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

  • Harold P.E. Ngalawa and Nicola Viegi

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.

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Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 326.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:326
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  1. Basab Dasgupta, 2004. "Capital Accumulation in the Presence of Informal Credit Contracts: Does the Incentive Mechanism Work Better than Credit Rationing Under Asymmetric Information?," Working papers 2004-32, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Steel, William F. & Aryeetey, Ernest & Hettige, Hemamala & Nissanke, Machiko, 1997. "Informal financial markets under liberalization in four African countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 817-830, May.
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  8. Bolnick, Bruce R., 1992. "Moneylenders and informal financial markets in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 57-68, January.
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  13. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  14. Chipeta, C. & Mkandawire, M.L.C., 1992. "Links Between the Informal and Formal/semi-Formal Financial Sectors in Malawi," Papers 14, African Economic Research Consortium.
  15. N. G. Mankiw., 2009. "The Macroeconomist as Scientist and Engineer," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
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  17. Bell, Clive, 1990. "Interactions between Institutional and Informal Credit Agencies in Rural India," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 297-327, September.
  18. Ambler, Steve & Paquet, Alain, 1994. "Stochastic Depreciation and the Business Cycle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 101-16, February.
  19. Benhabib, Jess & Carlstrom, Charles T. & Fuerst, Timothy S., 2005. "Introduction to monetary policy and capital accumulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 1-3, July.
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