The availability of credit has long occupied a central place in
development strategies. Rural credit institutions are more than an
instrument of intermediation, they also handle risk, mobilize and
disseminate information about market and technology. Given the
informational problems and innate disadvantages of rural credit
markets, the rationale for laissez-faire and liberalization is by
no means based on a sound understanding of the state's role in
redressing market failures. This study examines the rural credit
market in China, its impacts on agricultural transformation and the
state's role in the functioning of markets. The particular
objectives are to identify the determinants of credit rationing in
both formal and informal sectors, to show the extent of credit
rationing, to reveal the dynamic role of institutional lending in
agricultural transformation, and to understand the challenges in
developing efficient institutions.
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