New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2013‒02‒16
five papers chosen by
Aastha Pudasainee and Olivier Dagnelie

  1. Does Microfinance Alleviate the Financing Constraints of Ghanaian Small Businesses? By Quaye, Frederick Murdoch; Hartarska, Valentina M.
  2. Microcredit impact in Kyrgyzstan: A Case Study By Angioloni, Simone; Kudabaev, Zarylbek; Ames, Glenn C.W.; Wetzstein, Michael E.
  3. Poverty Outreach in Southern and Northern Ghana By Sheremenko, Ganna; Florkowski, Wojciech J.; Klepacka, Anna M.
  4. What are we learning from business training and entrepreneurship evaluations around the developing world? By McKenzie, David; Woodruff, Christopher
  5. Understanding and Information Failures: Lessons from a Health Microinsurance Program in India By Jean Philippe Platteau; Darwin Ugarte Ontiveros

  1. By: Quaye, Frederick Murdoch; Hartarska, Valentina M.
    Abstract: The paper examines the impact of MFIs on microenterprises in Ghana. Employing the financing constraints approach and using 2007 BEEPS data, supported with a Propensity Score Matching method, results indicate that unconstrained microenterprises are less sensitive to internal funds and thus MFIs have alleviated financing constraints to an appreciable level.
    Keywords: Microfinance, Financing Constraints, Cash flow sensitivity, Investment, Internal funds, Agricultural Finance, Financial Economics, G21,
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Angioloni, Simone; Kudabaev, Zarylbek; Ames, Glenn C.W.; Wetzstein, Michael E.
    Abstract: Microcredit has expanded rapidly since its beginnings in the last 1970s, but whether and how much it reduces poverty is the subject of intense debate. Generally it depends on how the program is implemented and the set of policies that regulate it. In this spirit, microcredit impacts in the Kyrgyz Republic are investigated and a modest program evaluation undertaken, using a data set of 5012 households from the Kyrgyzstan Integrated Household Survey (KIHS) that covers 2006-2010. Microfinance is used to fight the poverty, buying food, and to start a new business and less for buying some Results indicate a good targeting of microfinance with respect to education, family size and age, but a reverse targeting for the income. Finally, a test on the impact of microfinance on the income generation was not significant.
    Keywords: microcredit, microfinance, Kyrgyzstan Republic, Consumer/Household Economics, Financial Economics, Food Security and Poverty, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, International Development, G21, F30,
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Sheremenko, Ganna; Florkowski, Wojciech J.; Klepacka, Anna M.
    Abstract: This paper examines financial sustainability and social outreach determinants of microfinance institutions’ (MFIs) performance in the Southern and Northern parts of Ghana using the Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) as the estimation technique. Results suggest that although MFIs in both parts of Ghana are profit-driven, they are expected to improve poverty outreach as they expand their clientele.
    Keywords: Microfinance institution, Ghana, SUR, Financial sustainability, Social (poverty) outreach, Agricultural Finance, Community/Rural/Urban Development, G20, G21,
    Date: 2013
  4. By: McKenzie, David (World Bank); Woodruff, Christopher (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Business training programs are a popular policy option to try to improve the performance of enterprises around the world. The last few years have seen rapid growth in the number of evaluations of these programs in developing countries. We undertake a critical review of these studies with the goal of synthesizing the emerging lessons and understanding the limitations of the existing research and the areas in which more work is needed. We find that there is substantial heterogeneity in the length, content, and types of firms participating in the training programs evaluated. Many evaluations suffer from low statistical power, measure impacts only within a year of training, and experience problems with survey attrition and measurement of firm profits and revenues. Over these short time horizons, there are relatively modest impacts of training on survivorship of existing firms, but stronger evidence that training programs help prospective owners launch new businesses more quickly. Most studies find that existing firm owners implement some of the practices taught in training, but the magnitudes of these improvements in practices are often relatively modest. Few studies find significant impacts on profits or sales, although a couple of the studies with more statistical power have done so. Some studies have also found benefits to microfinance organizations of offering training. To date there is little evidence to help guide policymakers as to whether any impacts found come from trained firms competing away sales from other businesses versus through productivity improvements, and little evidence to guide the development of the provision of training at market prices. We conclude by summarizing some directions and key questions for future studies.
    Keywords: Business training; Consulting; Randomized experiments; Firm Productivity.
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Jean Philippe Platteau (University of Namur); Darwin Ugarte Ontiveros (University of Namur)
    Abstract: This paper is an attempt to understand the factors underlying the low take up and contract renewal rates frequently observed in insurance programs in poor countries. This is done on the basis of the experience of a microinsurance health program in India. We show that deficient information about the insurance product and the functioning of the scheme, poor understanding of the insurance concept, and the resulting low use of the insurance products by eligible households are the major causes of the low contract renewal rate among the households which has previously enrolled into the program. A particularly interesting finding is that, when a household has received a negative payout during the preceding year (the cost of the premium has exceeded the insurance benefits), it is more inclined to renew its participation if it has a better understanding of what insurance exactly means (a redistribution between lucky and unlucky individuals). Such a finding strongly suggests that the understanding failure is a key problem in attempts to provide insurance to poor people, and this problem is obviously more difficult to overcome than the largely supply-driven information failure. That economists have neglected the role of the understanding failure is apparent from the lack of attention to this aspect in recent theories aimed at improving our knowledge of human behavior toward risk. Another central, policy-relevant finding of the study is that participation in previously constituted self-help groups has the effect of enhancing both the insurance take up and contract renewal rates. This points to the essential role of non-governmental organizations that operate at the grassroots level.
    Date: 2013–01

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