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Who cares about your Facebook friends? Credit scoring for microfinance

Sofie de Cnudde, Julie Moeyersoms, Marija Stankova, Ellen Tobback, Vinayak Javaly and David Martens

Working Papers from University of Antwerp, Faculty of Business and Economics

Abstract: Microfinance has known a large increase in popularity, yet the scoring of such credit still remains a difficult challenge. In general, retail credit scoring uses socio-demographic and credit data. We complement such data with social network data in an innovative manner i.e. with fine-grained interest and social network data from Facebook. Using a unique dataset of 4,985 microfinance loans from the Philippines, we show how the different data types can predict creditworthiness. A distinction is made between the relationships that the available data imply: (1) look-a-likes are persons who resemble one another in some manner, be it liking the same pages, having the same education, etc. (2) friends have a clearly articulated friendship relationship on Facebook, and finally (3) the \Best Friends Forever" (BFFs) are friends that interact with one another. Our analyses show two interesting conclusions for this emerging application. Firstly, applying relational learners on BFF data yields better results than considering only the friends data. Secondly, the interest-based data that defines look-a-likes, is more predictive than the friendship or BFF data. Moreover, the model built on interest data is not significantly worse than the model that uses all available data, including the friendship data. Hence begging the question: who cares about your Facebook friends when your interest data is available?

Keywords: Networks; Data mining; Default prediction; Microcredit (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 12 pages
Date: 2015-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mfd, nep-sea and nep-soc
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4)

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