Social Connections and Group Banking

40 Pages Posted: 20 May 2008

See all articles by Dean S. Karlan

Dean S. Karlan

Yale University; Innovations for Poverty Action; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Date Written: March 2007

Abstract

Lending to the poor is expensive due to high screening, monitoring, and enforcement costs. Group lending advocates believe lenders overcome this by harnessing social connections. Using data from FINCA-Peru, I exploit a quasi random group formation process to find evidence of peers successfully monitoring and enforcing joint-liability loans. Individuals with stronger social connections to their fellow group members (i.e., either living closer or being of a similar culture) have higher repayment and higher savings. Furthermore, I observe direct evidence that relationships deteriorate after default, and that through successful monitoring, individuals know who to punish and who not to punish after default.

Keywords: Group lending, informal savings, microfinance, social capital

JEL Classification: O12, O16, O17, Z13

Suggested Citation

Karlan, Dean S., Social Connections and Group Banking (March 2007). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6194. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1134235

Dean S. Karlan (Contact Author)

Yale University ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States

Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )

1731 Connecticut Ave, 4th floor
New Haven, CT 20009
United States

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab ( email )

E60-246
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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