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Cosigned Or Group Loans




We analyze lending contracts when social sanctions are used to enforce repayments and borrowers differ in their unobserved sanctioning abilities. Symmetric group loans are preferred to cosigned loans when borrowers are relatively equal, and cosigned loans are preferred when borrowers are unequal. This explains why microlenders that target the poor (e.g., the Grameen Bank) use symmetric group loans while other untargeted lenders use cosigned loans. Complicated menus of loan contracts that induce borrowers to self select can do no better than these simple loan contracts unless borrowers are very productive. In particular, we explain why group lending arrangements offering different loan terms to members of the same group are seldom observed.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Bond & Ashok S. Rai, 2004. "Cosigned Or Group Loans," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-08, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2004-08

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2002. "Informal Insurance Arrangements with Limited Commitment: Theory and Evidence from Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 209-244.
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    More about this item


    Microcredit; Social Sanctions; Grameen Bank;

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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