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Keywords:

  • Latin America;
  • Nicaragua;
  • microfinance;
  • joint liability lending;
  • credit rationing;
  • loan size

Abstract

Joint liability microcredit lending employs members' trust and social networks to screen and monitor members. Lenders may use this information along with a formal application to determine the size and terms of the loan they disburse. Yet it is unclear what factors influence loan size. This paper examines two questions related to credit consumption: the size of loans disbursed and whether the borrower was credit rationed, using a sample of clients from Nicaragua. Findings suggest that borrower assets, gender and length of time with the lending institution influence the size of loans received. Recent evidence has also suggested that credit rationing may be related to loan officer discrimination, although evidence for this and other factors here is not clear. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.