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Microfinance games

Author

Listed:
  • Xavier Gine
  • Pamela Jakiela
  • Dean Karlan
  • Jonathan Morduch

Abstract

Microfinance has been heralded as an effective way to address imperfections in credit markets. But from a theoretical perspective, 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. The authors created an experimental economics laboratory in a large urban market in Lima, Peru and over seven months conducted 11 different games that allow them to unpack microfinance mechanisms in a systematic way. They 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

  • Xavier Gine & Pamela Jakiela & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Morduch, 2006. "Microfinance games," Framed Field Experiments 00150, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:framed:00150
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    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

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