Fragmented Credit Markets

Pranab Bardhan and Christopher Udry

in Development Microeconomics

Published in print May 1999 | ISBN: 9780198773719
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191595929 | DOI:
 Fragmented Credit Markets

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One aspect of financial markets that is of great relevance to economic development is the study of credit mechanism design by lenders facing private information. This chapter first develops a model of moral hazard in a rural credit market, beginning with the benchmark case of perfect competition under complete information. It then compares the loan contract offered by non‐local lenders who cannot monitor payoff‐relevant actions of borrowers with that offered by an informed local monopolistic moneylender and examines what happens in a fragmented market where villagers can choose between either contract. The next section develops, along similar lines, a model of adverse selection. The inefficiencies arising in these contracts, the potential mitigating role of collateral, and the possibility of local moneylenders earning informational rent are lessons that emerge from these models.

Keywords: adverse selection; collateral; financial markets; fragmented market; inefficiency; information; loan contract; mechanism design; moral hazard; rural credit market

Chapter.  7752 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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