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Repaying Microcredit Loans: A Natural Experiment on Liability Structure

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  • Mahreen Mahmud

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Abstract

Microcredit loans were traditionally extended to groups of people. However, there is no clear evidence that joint liability does lead to better borrower performance and recent years have seen a shift towards individual liability lending. Utilizing the exogenous shift from individual to joint liability lending by a microfinance organization in Pakistan, we find evidence of significant improvement in borrower discipline. Borrowers are about 0.6 times as likely to miss a payment in any given month under joint liability relative to individual liability. We also use the exogenous variation in number of months borrowers had till the expiry of their individual liability loans at the time of the shift to study the kind of groups they formed. More time that borrowers had, the more likely they were to form groups with people they knew from before and met weekly. The time that borrower had to form group also correlated positively with borrower discipline.

Suggested Citation

  • Mahreen Mahmud, 2015. "Repaying Microcredit Loans: A Natural Experiment on Liability Structure," Studies in Economics 1509, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:1509
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    Cited by:

    1. de Quidt, Jonathan & Fetzer, Thiemo & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2018. "Commercialization and the decline of joint liability microcredit," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 209-225.
    2. Mahmud, Mahreen & Wahhaj, Zaki, 2019. "Charitable giving or signalling? Voluntary contributions by microcredit borrowers in Pakistan," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 394-415.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Microfinance; Group lending; Joint liability;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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