nep-mfd New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2019‒09‒23
four papers chosen by
Olivier Dagnelie
Université de Caen

  1. Microfinance and Poverty Reduction: Evidence from Djibouti By Mohamed Abdallah Ali; Mazhar Mughal
  2. Agricultural Credit System in India: Evolution, Effectiveness and Innovations By Gulati, Ashok; Juneja, Ritika
  3. Efeitos de Mudanças Regulatórias no Microcrédito sobre os Desempenhos Financeiro e Social das Cooperativas de Crédito By Ana Lucia Carvalho Santos; Lucas A. B. C. Barros; Tony Takeda; Lauro Gonzalez
  4. Innovations in emerging markets: the case of mobile money By Pelletier, Adeline; Khavul, Susanna; Estrin, Saul

  1. By: Mohamed Abdallah Ali (CATT - Centre d'Analyse Théorique et de Traitement des données économiques - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour); Mazhar Mughal (ESC Pau)
    Abstract: Does access to microfinance improve household welfare? We seek the answer to this question using data on 2,060 borrower and non-borrower households based in six major urban centers of Djibouti. We construct a composite index of multi-dimensional poverty and carry out estimations using a number of econometric techniques. Our results show that neither access to micro-credit nor its ostensibly productive use is significantly associated with poverty regardless of the duration of time since the loan was acquired. This holds both for access to, and the amount of micro-credit obtained. The results raise doubts on the effectiveness of Djibouti's microfinance programme.
    Keywords: Microfinance,poverty,productive loans,Djibouti
    Date: 2019–09–11
  2. By: Gulati, Ashok; Juneja, Ritika
    Abstract: Indian agriculture is dominated by smallholders. With an average holding size of just 1.08 ha (in 2015- 16), and 86 percent of holdings being of less than 2 ha size, Indian agriculture produces sufficient food, feed, and fiber for India’s large population of 1.35 billion, and in addition generates some net export surplus. This would not have been possible without the infusion of massive credit to farmers to buy modern inputs ranging from seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, farm machinery, etc. But how has this system of agri-credit evolved in India over time? What is its organizational structure, and how effective is it in terms of its reach, especially to smallholders? How efficiently can it deliver credit and what sorts of innovations are unfolding in this sector to make it more efficient, inclusive and sustainable? These are some of the key questions that are addressed in this paper. Our analysis in this paper shows that the Indian agri-credit system has made commendable progress, with major policy changes, especially in 1969. The share of institutional credit to farming households in overall credit increased from about 10 percent in 1951 to 63 percent in 1981. But since then it has hovered around that level until 2013, the latest year for which this information is available from All India Debt and Investment Survey (AIDIS). However, total direct agri-credit (loans outstanding) from formal institutional sources as a percentage of AgGDP increased from about 16 percent in FY1982 to about 42 percent in FY2017; and direct short term institutional credit (loans outstanding) as a percentage of input requirements in agriculture increased from 22 percent in 1990-91 to 123 percent in 2015-16. This indicates that formal credit has been meeting all the requirements of inputs needed for modern agriculture. Also, in terms of inclusiveness, agri-credit institutions have played a major role. Small and marginal farmers, who operate on 47 percent of the operated area and account for 86 percent of the total operational holdings (number), get about 60 percent of institutional loans for agricultural purposes. This is a commendable achievement, although further improvements are always possible. Despite the mushrooming of several microfinance institutions and various innovations in banking, commercial banks remain the main source of formal finance to farmers, accounting for 75 percent of loans outstanding to farmers in 2017, followed by cooperatives at 13 percent and RRBs at 12 percent. Innovations in agri-credit policies (PSL/PSLC), credit instruments (KCC), organizations (MF institutions), business correspondents and micro-ATMs, are all helping to improve farmers’ access to institutional finance. However, most of them focus on productive activities, which presumably push consumption credit to informal sources. The fact that the share of institutional credit in overall credit to agriculture has remained within a narrow range of around 60-65 percent for decades raises concerns as to whether the remaining part of agri-credit is for consumption purposes or whether it is being taken by tenants who find it difficult to borrow from institutional sources due to a lack of land titles as collaterals, or whether the banks do not find that segment of farmers ‘bankable’ due to low credit rating in the face of rising non-performing assets (NPAs) in agriculture. Whatever may be the reasons for this outcome, the study of Indian agri-credit still offers some important lessons for smallholder developing economies such as those in Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Agricultural Finance, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2019–09–16
  3. By: Ana Lucia Carvalho Santos; Lucas A. B. C. Barros; Tony Takeda; Lauro Gonzalez
    Abstract: This study investigates whether the performance of credit unions that offer microcredit in Brazil was affected by the advent of Crescer - the national microcredit program. This research fills a gap in the literature because few papers investigate credit unions that work with microcredit and the effects of governmental interventions related to microcredit operations. Studies of this type may help evaluate the impact of governmental interventions on the performance of the institutions that are directly or indirectly affected by them. Based on the extant literature, we compute thirteen indicators for each credit union, related to their financial and social performance. The inferences are based on the implementation of the difference in differences estimator using the advent of Crescer, in 2011, as the exogenous event of interest, and including in the control group the credit unions that did not supply microcredit loans throughout the sample period. This research presents evidence that the volume of clients and microcredit operations performed by Brazilian credit unions was positively affected by regulatory changes that took place in 2011, consistently with the objectives of the governmental intervention. The evidence also suggests that the governmental intervention did not harm the financial sustainability of the credit unions.
    Date: 2019–09
  4. By: Pelletier, Adeline; Khavul, Susanna; Estrin, Saul
    Abstract: Mobile money is a financial innovation that provides transfers, payments, and other financial services at a low or zero cost to individuals in developing countries where banking and capital markets are deficient and financial inclusion is low. We use transaction costs and institutional theories to explain the growth and impact of mobile money. Having developed a new archival dataset that tracks mobile money deployment across 90 emerging economies during 16 years between 2000 and 2015, we address the question of relative economic impact of the banking and telecoms sectors in the provision of mobile money. We show that telecom groups and not banks are more likely to launch mobile money in countries where legal rights are weaker and credit information less prevalent. However, it is when mobile money is offered via a banking channel that the spillover effects on the economy are greater. Findings have significant implications for policy and strategy.
    JEL: G21 M13 O33
    Date: 2019–09–09

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