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When do enterprises prefer informal credit ?

Author

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  • Safavian, Mehnaz
  • Wimpey, Joshua

Abstract

This paper tests the hypothesis that enterprises may forgo formal finance in lieu of informal credit by choice. They do so to avoid the additional regulatory scrutiny and harassment that engaging with the formal financial sector invites. We test this hypothesis using enterprise-level data on 3,564 enterprises in 29 countries. In this sample, enterprises finance approximately 57 percent of their working capital requirements with external finance. This external finance comes from formal sources, such as commercial banks (53 percent) and informal sources (42 percent), such as trade creditors, or family and friends. In our sample, 14 percent of enterprises rely exclusively on informal finance. We find that the likelihood of enterprises preferring to only use informal finance is inversely related to the quality of the regulatory environment, particularly the quality of tax administration and overall governance. For example, we find that when an enterprise has been asked for bribes by tax inspectors, it is 17 percent more likely to prefer informal finance.

Suggested Citation

  • Safavian, Mehnaz & Wimpey, Joshua, 2007. "When do enterprises prefer informal credit ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4435, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4435
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Finkelstein-Shapiro & Miguel Sarzosa, 2012. "Unemployement Protection for Informal Workers in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4542, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Bhavani, T.A. & Bhanumurthy, N.R., 2014. "Financial Access - Measurement and Determinants: A Case Study of Unorganised Manufacturing Enterprises in India," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 49(1), pages 85-108.
    3. Junko Koeda & Era Dabla-Norris, 2008. "Informality and Bank Credit; Evidence from Firm-Level Data," IMF Working Papers 08/94, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Access to Finance; Banks&Banking Reform; Debt Markets; Small and Medium Size Enterprises;

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