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The effect of social capital on group loan repayment: Evidence from artefactual field experiments

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  • Alessandra Cassar
  • Lucas Crowley
  • Bruce Wydick

Abstract

An important question to microfinance is the relevance of existing social capital in target communities to the performance of group lending. This research presents evidence from field experiments in South Africa and Armenia, in which subjects participate in trust games and a microfinance game. We present moderately strong evidence that personal trust between group members and peer homogeneity are more important to group loan repayment than general societal trust or mere acquaintanceship between members. We also find some evidence of reciprocity in groups: those who have been helped by other members are more likely to contribute themselves.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00036
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Klaus Abbink & Bernd Irlenbusch & Elke Renner, 2006. "Group Size and Social Ties in Microfinance Institutions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(4), pages 614-628, October.
    2. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
    5. 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.
    6. Armendariz de Aghion, Beatriz, 1999. "On the design of a credit agreement with peer monitoring," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 79-104, October.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Wydick, Bruce, 2001. "Group Lending under Dynamic Incentives as a Borrower Discipline Device," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 406-420, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Xavier Giné & Pamela Jakiela & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Morduch, 2010. "Microfinance Games," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 60-95, July.

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