City Research Online

Perverse cross-subsidization in the credit market

Coco, G. & Pignataro, G. (2011). Perverse cross-subsidization in the credit market (11/01). London, UK: Department of Economics, City University London.


We show how asymmetric information and borrowers' heterogeneity in wealth may produce equilibria in which, due to decreasing absolute risk aversion, hard working poor borrowers subsidize richer borrowers. In particular, a model of adverse selection and moral hazard in a competitive credit market is developed with private information on borrowers' wealth. Because of the ambiguous effect of decreasing risk aversion on the willingness to post collateral, both separating and pooling equilibria are possible in principle. Under separation the poor borrowers bear the cost of separation in terms of excessive risk taking. In a more likely pooling equilibrium poor hard-working borrowers subsidize richer ones.

Publication Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Additional Information: © 2011 the authors.
Publisher Keywords: poverty, cross-subsidization, pooling and separating equilibria, unobservable wealth
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Economics > Discussion Paper Series
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