Journal of Finance and Economics
ISSN (Print): 2328-7284 ISSN (Online): 2328-7276 Website: Editor-in-chief: Suman Banerjee
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Journal of Finance and Economics. 2018, 6(6), 242-249
DOI: 10.12691/jfe-6-6-6
Open AccessArticle

A Hidden Markov Model of Risk Classification among the Low Income Earners

Davis Bundi Ntwiga1, , Carolyne Ogutu1, Michael Kiura Kirumbu2 and Patrick Weke1

1School of Mathematics, University of Nairobi

2School of Sciences and Engineering, Daystar University

Pub. Date: December 18, 2018

Cite this paper:
Davis Bundi Ntwiga, Carolyne Ogutu, Michael Kiura Kirumbu and Patrick Weke. A Hidden Markov Model of Risk Classification among the Low Income Earners. Journal of Finance and Economics. 2018; 6(6):242-249. doi: 10.12691/jfe-6-6-6


Low income earners have volatile incomes and most financial providers shun this group of borrowers even though they are motivated in managing the limited resources they have through savings and investments as a means to lower the fluctuations of their income. Peer groupings of the low income earners can assist in pooling the resources they have and improve the group risk mitigation process as group members act like social collateral in credit lending. The study used Kenya Kenya Financial Diaries data of from households to analyze and understand the credit quality levels and credit scores of peer groups versus individuals among men and women. Hidden Markov model classified the low income earners into credit risk profiles wih a view of understanding the role of groups in low income group lending. Peer groups diversify risk inherent in individual borrowers with women only groups having higher credit quality levels as compared to men only groups. Women and their respective peer groups are more stable with less variability as compared to men. Financial technology providers can incorporate the wide array of soft information to lend to low income earners through mobile based peer groups.

credit score hidden Markov model men women peer groups credit quality risk classification and low income earners

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