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Ethnicity and Reciprocity: A model of Credit Transactions in Ghana

  • Eliana La Ferrara

This paper studies kinship band networks as capital market institutions. It explores two of the channels through which membership in a community where individuals are genealogically linked, such as a kinship group, can affect their access to informal credit. The first is that incentives to default are lower for community members who can expect retaliation to fall on their offspring as well as on themselves (social enforcement). The second is that lenders prefer to lend to those members from whom they can expect reciprocation in the form of future loans for themselves or for their children (reciprocity). These two effects are incorporated in a theoretical framework with overlapping generations and tested using household-level data from Ghana.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 193.

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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:193
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  1. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1987. "Renegotiation in Repeated Games," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9wv3h5jb, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Aryeetey, Ernest & Udry, Christopher, 1997. "The Characteristics of Informal Financial Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(1), pages 161-203, March.
  3. Posner, Richard A, 1980. "A Theory of Primitive Society, with Special Reference to Law," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-53, April.
  4. Besley, T. & Coate, S. & Loury, G., 1992. "The economics of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations," Papers 157, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  5. 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.
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  7. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Peer Monitoring and Credit Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 351-66, September.
  8. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1996. "The enforcement of commercial contracts in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 427-448, March.
  9. Varian, H.R., 1989. "Monitoring Agents With Other Agents," Papers 89-18, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  10. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1991. "Group Lending, Repayment Incentives And Social Collateral," Papers 152, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  11. Udry, Christopher, 1990. "Credit Markets in Northern Nigeria: Credit as Insurance in a Rural Economy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 251-69, September.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 147-74, October.
  14. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
  15. Kimball, Miles S, 1988. "Farmers' Cooperatives as Behavior Toward Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 224-32, March.
  16. Arnott, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1991. "Moral Hazard and Nonmarket Institutions: Dysfunctional Crowding Out or Peer Monitoring?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 179-90, March.
  17. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "Repeated Games Played by Overlapping Generations of Players," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 81-92.
  18. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80.
  19. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
  20. Douglas Bernheim, B. & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "Collective dynamic consistency in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-326, December.
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