Entwicklung und Perspektive einer interdisziplinären Wissenschaft- Festschrift für Michael Adams-
Edited By Henning Curti and Tobias Effertz
Giving Credit to Credit – Finance and Banking - Robert Cooter and Hans-Bernd Schäfer
33 Giving Credit to Credit – Finance and Banking1 Robert Cooter and Hans-Bernd Schäfer In Afghanistan the wives of Pashtu herdsmen traditionally wear heavy silver bracelets to show off their beauty and to store the family’s savings. Robbing a woman provokes clan revenge feared by thieves, so women are good protectors of wealth. In India poor people developed another way to save — the “chit fund.” A small group of friends, say 12 of them, agree to meet each month for a year. At the first meeting in January, each one contributes $10 into a pot, re- ceives a chit, one chit is drawn at random, and the winner gets the pot of $120. In February the 12 people repeat this process, except January’s winner is ineli- gible to win. The process repeats itself each month until December, so everyone wins $120 exactly once. The monthly winner uses the money for a relatively large purchase – a bicycle, seed corn, a refrigerator, a television, or a wedding. How do silver bracelets and chit funds differ? The silver bracelets do not produce anything, like gold buried under the floor. In contrast the chit fund pro- duces something. To see why, suppose each of the 12 individuals buried $10 under the floor each month. At the year’s end, all 12 of them would have $120. In contrast, by forming a chit fund, 11 people get $120 before the end of the year and 1 person gets $120 at the year’s end. So the chit...
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