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Social Capital and Group Banking

Author

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  • Dean S. Karlan

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

Lending to the poor is expensive due to high screening, monitoring, and enforcement costs. Group lending advocates believe lenders overcome this by harnessing social connections. Using data from FINCA-Peru, I exploit a quasirandom group formation process to find evidence of peers successfully monitoring and enforcing joint-liability loans. Individuals with stronger social connections to their fellow group members (i.e., either living closer or being of a similar culture) have higher repayment and higher savings. Furthermore, I observe direct evidence that relationships deteriorate after default, and that through successful monitoring, individuals know who to punish and who not to punish after default.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Social Capital and Group Banking," Working Papers 181, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:rpdevs:karlan_d_soccap_grp_bankingpaper.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2000. "Screening by the Company You Keep: Joint Liability Lending and the Peer Selection Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 601-631, July.
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    6. Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "The role of subsidies in microfinance: evidence from the Grameen Bank," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 229-248, October.
    7. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Guinnane, Timothy W., 1999. "The economics of lending with joint liability: theory and practice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 195-228, October.
    8. Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Kin Groups and Reciprocity: A Model of Credit Transactions in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1730-1751, December.
    9. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
    10. Yaron, Jacob, 1994. "What Makes Rural Finance Institutions Successful?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(1), pages 49-70, January.
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    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahlin, Christian & Jiang, Neville, 2008. "Can micro-credit bring development?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 1-21, April.
    2. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1688-1699, December.
    3. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Smyth, Russell, 2017. "Ethnic Diversity and Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 285-302.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    microfinance; group lending; informal savings; social capital; Peru;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • 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
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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