Financing Smallholder Agriculture: An Experiment with Agent-Intermediated Microloans in India

Pushkar Maitra, Sandip Mitra, Dilip Mookherjee, Alberto Motta, Sujata Visaria


In this paper, the authors explore the hypothesis that traditional joint-liability microfinance programs fail to increase borrower incomes in part because they cannot screen out unproductive borrowers. In randomly selected villages in West Bengal, India, a study was implemented in which local trader-lender agents were incentivized through repayment-based commissions to select borrowers for individual liability loans. In other randomly selected villages, a group-based lending (GBL) program was organised in which individuals formed 5-member groups and received joint liability loans.


Journal Article

Thematic Area

Financial Well-being and Social Protection