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Grameen bank lending : does group liability matter ?

  • Khandker, Shahidur R.

Competing theories increasingly support the positive role of social capital in small loan default costs of group lending; at the same time, potential group collusion may increase loan delinquencies. Findings from the available literature are mixed on the role of the various attributes of group lending. But past studies suffer from estimation bias due to the unobserved sorting behavior of group members and their other attributes. This paper attempts to resolve that estimation bias by utilizing longitudinal data from 297 Grameen Bank groups since their inceptions. A dynamic lagged dependent model with correction for time-varying heterogeneity of group and individual behavior is applied to estimate the effect of group liability in the Grameen Bank. The results suggest that group liability matters in both loan disbursement and repayment, with women less of a credit risk than men and women's groups more homogeneous than men's. Finally, the benefits of social capital outweigh the costs of group collusion, especially for women's groups, thereby reducing overall default rates. The risk-pooling behavior of diverse men's groups increases men's repayment behavior. Overall, group lending as practiced by Grameen Bank appears to increase repayment rates.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6204.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6204
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  1. Al-Azzam, Moh'd & Carter Hill, R. & Sarangi, Sudipta, 2012. "Repayment performance in group lending: Evidence from Jordan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 404-414.
  2. Dean Karlan & Xavier Giné, 2007. "Group Versus Individual Liability: A Field Experiment in the Philippines," Working Papers 111, Center for Global Development.
  3. repec:oup:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:2:p:491-515 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. 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.
  5. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
  6. Conning, Jonathan, 1999. "Outreach, sustainability and leverage in monitored and peer-monitored lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 51-77, October.
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