Credit markets in northern nigeria: Credit as insurance in a rural economy

Christopher Udry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


This article addresses the issues of incomplete markets and imperfect information in the context of credit markets in rural northern Nigeria. In much recent theoretical literature, the problems of moral hazard and adverse selection are assumed to be decisive for the organization of agrarian institutions. In contrast, it is found that in the four villages surveyed credit transactions take advantage of the free flow of information within rural communities. Information asymmetries between borrower and lender are unimportant, and their institutional consequences-the use of collateral and interlinked contracts-are absent. Credit transactions play a direct role in pooling risk between households through the use of contracts in which the repayment owed by the borrower depends on the realization of random production shocks by both the borrower and the lender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-269
Number of pages19
JournalWorld Bank Economic Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Development
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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