Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine the extent of risk rationing among potential rural borrowers in Mexico and China. Design/methodology/approach – Using primary survey data from 730 farm households in the Shaanxi province of China and from 372 farmers in northeastern Mexico, the authors investigate factors associated with risk rationed, price rationed and quantity rationed farmers. The survey was instrumented to self‐identify borrower typologies. In addition the authors created within the survey a discrete‐choice credit demand build to determine borrower credit demand elasticities. The analysis applies a linear probability which the authors found to be consistent with multinomial and binary logit models. Findings – The authors find in China the incidence of risk rationing in farmers to be 6.5, 14 percent for quantity rationed and 80 percent for price rationed. In Mexico, 35 percent of the sample is risk rationed, 10 percent quantity rationed and 55 percent price rationed. The results from China support the hypothesis that the financially poor are more likely to be quantity rationed; in Mexico, however, the level of education is found to be important in determining quantity rationed. In both countries, asset wealthy farmers are less likely to be risk rationed; however, income does not appear to have an impact. The paper provides evidence that the elasticity of demand for credit is different among the three credit rationed groups: risk rationed, price rationed and quantity rationed. Risk aversion and prudence are significantly correlated with risk rationing in China, while only risk aversion is significant in Mexico. The results suggest that efforts to enhance credit access must also deal with risk and risk perceptions. Practical implications – Risk rationing is an important concept in the understanding of rural credit markets. The findings that only 6.5 and 35 percent of Chinese and Mexican farmers are in stark contrast to each other. For agricultural economies such as Mexico with a significant number of farmers being risk rationing, more effort should be put into financial education and financial practices, including perhaps the use of risk‐contingent credit to remove collateral risk. As property rights in China evolve, and new laws are promulgated to permit borrowing against land use rights, the collateralization issue will become much more important in rural credit markets. Originality/value – This paper is the first to investigate risk rationing in China and Mexico and one of the few research studies empirically investigating risk rationing. A comparative analysis of Mexico and China is enlightening because of the structural differences in the respective agricultural economies. The use of a credit demand build and the enumeration of individual credit demand elasticities is an original contribution to this literature.
Agricultural Finance Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 2014
Keywords: China; Mexico; Agricultural finance; Credit rationing; Credit demand elasticities; Risk rationing
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