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Cultural proximity and loan outcomes

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  • Fisman, Raymond
  • Paravisini, Daniel
  • Vig, Vikrant

Abstract

We present evidence that cultural proximity (shared codes, beliefs, ethnicity) between lenders and borrowers increases the quantity of credit and reduces default. We identify in-group lending using dyadic data on religion and caste for officers and borrowers from an Indian bank, and a rotation policy that induces exogenous matching between them. Having an in-group officer increases credit access and loan size dispersion, reduces collateral requirements, and induces better repayment even after the in-group officer leaves. We consider a range of explanations and suggest that the findings are most easily explained by cultural proximity serving to mitigate information frictions in lending.

Suggested Citation

  • Fisman, Raymond & Paravisini, Daniel & Vig, Vikrant, 2017. "Cultural proximity and loan outcomes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67376, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:67376
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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