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Ethnicity and Reciprocity: A model of Credit Transactions in Ghana

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  • Eliana La Ferrara

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eliana La Ferrara, "undated". "Ethnicity and Reciprocity: A model of Credit Transactions in Ghana," Working Papers 193, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:193
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.igier.uni-bocconi.it/wp/2001/193.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "Repeated Games Played by Overlapping Generations of Players," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 81-92.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn, 1993. "The Economics of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 792-810.
    3. 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.
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    7. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1996. "The enforcement of commercial contracts in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 427-448, March.
    8. Smith, Lones, 1992. "Folk theorems in overlapping generations games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 426-449, July.
    9. 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.
    10. 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 179-190, March.
    11. 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, pages 491-515.
    12. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Peer Monitoring and Credit Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 351-366, September.
    13. 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 525-548, June.
    14. Varian, H.R., 1989. "Monitoring Agents With Other Agents," Papers 89-18, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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 251-269, September.
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    20. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:04:p:715-735_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. 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 903-937, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Inequality and group participation: theory and evidence from rural Tanzania," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 235-273.
    2. Christian Stoff, 2004. "Establishing Cooperation between Groups: Ingroup versus Outgroup Punishment," SOI - Working Papers 0416, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Feb 2006.
    3. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2005. "The Role of Family Ties in the Labour Market. An Interpretation Based on Efficiency Wage Theory," MPRA Paper 8956, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    5. Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "Between the State and the Market: Can Informal Insurance Patch the Safety Net?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 187-207, August.

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