New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2014‒08‒09
two papers chosen by
Aastha Pudasainee and Olivier Dagnelie

  1. South Africa's post-apartheid microcredit-driven calamity: Comparing 'developmental' to 'anti-developmental' local financial models By Bateman, Milford
  2. On the Radio: Effectiveness of the Viva Seguro Financial Education Program By Catherine Rodríguez; Fabio Sánchez; Sandra Zamora

  1. By: Bateman, Milford
    Abstract: Microcredit was once universally lauded in international development community circles as a 'magic bullet'. Using the example of South Africa, this paper shows that microcredit has actually been an 'anti-developmental' local financial model, and one of the most calamitous financial sector interventions in South Africa's short post-apartheid history. This disastrous performance is compared to a benchmark local financial model that I call the 'developmental' local financial model, a financial model that was quite decisive to much recent European and Asian local economic development success. Overall, microcredit can be viewed as South Africa's own sub-prime-style disaster which, like the original US version, has mainly served to benefit a tiny financial elite working within and around the microcredit sector, whilst simultaneously destroying many of the most important pillars of the economy and society. It clearly behoves policymakers in South Africa, as well as policymakers in other African countries and elsewhere in the international development community, to learn from South Africa's negative experience with 'anti-developmental' microcredit to date and promote alternative 'developmental' local financial models. --
    Keywords: Microcredit,South Africa,impact,poverty,informal,SME,institutions
    JEL: G2 H7 O2 O4
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Catherine Rodríguez; Fabio Sánchez; Sandra Zamora
    Abstract: Through a novel randomized control trial this paper estimates the impact of Viva Seguro, a financial education program that covers topics on risks and insurance management, on knowledge, attitudes and actual behavior. The program was broadcasted in two Colombian radio stations that have low and medium income households as target audience. Listeners from these radio stations comprise our treatment group. The control group is comprised by listeners from other two radio stations of similar characteristics and from the same broadcasting company. Using panel data information on both the treatment and the control group we find that giving financial education through such mass media channel has a positive impact on the knowledge of risks individuals face, the number of insurance they know exist and their perceived capability of understanding and handling insurance. No effect however is found on the knowledge of specific concepts of insurance, or their attitudes towards it, in savings behavior or the number of insurance bought. In general results show that delivering financial education through radio is a cost effective alternative in order to improve knowledge on insurance related concepts.
    Keywords: financial education, radio, insurance, randomized control tral (RCT)
    JEL: I20 I25
    Date: 2014–05–22

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