Social networks and credit access in Indonesia

Type Journal Article - World Development
Title Social networks and credit access in Indonesia
Volume 32
Issue 7
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
Page numbers 1225-1246
In this paper, we investigate how family and community networks affect an individual's access to credit institutions using new data from the Indonesia Family Life Surveys. Our theoretical framework emphasizes the family and community's role in providing information, thus lowering the search costs of the borrower and monitoring and enforcement costs for the lender. From our empirical results, community and family networks are important in knowing a place to borrow, as well as for loan approval. Consistent with an information-based explanation of networks, family and community networks have a larger impact on credit awareness of new credit institutions with a lower impact on awareness of established credit sources. Interestingly, we find that women benefit from participating in community networks more than men. There is no evidence that the rich benefit from community networks more than the poor. Our results on the benefits from participation in the community network are robust to the inclusion of community fixed effects.

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