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Creating Incentives for Micro-Credit Agents to Lend to the Poor

Cécile Aubert (), Alain de Janvry () and Elisabeth Sadoulet

No 25024, CUDARE Working Papers from University of California, Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Abstract: Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have introduced incentive pay schemes for their credit agents to induce information acquisition on borrowers. Bonuses linked to repayment are efficient for profit-oriented MFIs but insufficient for nonprofit MFIs trying to reach very poor borrowers, when repayment and wealth are positively correlated. We show that no incentive scheme is consistent with this (non-verifiable) objective: Random audits on the share of very poor borrowers selected by the agent become necessary. Under the optimal contract, non-profit MFIs generally maximize the number of poor borrowers it services by crosssubsidization between very poor and less poor borrowers.

Keywords: Financial Economics; Food Security and Poverty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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