New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2009‒07‒11
five papers chosen by
Aastha Pudasainee and Olivier Dagnelie

  1. Targeting the Poorest in Microfinance: Poverty Outreach of BDP Ultra Poor Programme By Proloy Barua
  2. Measuring the Impact of Microfinance on Child Health Outcomes in Indonesia By Steve DeLoach; Erika Lamanna
  3. Is the BDP Ultra Poor Approach Working? Survey of Some Key Issues By Proloy Barua
  4. The Impact of Skill Development and Human Capital Training on Self Help Groups. By Bali Swain, Ranjula
  5. Barriers to household risk management: evidence from India By Shawn Cole; Xavier Giné; Jeremy Tobacman; Petia Topalova; Robert Townsend; James Vickery

  1. By: Proloy Barua
    Abstract: Despite the general consensus that microfinance does not reach the poorest; recent evidence suggests that nearly 15% of microfinance clients in Bangladesh are among the poorest. It is from the realization that even within the existing microfinance membership of BRAC, there is a significant percentage of the poorest; the CFPR-TUP programme has included a special focus on this segment of the poor what it calls the ‘BDP ultra poor’. So, BDP ultra poor are those struggling members of existing village organization (VO) or very poor households in a village who with some additional support can more fully participate and benefit from microfinance services. This study attempts to assess the targeting effectiveness of the BDP ultra poor programme by measuring relative poverty of BDP ultra poor[CFPR/TUP Working Paper Series No. 13]
    Keywords: microfinance; BDP ULTRA POOR PROGRAMME; Houseold categories; poverty index; Benchmark indicator; PCA
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Steve DeLoach (Department of Economics, Elon University); Erika Lamanna (Department of Economics, Elon University)
    Abstract: Access to credit has become a staple of modern development policy as a means to facilitate anything from gender equality to growth. In economic terms, it provides an important tool for smoothing household consumption in the wake of unexpected economic shocks, including drought and financial crises. Using data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey (1993-2000), this paper investigates whether access to microfinance institutions affects child health outcomes. Specifically, we estimate a difference-in-differences model to test whether a change in the availability of microfinance institutions at the community level affects the average weight gain of young children.
    Keywords: Microfinance, child health, nutrition, Indonesia
    JEL: G21 I1 J13
    Date: 2009–06–19
  3. By: Proloy Barua
    Abstract: The objectives of this paper are to assess the knowledge retention on IGA training, and to explore the quality of participation in financial and non-financial services by the BDP ultra poor. We found that participants’ engagement in the IGA, their self-interest, training settings and number of training participants have strong association with the level of knowledge retention. The quality of microfinance participation of BDP ultra poor is encouraging in terms of increasing their regularity of microfinance involvement. The borrower member ratio of the BDP ultra poor who were recruited in 2003 is now over 85%, which is the industry standard. Such high borrower member ratio results from regular borrowing of the members, a reflection of their quality of participation.[CFPR Working Paper Series No. 16]
    Keywords: BDP ultra poor; IGA training; microfinance participation; IGA TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE RETENTION; non financial services
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Bali Swain, Ranjula (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We evaluate the effect of training, in both skill development and human capital, provided by facilitators of self help groups (SHGs). Indian SHGs are unique in that they are mainly NGOformed microfinance groups but later funded by commercial banks. The results suggest that, in general, training does not impact assets but training can reverse the potentially negative effect of credit on income. Moreover, training is more effective for asset accumulation in villages with better infrastructure. In terms of training delivery, results show that the most effective linkage is when NGOs form groups and banks finance SHGs.
    Keywords: Asia; India; microfinance; impact studies; training; Self Help Groups
    JEL: G21 I32 O12
    Date: 2009–07–01
  5. By: Shawn Cole; Xavier Giné; Jeremy Tobacman; Petia Topalova; Robert Townsend; James Vickery
    Abstract: Financial engineering offers the potential to significantly reduce the consumption fluctuations faced by individuals, households, and firms. Yet much of this potential remains unfulfilled. This paper studies the adoption of an innovative rainfall insurance product designed to compensate low-income Indian farmers in the event of insufficient rainfall during the primary monsoon season. We first document relatively low adoption of this new risk management product: Only 5-10 percent of households purchase the insurance, even though they overwhelmingly cite rainfall variability as their most significant source of risk. We then conduct a series of randomized field experiments to test theories of why product adoption is so low. Insurance purchase is sensitive to price, with an estimated extensive price elasticity of demand ranging between -.66 and -0.88. Credit constraints, identified through the provision of random liquidity shocks, are a key barrier to participation, a result also consistent with household self-reports. Several experiments find that trust plays an important role in the decision to purchase insurance. We find mixed evidence that subtle psychological manipulations affect purchases and no evidence that modest attempts at financial education change households' decisions to participate. Based on our experimental results, we suggest preliminary lessons for improving the design of household risk management contracts.
    Keywords: Households - Economic aspects ; Insurance ; Risk management
    Date: 2009

This issue is ©2009 by Aastha Pudasainee and Olivier Dagnelie. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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