New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2013‒10‒05
two papers chosen by
Aastha Pudasainee and Olivier Dagnelie

  1. Famine, Finance, and Adjustment to Environmental Shock: Microcredit and the Great Famine in Ireland By Goodspeed, Tyler
  2. Did Mobile Payments Make Difference in "Unbanked" Rural Communities? Empirical Evidence from the Electronic Money Transform System of the Bangladesh Post Office By Hun Myoung Park; Mohammad Tarikul Islam

  1. By: Goodspeed, Tyler
    Abstract: The Great Famine of Ireland from 1845-51 ranks as one of the most lethal of all time, claiming approximately one eighth of the country’s population. Utilizing Famine Relief Commission reports to develop a micro-level dataset of blight severity, I find that in the short run, districts more severely infected by blight experienced larger population declines and accumulations of buffer livestock. In the medium and long runs, however, worse affected districts experienced greater substitutions toward other tillage crops and grazing livestock. Using annual reports of the Irish Loan Funds, I further find that access to microfinance credit was an important factor in short- and long-run adjustment to blight. Districts with at least one microfinance fund during the Famine experienced substantially smaller population declines and larger increases in buffer livestock during and immediately after the Famine, and greater medium- and long-run substitutions toward other crops and grazing livestock, than districts without a fund.
    Keywords: microfinance, famine, development, economic history, agriculture, adjustment
    JEL: A1 N0 O1 Q0 Q00
    Date: 2013–07
  2. By: Hun Myoung Park (International University of University); Mohammad Tarikul Islam
    Abstract: This study illustrates that a technologically less sophisticated e-government application can be successful as long as it has a proper fit of task and technology. A mobile payment service EMTS of the Bangladesh Post Office reported a dramatic increase in the number of electronic money orders issued and amount of money transferred through the system. As expected, EMTS shortened the money order delivery time from several days to a day. Commission earning from money order business has increased and became BPO's major source of earning in 2011. However, EMTS has limited success in assisting the unbanked citizens in rural areas because of a smaller number of post offices that support EMTS. Authors suggest that e-government be viewed as a collection of individual online information and services applications each of which is examined depending on task-technology fit.
    Keywords: Bangladesh, post office, mobile payment
    Date: 2013–09

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