IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fau/wpaper/wp2008_28.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence From Rural India

Author

Abstract

This paper draws a link between self-control problems and the contractual mechanisms of microcredit. We use a series of “lab experiments in the field” which were designed to elicit measures of time discounting on a sample of 573 individuals in rural Karnataka, India. Evidence from the experiments were integrated with individual survey data on the economic and financial lives of villagers. One third of participants made choices consistent with hyperbolic preferences (more impatient now than in the future), and would be made better off if they could discipline their time inconsistent preferences. While hyperbolic preferences have been often associated with saving behavior, we describe links to borrowing as well. We find that “hyperbolic” women save a lower share of their savings at home and save less in total levels. Women with hyperbolic preferences are also more likely to borrow--and to do so through microcredit institutions specifically. The finding highlights the role of the fixed and frequent installment schedule ubiquitous in microcredit contracts. While microcredit contracts are celebrated for mitigating informational asymmetries, the evidence suggests that they also offer helpful structure for people with self-discipline problems who seek to accumulate capital but who lack suitable contractual saving devices.

Suggested Citation

  • Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Jonathan Morduch, 2008. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence From Rural India," Working Papers IES 2008/28, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2008_28
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/default/file/download/id/9325
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy & Tom Tyler, 2007. "Measuring Self-Control Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 966-972, June.
    2. William Adams & Liran Einav & Jonathan Levin, 2009. "Liquidity Constraints and Imperfect Information in Subprime Lending," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 49-84, March.
    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. Stephan Meier & Charles Sprenger, 2010. "Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 193-210, January.
    5. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
    6. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Eliciting Risk and Time Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 583-618, May.
    7. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    8. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2009. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1057-1094.
    9. 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.
    10. Karna Basu, 2011. "Hyperbolic Discounting and the Sustainability of Rotational Savings Arrangements," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 143-171, November.
    11. Siwan Anderson & Jean-Marie Baland, 2002. "The Economics of Roscas and Intrahousehold Resource Allocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 963-995.
    12. repec:pri:rpdevs:gamespaper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
    14. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & Melonie B. Williams, 2002. "Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1606-1617, December.
    15. Mary Kay Gugerty, 2007. "You Can't Save Alone: Commitment in Rotating Savings and Credit Associations in Kenya," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 251-282.
    16. Abigail Barr & Garance Genicot, 2008. "Risk Sharing, Commitment, and Information: An Experimental Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1151-1185, December.
    17. Elaine M. Liu, 2013. "Time to Change What to Sow: Risk Preferences and Technology Adoption Decisions of Cotton Farmers in China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1386-1403, October.
    18. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
    19. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová, 2010. "The Impact of Education on Subjective Discount Rate in Ugandan Villages," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(4), pages 643-669, July.
    20. Pascaline Dupas & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Savings Constraints and Microenterprise Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 163-192, January.
    21. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence From a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672.
    22. Agnes R. Quisumbing & John A. Maluccio, 2003. "Resources at Marriage and Intrahousehold Allocation: Evidence from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and South Africa," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(3), pages 283-327, July.
    23. 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.
    24. Siwan Anderson & Jean-Marie Baland, 2002. "The Economics of Roscas and Intrahousehold Resource Allocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 963-995.
    25. Pender, John L., 1996. "Discount rates and credit markets: Theory and evidence from rural india," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 257-296, August.
    26. Elaine Meichen Liu, 2008. "Time to Change What to Sow: Risk Preferences and Technology Adoption Decisions of Cotton Farmers in China," Working Papers 1064, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    27. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    28. Kirby, Kris N. & Godoy, Ricardo & Reyes-Garcia, Victoria & Byron, Elizabeth & Apaza, Lilian & Leonard, William & Perez, Eddy & Vadez, Vincent & Wilkie, David, 2002. "Correlates of delay-discount rates: Evidence from Tsimane' Amerindians of the Bolivian rain forest," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 291-316, June.
    29. Baland, Jean-Marie & Somanathan, Rohini & Vandewalle, Lore, 2008. "Microfinance Lifespans: A Study of Attrition and Exclusion in Self-Help Groups in India," India Policy Forum, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 4(1), pages 159-210.
    30. Basu, Karna, 2009. "A behavioral model of simultaneous borrowing and saving," MPRA Paper 20442, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    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. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová, 2013. "Women, Children and Patience: Experimental Evidence from Indian Villages," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 662-675, November.
    2. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2006. "Preferences, Poverty and Politics: Experimental and Survey Data from Vietnam," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000054, UCLA Department of Economics.
    3. T Le Cotty & E Maître d’Hôtel & R Soubeyran & J Subervie, 2019. "Inventory Credit as a Commitment Device to Save Grain Until the Hunger Season," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1115-1139.
    4. Carlsson, Fredrik & Yang, Xiaojun, 2013. "Intertemporal Choice Shifts in Households: Do they occur and are they good?," Working Papers in Economics 569, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    5. Ubfal, Diego, 2016. "How general are time preferences? Eliciting good-specific discount rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 150-170.
    6. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2010. "Risk and Time Preferences: Linking Experimental and Household Survey Data from Vietnam," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 557-571, March.
    7. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
    8. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2006. "Poverty, politics, and preferences: Field Experiments and survey data from Vietnam," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001099, UCLA Department of Economics.
    9. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey P. Carpenter, 2005. "Experiments and Economic Development: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0505, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    10. Utteeyo Dasgupta & Subha Mani & Lata Gangadharan & Pushkar Maitra & Samyukta Subramanian, 2012. "Choosing to be Trained: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2012_01, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
    11. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Gangadharan, Lata & Maitra, Pushkar & Mani, Subha & Subramanian, Samyukta, 2011. "Selection into skill accumulation: evidence using observational and experimental data," MPRA Paper 32383, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Gangadharan, Lata & Maitra, Pushkar & Mani, Subha & Subramanian, Samyukta, 2015. "Choosing to be trained: Do behavioral traits matter?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 145-159.
    13. Bisin, Alberto & Hyndman, Kyle, 2020. "Present-bias, procrastination and deadlines in a field experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 339-357.
    14. Basu, Karna, 2014. "Commitment savings in informal banking markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 97-111.
    15. Di Falco, Salvatore & Berck, Peter & Bezabih, Mintewab & Köhlin, Gunnar, 2019. "Rain and impatience: Evidence from rural Ethiopia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 40-51.
    16. Anett John, 2020. "When Commitment Fails: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(2), pages 503-529, February.
    17. Pascaline Dupas & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Why Don't the Poor Save More? Evidence from Health Savings Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1138-1171, June.
    18. Maitra, Pushkar & Mani, Subha, 2017. "Learning and earning: Evidence from a randomized evaluation in India," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 116-130.
    19. Carvalho, Leandro S. & Prina, Silvia & Sydnor, Justin, 2016. "The effect of saving on risk attitudes and intertemporal choices," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 41-52.
    20. C. Leigh ANDERSON & Mary Kay GUGERTY, 2009. "Intertemporal Choice And Development Policy: New Evidence On Time‐Varying Discount Rates From Vietnam And Russia," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 47(2), pages 123-146, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    banking; : time preference; hyperbolic discounting; loan contracts; microfinance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    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:fau:wpaper:wp2008_28. 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/icunicz.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: Natalie Svarcova (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/icunicz.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.