the Robustness of Cooperation in Dynamic Global Games With Exit," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 973-1006, 05.
- Maitreesh Ghatak & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1998.
"The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice,"
791, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- 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.
- Ghatak, M. & Guinnane, T.W., 1998. "The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice," Papers 791, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Maitreesh Ghatak & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1998. "The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice," Discussion Papers 98-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249.
- Narayana Kocherlakota, 2010.
"Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing Without Commitment,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2053, David K. Levine.
- Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609.
- 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 463-75, July.
- Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995.
"Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
- Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1991. "Group Lending, Repayment Incentives And Social Collateral," Papers 152, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1989. "Credit as insurance in agrarian economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 37-53, July.
- John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384.
- Christopher Udry, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526.
- Prabal Roy Chowdhury, 2003.
"Group-lending: Sequential financing, lender monitoring and joint liability,"
Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers
04-10, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:41890. 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: (LSERO Manager)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.