Laura Straeter, Jessica Exton, 23 September 2018

Although money may be a taboo topic amongst friends, one’s social networks can offer help in times of personal financial straits. This column examines people’s willingness to borrow money from or lend to close friends for everyday purchases and finds that friends are much more willing to lend than to ask to borrow, and that this gap between borrower and lender widens as requests are repeated. Ensuring that there is occasion for reciprocation and using technological tools to regulate the peer-to-peer loan may help improve this suboptimal informal lending market.

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