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When Is the Optimal Lending Contract in Microfinance State Non-Contingent?

  • Jeon, Doh-Shin
  • Menicucci, Domenico

Whether a microfinance institution should use a state-contingent repayment or not is very important since a state-contingent loan can provide insurance for borrowers. However, the classic Grameen bank used state non-contingent repayment, which is puzzling since it forces poor borrowers to make their payments even under hard circumstances. This paper provides an explanation to this puzzle. We consider two modes of lending, group and individual lending, and for each mode we characterize the optimal lending and supervisory contracts when a staff member (a supervisor) can embezzle borrowers' repayments by misrepresenting realized returns. We identify the main trade-off between the insurance gain and the cost of controlling the supervisor's misbehavior. We also found that group lending dominates individual lending either by providing more insurance or by saving audit costs.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 599.

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Date of creation: 09 Mar 2010
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Publication status: Published in European Economic Review, vol.�55, n°5, Elsevier, juin 2011, p.�720-731.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:22425
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  1. Robert M. Townsend & Jacob Yaron, 2001. "The credit risk-contingency system of an Asian development bank," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 31-48.
  2. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Politics of Government Decision-Making: A Theory of Regulatory Capture," Working papers 506, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Menicucci, Domenico, 2011. "When is the optimal lending contract in microfinance state non-contingent?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 720-731, June.
  4. de Aghion, Beatriz Armendariz & Gollier, Christian, 2000. "Peer Group Formation in an Adverse Selection Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 632-43, July.
  5. Jain, Sanjay & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2003. "A little at a time: the use of regularly scheduled repayments in microfinance programs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 253-279, October.
  6. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 2003. "Collusion and group lending with adverse selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 329-348, April.
  7. Kofman, Fred & Lawarree, Jacques, 1993. "Collusion in Hierarchical Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 629-56, May.
  8. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  9. Antoine Faure-Grimaud & Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 2003. "Collusion, Delegation and Supervision with Soft Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 253-279.
  10. MkNelly, Barbara & Kevane, Michael, 2002. "Improving Design and Performance of Group Lending: Suggestions from Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2017-2032, November.
  11. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  12. Maitreesh Ghatak & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1998. "The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice," Discussion Papers 98-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  13. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Ashok S. Rai & Tomas Sj–str–m, 2004. "Is Grameen Lending Efficient? Repayment Incentives and Insurance in Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 217-234, 01.
  15. Che Yeon-Koo, 2002. "Joint Liability and Peer Monitoring under Group Lending," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-28, July.
  16. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
  17. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
  18. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Peer Monitoring and Credit Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 351-66, September.
  19. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
  20. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & N'Guessan, Tchetche, 2000. "Group lending with adverse selection," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 773-784, May.
  21. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  22. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Rey, Patrick, 2003. "Moral Hazard, Collusion and Group Lending," IDEI Working Papers 122, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  23. 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.
  24. Conning, Jonathan, 1999. "Outreach, sustainability and leverage in monitored and peer-monitored lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 51-77, October.
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