nep-mfd New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2014‒02‒21
three papers chosen by
Olivier Dagnelie
University of Namur

  1. Informal firms and financial inclusion : status and determinants By Farazi, Subika
  2. Reading the tea leaves on financial inclusion: The Case of rural labour households By S. Chandrasekhar
  3. Credit constraints, agricultural productivity, and rural nonfarm participation : evidence from Rwanda By Ali, Daniel Ayalew; Deininger, Klaus; Duponchel, Marguerite

  1. By: Farazi, Subika
    Abstract: Many firms in the developing world -- including a majority of micro, small, and medium enterprises -- operate in the informal economy. The informal firms face a variety of constraints, making it harder for them to do business and grow. Lack of access to finance is often cited as the biggest operational constraint these firms face. This paper documents the use of finance and financing patterns of informal firms, highlights differences between use of finance by formal and informal firms, and identifies the most significant characteristics of informal firms that are associated with higher use of financial services. The analysis shows that use of loans and bank accounts for business by informal firms is very low and a vast majority finances their day-to-day operations and investments through sources other than financial institutions (internal funds, moneylenders, family, and friends). A majority of informal firm owners would like their firms to become formal but do not do so as it would require them to pay taxes. Registered firms are 54 percent more likely to have a bank account and 32 percent more likely to have loans. Results also show that firm size, the level of education of the owner, and whether the owner has a job in the formal sector are significantly associated with financial inclusion of informal firms.
    Keywords: Access to Finance,Microfinance,Banks&Banking Reform,Debt Markets,Small Scale Enterprise
    Date: 2014–02–01
  2. By: S. Chandrasekhar (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)
    Abstract: Understanding the extent of financial inclusion of rural labour households is important since in the intercensal period 2001-11, the proportion of agricultural labourers in the workforce increased by 3.5 percentage points. This paper examines progress in financial inclusion using information on indebtedness of rural labour households collected by NSSO as part survey of employment and unemployment conducted in 2004-05 and 2009-10. It is estimated that 22.3 million out of the nearly 66 million rural labour households report being in debt in 2009-10. The share of formal institutions in outstanding debt of rural labour households increased from 29 percent to 37 percent while the share of money lender decreased from 44 percent to 33 percent during this period. There has been a near doubling of loans sourced from cooperative societies and a 77 percent increase in loans sourced from banks. In contrast, outstanding debt on account of borrowing from money lender increased by a meagre 1.7 percent. One does not have a ready explanation for the miniscule growth in outstanding loans from money lenders. What is promising is that the reliance on institutional sources among rural labour households without cultivable land increased from 20.6 percent to 26 percent. The aggregate picture however masks large variations across the states of India and one does not observe any structural change in geographical distribution of flow of credit and share of outstanding advances to the landless.
    Keywords: Financial Inclusion, Rural Labour Household, Formal Credit Markets
    JEL: G21 O16 O17
    Date: 2014–01
  3. By: Ali, Daniel Ayalew; Deininger, Klaus; Duponchel, Marguerite
    Abstract: Although the potentially negative impacts of credit constraints on economic development have long been discussed conceptually, empirical evidence for Africa remains limited. This study uses a direct elicitation approach for a national sample of Rwandan rural households to assess empirically the extent and nature of credit rationing in the semi-formal sector and its impact using an endogenous sample separation between credit-constrained and unconstrained households. Being credit constrained reduces the likelihood of participating in off-farm self-employment activities by about 6.3 percent while making participation in low-return farm wage labor more likely. Even within agriculture, elimination of all types of credit constraints in the semi-formal sector could increase output by some 17 percent. Two suggestions for policy emerge from the findings. First, the estimates suggest that access to information (education, listening to the radio, and membership in a farm cooperative) has a major impact on reducing the incidence of credit constraints in the semi-formal credit sector. Expanding access to information in rural areas thus seems to be one of the most promising strategies to improve credit access in the short term. Second, making it easy to identify land owners and transfer land could also significantly reduce transaction costs associated with credit access.
    Keywords: Banks&Banking Reform,Economic Theory&Research,Debt Markets,Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress,Financial Intermediation
    Date: 2014–02–01

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