nep-mfd New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2018‒03‒05
two papers chosen by
Aastha Pudasainee and Olivier Dagnelie

  1. A Theory of Social Finance By Simon Cornée; Marc Jegers; Ariane Szafarz
  2. The Effect of Community Engagement on Healthcare Utilization and Health Insurance Enrolment in Ghana Results from a Randomized Experiment By Stephen K.O. Duku; Edward Nketiah-Amponsahd; Christine J. Fenenga; Daniel K. Arhinful; Wendy (W.) Janssens; Menno (M.) Pradhan

  1. By: Simon Cornée (Univ Rennes, CREM, CNRS, UMR 6211, F-35000 Rennes, France, and CERMi); Marc Jegers (Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Department of Applied Economics, Belgium); Ariane Szafarz (Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), SBS-EM, CEB, and CERMi, Belgium)
    Abstract: Myriad different types of institutions are involved in social finance. This paper attempts to make sense of the diverse ways of operationalizing the delivery of funds by social financial institutions (SFIs). It explores the continuum of feasible SFIs, which range from foundations offering pure grants to social banks supplying soft loans. The in-between category includes “quasi-foundations” granting loans that require partial repayment only. In our model, the SFIs face information asymmetries and trade off costly social screening against social contributions, under the budget constraint that depends on the generosity of their funders. We characterize the SFIs’ optimal strategy and suggest that quasi-foundations can be efficient vehicles for social finance, especially when social screening costs are relatively low.
    Keywords: Social Finance, Philanthropy, Foundations, Social Banks
    JEL: G21 D63 G24 H25
    Date: 2018–02
  2. By: Stephen K.O. Duku (University of Ghana, Ghana); Edward Nketiah-Amponsahd (University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana); Christine J. Fenenga (Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, the Netherlands); Daniel K. Arhinful (University of Ghana, Ghana); Wendy (W.) Janssens (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Menno (M.) Pradhan (Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Background: Health insurance enrolment in many Sub-Saharan African countries is low, even with highly subsidized premiums and exemptions for vulnerable populations. This paper evaluates the impact of a community engagement intervention implemented in Ghana with the aim of improving clients’ perceptions on service quality and subsequently improving healthcare utilization and health insurance enrolment. Method: We used a panel data of 6,937 individuals from a cluster randomized controlled trial conducted in 64 communities in two regions in Ghana. A random half of communities received the intervention after a baseline survey in April 2012; the remaining communities served as controls. A follow-up survey was conducted in March 2014 to evaluate the intervention. Ordinary Least Squares regression estimations were used to measure the intervention’s impact on quality perceptions, and on healthcare utilization and health insurance enrolment for the full and balanced samples of all household members as well as the uninsured at baseline. Results: In the short term (12 months) the intervention did not produce any significant impact on perceptions of service quality, healthcare utilization or health insurance enrolment in the targeted population. It however reduced the frequency of illness by 13.8 percentage points, suggesting an overall improvement in health status. It also resulted in a 7.2 percentage points increase in insurance enrolment for the uninsured. Conclusion: Community engagement has the potential to motivate service providers to improve quality of care. However, this may not lead to improved perception of service quality, and increased healthcare utilization in the short term. Still, engaging clients in community discussions on quality improvements can effectively enhance health insurance uptake among those who were previously uninsured. Further long-term intervention is necessary to investigate its long-term effects.
    Keywords: health insurance; Ghana; randomized experiment; community participation
    Date: 2018–02–28

This nep-mfd issue is ©2018 by Aastha Pudasainee and 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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