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Group lending with endogenous group size

Bourjade, Sylvain and Schindele, Ibolya (2011): Group lending with endogenous group size.

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the size of the borrower group in group lending. We show that, when social ties in a community enhance borrowers' incentives to exert effort, a profit-maximizing financier chooses a group of limited size. Borrowers that would be fundable under moral hazard but have insufficient social ties do not receive funding. The result arises because there is a trade-off between raising profits through increased group size and providing incentives for borrowers with less social ties. The result may explain why many micro-lending institutions and rural credit cooperatives lend to groups of small size.

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