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Credit constraints and their impact on farm household welfare.
02/05/18 02:45PM
Minh Chau Tran, Christopher E. C. Gan and Baiding Hu. International Journal of Social Economics, 2016, volume 43, number 8, pp. 782-803.

Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify factors affecting formal credit constraint status of rural farm households in Vietnam’s North Central Coast (NCC) region. Design/methodology/approach – Using the direct elicitation method (DEM), the authors consider both internal and external credit rationing. Findings – Empirical evidences confirm the importance of household head’s age, gender and education to household’s likelihood of being credit constrained. In addition, households who have advantages in farm land size, labour resources and non-farm income are less likely to be credit constrained. Poor households are observed to remain restricted by formal credit institutions. Results from the endogenous switching regression model suggest that credit constraints negatively impact household’s consumption per capita and informal credit can act as a substitute to mitigate the negative influence of formal credit constraints. Research limitations/implications – One limitation arises from the usage of the DEM to identify credit constrained households. The method cannot detect effective and ineffective constraints. Another limitation is the inability of cross-section data to capture long-term impacts of credit constraints on household welfare. Finally, causes of credit constraints from the lender’s view cannot be observed. Practical implications – The results suggest that it is necessary to enhance the credit allocation regime to reduce the transaction cost and provide target households with sufficient credit. It should be emphasized that high transaction cost and the mismatch between credit demand and supply stemming from information asymmetry. The government can help formal financial institutions to reduce information cost by encouraging the active role of social organizations such as Women Unions, Youth Unions and Veteran Unions in bridging rural farm households with formal lenders. Originality/value – There are limited studies focusing on determinants of credit constraints and their impacts on rural farm households. To the best of the knowledge, there is no study evaluating the impact of credit constraints on rural farm household welfare particularly in Vietnam. In addition, the studies related to credit constraints only considered full quantity rationing (households applied for the loan but were rejected), omitting the case of partly quantity rationing (loan obtained by the borrowers is less than their demand) and self-rationing.

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