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Defining Social Collateral in Microfinance Group Lending

  • Luminita Postelnicu
  • Niels Hermes
  • Ariane Szafarz

Microfinance group lending with joint liability allows asset-poor individuals to replace physical collateral by social collateral. The literature on microfinance lacks a rigid framework for analyzing the consequences of using social collateral for borrowing behavior and repayment. This paper fills the gap by providing a theoretical framework to evaluate the impact of social collateral pledged by group borrowers on group lending repayment. Our approach is novel as we take into account the external ties of group borrowers, i.e. the social ties linking borrowers to non-borrowers from their community, whereas previous work in this field has looked solely at internal ties (i.e. between group members). One of the important features of our model is that we stress the impact of network configuration on the amount of social collateral pledged. Our model shows why the group lending methodology works better in rural areas than in urban areas, namely because rural social networks are typically denser than urban ones, which results in higher social collateral.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 13-050.

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Length: 31 p.
Date of creation: 19 Dec 2013
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Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/152950
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  12. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Roy Mersland & Ariane Szafarz & Marc Labie, 2011. "Discrimination by Microcredit Officers:Theory and Evidence on Disability in Uganda," DULBEA Working Papers 11-06, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Sudipta Sarangi & Moh'd Al-Azzam & R. Carter Hill, . "Repayment Performance in Group Lending: Evidence from Jordan," Departmental Working Papers 2011-09, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
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  17. Jessica Schicks, 2013. "The Sacrifices of Micro-Borrowers in Ghana -- A Customer-Protection Perspective on Measuring Over-Indebtedness," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(9), pages 1238-1255, September.
  18. Niels Hermes & Robert Lensink & Habteab Mehrteab, 2006. "Does the Group Leader Matter? The Impact of Monitoring Activities and Social Ties of Group Leaders on the Repayment Performance of Group‐based Lending in Eritrea," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 18(1), pages 72-97.
  19. van Bastelaer, Thierry & Leathers, Howard, 2006. "Trust in Lending: Social Capital and Joint Liability Seed Loans in Southern Zambia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1788-1807, October.
  20. Thomas Dufhues & Gertrud Buchenrieder & Nuchanata Munkung, 2013. "Social Capital and Market Imperfections: Accessing Formal Credit in Thailand," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(1), pages 54-75, March.
  21. Godquin, Marie, 2004. "Microfinance Repayment Performance in Bangladesh: How to Improve the Allocation of Loans by MFIs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1909-1926, November.
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