Solidarity Behind Microfinance
In this paper we analyse the role of peers' solidarity in fostering investment in production in the context of micro?nance. When there is asymmetric information between lenders and borrowers on the use of borrowed funds and loans are not collateralized, there is a high chance that borrowers use loans for current consumption sacrifying productive projects. We study the effect of solidarity in the form of insurance from a network of relatives on borrowers' intertemporal preference for consumption and its impact on myopic behavior. The main result of the model is that solidarity might increase the share of funds devoted to investment but it might also reduce the amount of the loan in equilibrium. This result is in accordance with several features of micro-lending. We test the model using survey data from the World Bank on a sample of households in Bangladesh during the period 1991-1992. Empirical fi?ndings support the predictions of the model.
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