Determinants of household access to and participation in formal and informal credit markets in Malawi
The paper uses the concept of credit limit to analyze the determinants of household access to and participation in informal and formal credit markets in Malawi. Households are found to be credit constrained, on average, both in the formal and informal sectors; they borrow, on average, less than half of any increase in their credit lines. Furthermore, they are not discouraged in their participation and borrowing decisions by further increases in the formal interest rate and/or the transaction costs associated with getting formal credit. This suggests that getting access to credit is much more important than its cost for these households. Hence, credit policies should focus on making access easier rather than providing credit with subsidized interest rates. The composition of household assets is found to be much more important as a determinant of household access to formal credit than the total value of household assets or landholding size. In particular, a higher share of land and livestock in the total value of household assets is negatively correlated with access to formal credit. However, land remains a significant determinant of access to informal credit. Therefore, poor households whose assets consist mostly of land and livestock but who want to diversify into nonfarm income generation activities may be constrained by lack of capital. As informal loans are usually too small to help poor households start a viable nonfarm business, these households may be forced to rely on farming as the sole source of income, despite its unreliability because of the frequency of drought in Malawi. Finally, formal and informal credit are found to be imperfect substitutes. In particular, formal credit, whenever available, reduces but does not completely eliminate informal borrowing. This suggests that the two forms of credit fulfill different functions in the household's intertemporal transfer of resources.
|Date of creation:||1999|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1201 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005-3915|
Web page: http://www.ifpri.org/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Diagne, Aliou & Zeller, Manfred & Sharma, Manohar, 2000.
"Empirical measurements of households' access to credit and credit constraints in developing countries,"
90, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Diagne, Aliou & Zeller, Manfred & Sharma, Manohar, 2000. "Empirical measurements of households' access to credit and credit constraints in developing countries," FCND discussion papers 90, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Gersovitz, Mark, 1988. "Saving and development," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 381-424 Elsevier.
- Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
- Robert M. Townsend, "undated". "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Townsend, R.M., 1991. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-3, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- 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.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ernst R. Berndt & Bronwyn H. Hall & Robert E. Hall & Jerry A. Hausman, 1974. "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 4, pages 653-665 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1797-1855, December.
- Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-02, McMaster University.
- Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Discussion Papers 96-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Alderman, H. & Paxson, C.H., 1992. "Do the Poor Insure? A Synthesis of the Literature on Risk and Consumption in Developing Countries," Papers 164, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Alderman, Harold & Paxson, Christina H & DEC, 1992. "Do the poor insure? A synthesis of the literature on risk and consumption in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1008, The World Bank.
- Zeller, Manfred & Diagne, Aliou & Mataya, Charles, 1998. "Market access by smallholder farmers in Malawi: implications for technology adoption, agricultural productivity and crop income," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 219-229, September.
- Fafchamps, Marcel, 1992. "Solidarity Networks in Preindustrial Societies: Rational Peasants with a Moral Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 147-174, October.
- Schmidt, Peter & Strauss, Robert P, 1975. "The Prediction of Occupation Using Multiple Logit Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 471-486, June.
- Udry, Christopher, 1995. "Risk and Saving in Northern Nigeria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1287-1300, December.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
- Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
- Feder, Gershon & Lau, Lawrence J. & Lin, Justin Y. & Xiaopeng Luo, 1991. "Credit's effect on productivity in Chinese agriculture : a microeconomic model of disequilibrium," Policy Research Working Paper Series 571, The World Bank.
- Zeller, Manfred & Ahmed, Akhter U. & Babu, Suresh Chandra & Broca, Sumiter S. & Diagne, Aliou & Sharma, Manohar, 1996. "Rural finance policies for food security of the poor," FCND discussion papers 11, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Tullio Jappelli, 1990. "Who is Credit Constrained in the U. S. Economy?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 219-234. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)