nep-mfd New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2016‒09‒18
four papers chosen by
Olivier Dagnelie
Université de Caen

  1. Can microcredit impact the activity of small and medium enterprises? New evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design in Panama By Nènè Oumou; Jonathan Goyette
  2. Micro-entrepreneurs in Rural Burundi: Innovation and Contestation at the Bottom of the Pyramid By Katarzyna Cieslik
  3. Commercial Bank Innovations in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Finance: Global Models and Implications for Thailand By Subhanij, Tientip
  4. Determinantes del acceso al crédito formal e informal: Evidencia de los hogares de ingresos medios y bajos en Colombia By Ana María Iregui-Bohórquez; Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra; María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo; Ana María Tribín-Uribe

  1. By: Nènè Oumou (Département d'économique, Université de Sherbrooke); Jonathan Goyette (Département d'économique, Université de Sherbrooke)
    Abstract: In this paper, we conduct an impact analysis of microcredit on entrepreneurial activity using a new data-set collected among 740 entrepreneurs located in Panama. Our focus is on a new type of microfinance institution which grants loans to enterprises falling in what we call the financial missing middle, i.e., enterprises which are too big for traditional microcredit but not big enough for commercial banks. We collected an unbalanced panel of data on enterprise's business and credit history. Using our partner's rules of credit attribution, we build a regression discontinuity design to evaluate the effect of loan's obtainment on the activity of financed enterprises. Our results show a limited impact of access to credit on firm's revenues despite a significant impact on investment in equipment and immobilization. The magnitude of the positive effect is higher on micro-enterprises while auto-enterprises are negatively impacted by microcredit as is usually documented in the literature. We emphasize that the cost of credit is one of the major determinants of the limited impact of microcredit on entrepreneurial activity.
    Keywords: Microfinance Institutions, firm’s performance, Regression Discontinuity, Panama
    JEL: D22 G21 L26 O12 O16
    Date: 2016–08
  2. By: Katarzyna Cieslik
    Abstract: Present-day development theory and practice highlight the potential of micro-entrepreneurship for poverty reduction in least developed countries. Fostered by the seminal writings of microfinance founder Muhammad Yunus and the bottom-of-the-pyramid propagator Krishnarao Prahalad, the new approach is marked by a stress on participation and sustainability, and the new, market-based development models. With the growing popularity of the new approach there has been an increased demand for research on the efficacy and impact of innovations. What has scarcely been addressed, however, is the legitimacy of the new paradigm within its contexts of application. Since engagement and participation have been made the focal point of the new approach, my research investigates how the innovative, mostly market-based models have been received by the local populations on the ground. This doctoral dissertation is looking up-close at the rural populations of Burundi, describing and explaining their perceptions, behaviors and actions in response to the market-based development innovations: microfinance, rural entrepreneurship and community social enterprise. Do the concepts of entrepreneurship, community engagement and participation find a fertile ground among the poorest rural dwellers of sub-Saharan Africa? Can subsistence farmers be entrepreneurs? How to create social value in the context of extreme resource scarcity? It is investigating these and other questions that guided the subsequent stages of my work. I based my dissertation on extensive field research, conducted periodically over the period of four years in the remote areas of rural Burundi.In the first chapter, I question the applicability of entrepreneurship-based interventions to the socio-cultural context of rural Burundi. Basing my quantitative analysis on a unique cross-section dataset from Burundi of over 900 households, I look into the entrepreneurial livelihood strategies at the near-subsistence level: diversifying crops, processing food for sale, supplementary wage work and non-agricultural employment. I find that the farmers living closer to the subsistence level are indeed less likely to pursue innovative entrepreneurial opportunities, unable to break the poverty cycle and move beyond subsistence agriculture. The paper contributes to the ongoing debate on by analyzing its drivers and inhibitors in the context of a subsistence economy. It questions the idea of alleviating rural poverty through the external promotion of entrepreneurship as it constitutes ‘a denial of the poor’s capacity for agency to bring about social change by themselves on their own terms’.Drawing on these findings, the second chapter focusses on the role of local communities as shareholders of projects. The aim of this paper is to investigate the ways in which the agrarian communities in rural Burundi accommodate the model of a community social enterprise. The project understudy, implemented by the UNICEF Burundi Innovation Lab, builds upon the provision of green energy generators to the village child protection committees in the energy-deficient rural regions of the country. The electricity-producing machines are also a new income source for the groups, transforming them into economically viable community enterprises. Since the revenue earned is to directly support the village orphans’ fund, the communities in question engage in a true post-development venture: they gradually assume the role of the development-provisioning organizations.The third chapter of this work focusses on the complex interaction between the microfinance providers and the population of its clients and potential clients: the rural poor. It draws on the existing research on positive deviance among African communities and explores the social entrepreneurial potential of the rule-breaking practices of microfinance programs’ beneficiaries. Using the storyboard methodology, I examine the strategies employed by the poor in Burundi to bypass institutional rules. My results suggest that transgressive practices and nonconformity of development beneficiaries can indeed be seen as innovative, entrepreneurial initiatives to reform the microfinance system from within, postulating a more participatory mode of MFIs’ organizational governance. The three empirical chapters provide concrete examples illustrating the contested nature of the development process. In the last, theoretical, chapter, I examine how the different conceptualizations of social entrepreneurship have been shaped by the disparate socio-political realities in the North and in the South. I then analyze how the process of constructing academic representation has been influenced by the prevalent public discourses.Since doubling or tripling of the external development finance has not sufficed to bring about systemic change, the assumption that technology, managerial efficacy and the leveraging power of financial markets could be applied to solving the problem of persisting global poverty has a lot of appeal. At the same time, my findings point to the fact that if the ultimate objective of development is broadly defined value creation, the definition of what constitutes value should be negotiated among all the stakeholders. The dissertation makes an important contribution to the understanding of participation, entrepreneurship and community engagement in the context of development studies.I strongly believe that development organizations must have a quality understanding of the social and cultural characteristics of the need or problem they are targeting in order to make productive decisions about the application and scaling of interventions. I very much hope that my work can provide some guidance for their work on the ground.
    Keywords: social entrepreneurship, micro-entrepreneurship, agrarian economy, positive deviance, Burundi
    Date: 2016–01–04
  3. By: Subhanij, Tientip (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: In Thailand, the government has long recognized the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the economy and has given a large amount of financial support to this sector. Still, SMEs are not able to catch up with larger enterprises and the constraints to SME financing remain the main topic of policy discussion today. Against this background, the important issue for Thailand may not be about the lack of financial assistance per se but about how to design an appropriate market-friendly business model and supporting scheme to help SMEs gain access to credit on a sustainable basis. Given the success of microfinance around the world, a large number of commercial banks have made a profitable business out of this sector. This paper explores various business models by commercial banks in microfinance and provides policy implications for Thailand. By making use of commercial banks' competitive advantage, Thailand can create a more market-friendly environment for SME financing. This will also ensure that lending to small-business clients is not a burden to the government and is self-sustaining in the long run.
    Keywords: SME; Thailand; bank; financing; microfinance; loans; credit; MFI; SFI; financial institution; commercial banking; financial access
    JEL: E50 G21
    Date: 2016–09–12
  4. By: Ana María Iregui-Bohórquez (Banco de la República de Colombia); Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra (Banco de la República de Colombia); María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo (Banco de la República de Colombia); Ana María Tribín-Uribe (Banco de la República de Colombia)
    Abstract: Este documento proporciona evidencia empírica sobre los determinantes de la probabilidad de que un hogar tenga crédito, con el sector formal o informal, tanto en zonas urbanas como rurales, para lo cual se utiliza información de la Encuesta Longitudinal Colombiana de la Universidad de los Andes. También, se analizan los posibles factores que afectan la probabilidad de que los hogares se encuentren atrasados en el pago de sus créditos. Los resultados indican que la probabilidad de que un hogar tenga crédito está relacionada positivamente con el hecho de que el jefe del hogar esté casado, con el nivel educativo, el nivel de ingreso, el tamaño del hogar, la propiedad de la vivienda y la participación laboral. En particular, las estimaciones indican que el ingreso y la educación tienen una correlación positiva con la probabilidad de tener crédito formal y negativa con la probabilidad de tener crédito informal. Finalmente, los choques que tienen un efecto directo sobre el ingreso de las familias y eventos inesperados aumentan la probabilidad de estar en mora. *** This paper studies the effects of an in utero program on birth outcomes addressed to vulnerable pregnant women. We use information from the Buen Comienzo program, an initiative run by the local government of Medellin, the second largest city of Colombia. In order to identify the effects we obtain matching estimates using data from program participants and the census of birth statistics. We find that the program increased the birth weight of participant children by 0.09 and 0.23 standard deviations for boys and girls, respectively, and reduced the prevalence of low birth weight by 2.6 and 4.6 ppts for boys and girls, respectively. In terms of size, the program reduces the incidence of being short by 3 and 4 ppts, for boys and girls, respectively. The program also significantly reduced preterm births between 3 and 8 ppts. We also provide evidence of the existence of heterogeneous effects depending on a mother’s exposure to the program and her frequency of attendance. Finally, an estimate of the cost-benefit ratio of the program suggests that its benefits could be 2 to 6 times its costs, respectively for boys and girls born from participant mothers with early exposure to the program. Classification JEL: C25, G21, D12, R22
    Keywords: Deuda de los hogares, crédito formal, crédito informal, mora, Colombia. *** household debt, formal credit, informal credit, credit default, Colombia.
    Date: 2016–08

This nep-mfd issue is ©2016 by 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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