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Interaction of Formal and Informal Financial Markets in Quasi-Emerging Market Economies


  • Harold Ngalawa

    () (School of Economics and Finance, University of KwaZulu-Natal)

  • Nicola Viegi

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)


The primary objective of this paper is to investigate the interaction of formal and informal financial markets and their impact on economic activity in quasi-emerging market economies. Using a four-sector dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with asymmetric information in the formal financial sector, we come up with three fundamental findings. First, we demonstrate that formal and informal financial sector loans are complementary in the aggregate, suggesting that an increase in the use of formal financial sector credit creates additional productive capacity that requires more informal financial sector credit to maintain equilibrium. Second, it is shown that interest rates in the formal and informal financial sectors do not always change together in the same direction. We demonstrate that in some instances, interest rates in the two sectors change in diametrically opposed directions with the implication that the informal financial sector may frustrate monetary policy, the extent of which depends on the size of the informal financial sector. Thus, the larger the size of the informal financial sector the lower the likely impact of monetary policy on economic activity. Third, the model shows that the risk factor (probability of success) for both high and low risk borrowers plays an important role in determining the magnitude by which macroeconomic indicators respond to shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Harold Ngalawa & Nicola Viegi, 2013. "Interaction of Formal and Informal Financial Markets in Quasi-Emerging Market Economies," Working Papers 201306, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pre:wpaper:201306

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Adnan Haider & Musleh ud Din & Ejaz Ghani, 2012. "Monetary Policy, Informality and Business Cycle Fluctuations in a Developing Economy Vulnerable to External Shocks," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 51(4), pages 609-681.
    2. Nicoletta Batini & Paul Levine & Emanuela Lotti & Bo Yang, 2011. "Informality, Frictions and Monetary Policy," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0711, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    3. repec:nbp:nbpbik:v:47:y:2016:i:6:p:395-434 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Manoel Bittencourt & Chance Mwabutwa & Nicola Viegi, 2012. "Financial Reforms and Consumption Behaviour in Malawi," Working Papers 201210, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    5. Chance Mwabutwa & Nicola Viegi & Manoel Bittencourt, 2012. "Monetary Policy Response to Capital Inflows in Form of Foreign Aid in Malawi," Working Papers 201232, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    6. Chance Ngamanya Mwabutwa & Nicola Viegi & Manoel Bittencourt, 2016. "Evolution Of Monetary Policy Transmission Mechanism In Malawi: A Tvp-Var Approach," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 41(1), pages 33-55, March.
    7. Duo Qin & Zhong Xu & Xue-Chun Zhang, 2013. "How Much Has Private Credit Lending Reacted to Monetary Policy in China? The Case of Wenzhou," Working Papers 178, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    8. Lahkar, Ratul & Pingali, Viswanath, 2016. "Expansion and welfare in microfinance: A screening model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-7.
    9. Jan Przystupa, & Ewa Wróbel, 2015. "Modelling less developed emerging markets:the case of monetary transmission in Tunisia," NBP Working Papers 211, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.

    More about this item


    Informal financial sector; formal financial sector; monetary policy; general equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E47 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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