Social Heterogeneity and Local Bias in Peer-to-Peer Lending---Evidence from China
45 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2019 Last revised: 13 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 4, 2019
This paper investigates the presence of local bias in the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market and explores the social heterogeneous factors that may affect the formulation of the investor’s local bias. We find that local biases are commonly present among investors. Investors have a 9.3% higher probability and put 105% more money in lending to local borrowers. We also find that overinvesting in local loans is correlated with a higher default risk, lower recovery rate, and lower realized return, suggesting the underperformance of these locally biased investors. By taking advantage of the diverse local culture and institutional features in China, we further show that social heterogeneity, including geography, language, and social trust, affects the degree of local biases in the P2P lending market. We propose two debiasing techniques from the P2P platforms’ perspective.
Keywords: Peer-to-Peer Lending, Local Bias, Segmentation, Asymmetric Information, Social Trust
JEL Classification: G11, G18, G29, G41
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