Financing from Family and Friends
New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Stanford University; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)
May 1, 2013
NYU Stern Working Paper FIN-12-007
IFN Working Paper No. 933
ECGI - Finance Working Paper No. 358
Informal finance is often believed to be expensive and in limited supply. But most informal investors -- family and friends -- offer funds cheaply; and yet, borrowers seem to prefer formal finance. We explain this in a model of external finance that assumes social preferences between family and friends. Social preferences make informal finance cheap, but amplify the entrepreneur's aversion to failure, dissuading risk taking and stifling investment demand. Even counterparties with social ties can therefore benefit from formal contracts. This is pertinent to the limited success of group-based microfinance in generating entrepreneurial growth, and to the emergence of social lending intermediaries.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 57
Keywords: Informal finance, family loans, peer-to-peer lending, small business lending, entrepreneurial finance, microfinance, missing middle, financing gap, risk capital, social ties, altruism, social collateral
JEL Classification: G32, G21, O16, O17, D19, D64
Date posted: June 19, 2012 ; Last revised: January 9, 2015
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