Crowdlending Behaviors in the Aftermath of a Crisis: Evidence From a Natural Experiment Journal Article uri icon



  • Natural disasters and disease outbreaks cause substantial social turbulence and economic damage. The survival and continued operation of local small businesses and entrepreneurs are critical to the development activities in post-disaster recovery. However, these small businesses and entrepreneurs face greater challenges in accessing funding through traditional channels during a crisis. Crowdlending, also known as peer-to-peer microfinancing, has been successfully used to bypass traditional channels and raise funds directly from crowd lenders. However, it is unclear if such platforms can also be effectively used in the aftermath of crises, given that disasters induce both prosocial motivations and risk considerations in lender responses. To understand the operational implications of crowdlending for small businesses, we examine how crowdlenders respond to loan requests during a crisis and what factors moderate their responses. Drawing on the literature on disaster management and crowdlending, we hypothesize that lenders respond positively to loan requests from crisis-affected areas, and such responses are moderated by fundraising objectives and the lender's national culture. With observational data from an influential crowdlending platform and the 2014 Ebola outbreak as the treatment in a natural experiment design, we find that, on average, lenders respond positively to loan requests from crisis-affected areas, and they tend to favor loan requests emphasizing economic rather than social objectives. Furthermore, lenders from collectivistic cultures are more likely to respond positively during a crisis than lenders from individualistic ones. Our study contributes to research and practice in disaster management, particularly small business operations management during crises, by showing that crowdlending can be a useful fundraising channel for small businesses, which is meaningful for post-disaster economic development and recovery. We also offer implications for the recent conversation on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by analyzing and discussing the similarities and differences between the Ebola outbreak and the COVID-19 pandemic.

publication date

  • January 1, 2024

has restriction

  • hybrid

Date in CU Experts

  • February 21, 2024 1:10 AM

Full Author List

  • Wang Z; Yang L; Karamshetty V; Hahn J

author count

  • 4

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1059-1478

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1937-5956

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 243

end page

  • 263


  • 33


  • 1