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Rosca Meets Formal Credit Market


  • Hanming Fang
  • Rongzhu Ke
  • Li-An Zhou


Rotating Savings and Credit Association (Rosca) is an important informal financial institution in many parts of the world used by participants to share income risks. What is the role of Rosca when formal credit market is introduced? We develop a model in which risk-averse participants attempt to hedge against their private income shocks with access to both Rosca and the formal credit and investigate their interactions. Using the gap of the borrowing and saving interest rates as a measure of the imperfectness of the credit market, we compare three cases: (i) Rosca without credit market; (ii) Rosca with a perfect credit market; (iii) Rosca with an imperfect credit market. We show that a perfect credit market completely crowds out the role of Rosca. However, when credit market is present but imperfect, we show that Rosca and the formal credit market can complement each other in improving social welfare. Interestingly, we find that the social welfare in an environment with both Rosca and formal credit market does not necessarily increase monotonically as the imperfectness of the credit market converges to zero.

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  • Hanming Fang & Rongzhu Ke & Li-An Zhou, 2015. "Rosca Meets Formal Credit Market," NBER Working Papers 21683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21683
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stefan Klonner, 2000. "Rotating Savings and Credit Associations as Insurance," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1589, Econometric Society.
    2. Stefan Klonner, 2003. "Rotating Savings and Credit Associations When Participants are Risk Averse," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 979-1005, August.
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    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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