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When Is the Optimal Lending Contract in Microfinance State Non-Contingent?

  • Jeon, Doh-Shin
  • Menicucci, Domenico

Whether a microfinance institution should use a state-contingent repayment or not is very important since a state-contingent loan can provide insurance for borrowers. However, the classic Grameen bank used state non-contingent repayment, which is puzzling since it forces poor borrowers to make their payments even under hard circumstances. This paper provides an explanation to this puzzle. We consider two modes of lending, group and individual lending, and for each mode we characterize the optimal lending and supervisory contracts when a staff member (a supervisor) can embezzle borrowers' repayments by misrepresenting realized returns. We identify the main trade-off between the insurance gain and the cost of controlling the supervisor's misbehavior. We also found that group lending dominates individual lending either by providing more insurance or by saving audit costs.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 10-146.

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Date of creation: 09 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:22432
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  1. Kofman, F. & Lawarree, J., 1990. "Collusion in Hierarchical Agency," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-01, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  2. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
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  8. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Menicucci, Domenico, 2010. "When Is the Optimal Lending Contract in Microfinance State Non-Contingent?," TSE Working Papers 10-146, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  9. Jain, Sanjay & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2003. "A little at a time: the use of regularly scheduled repayments in microfinance programs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 253-279, October.
  10. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  11. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & N'Guessan, Tchetche, 2000. "Group lending with adverse selection," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 773-784, May.
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  14. MkNelly, Barbara & Kevane, Michael, 2002. "Improving Design and Performance of Group Lending: Suggestions from Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2017-2032, November.
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  17. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
  18. de Aghion, Beatriz Armendariz & Gollier, Christian, 2000. "Peer Group Formation in an Adverse Selection Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 632-43, July.
  19. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Rey, Patrick, 2003. "Moral Hazard, Collusion and Group Lending," IDEI Working Papers 122, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  20. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  21. Armendariz de Aghion, Beatriz, 1999. "On the design of a credit agreement with peer monitoring," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 79-104, October.
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  23. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Peer Monitoring and Credit Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 351-66, September.
  24. Che Yeon-Koo, 2002. "Joint Liability and Peer Monitoring under Group Lending," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-28, July.
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