nep-mfd New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2019‒12‒09
three papers chosen by
Aastha Pudasainee and Olivier Dagnelie

  1. Microfinance Performance and Social Capital: A Cross-Country Analysis By Luminita Postelnicu; Niels Hermes
  2. Linking savings behavior, confidence and individual feedback: A field experiment in Ethiopia By Avdeenko, Alexandra; Bohne, Albrecht; Frölich, Markus
  3. Anti-Corruption Reforms and Microfinancing: Evidence from Households' Fintech Borrowing By Zhang, Yifei

  1. By: Luminita Postelnicu; Niels Hermes
    Abstract: In recent years, the microfinance industry has received a substantial amount of cross-border funding from both public and private sources. This funding reflects the increasing interest in microfinance as part of a more general trend towards socially responsible investments. In order to be able to secure sustained interest from these investors, it is important that the microfinance industry can show evidence of its contribution to reducing poverty at the bottom of the pyramid. For this, it is crucial to understand under what conditions microfinance institutions (MFIs) are able to reduce poverty. This paper contributes to this discussion by investigating the relationship between the extent to which social capital formation is facilitated within different societies and the financial and social performance of MFIs. This focus on social capital formation is important, because in many cases MFIs use group loans with joint liability to incentivize asset-poor borrowers to substitute the lack of physical collateral by their social capital. Hence, the success of a large part of the loan relationship between MFIs and their borrowers depends on the social capital those borrowers can bring into the contract. We carry out a cross-country analysis on a dataset containing 100 countries and identify different social dimensions as proxies for how easy social capital can be developed in different countries. We hypothesize that microfinance is more successful, both in terms of their financial and social aims, in societies that are more conducive to the development of social capital. Our empirical results support our hypothesis.
    Keywords: Financial performance; Microfinance; Social capital; Social performance
    Date: 2018–12
  2. By: Avdeenko, Alexandra; Bohne, Albrecht; Frölich, Markus
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate behavioral constraints to savings among smallholder farmers in rural Ethiopia. Increasing savings by overcoming such behavioral constraints has been documented to have positive effects on various outcomes such as health, education, and agricultural investments. We causally identify a strong increase in savings to a soft commitment device in the form of a moneybox with a regular savings plan. In our randomized field experiment, we also provide personalized feedback consisting of recommendations to self-set saving goals. These recommendations trigger increases in savings of up to 36 percent. In a detailed analysis of the behavioral characteristics driving these results, we find a strong and robust link between financial confidence and savings behavior. In particular, the savings of underconfident individuals are less than 2/3 of the savings of overconfident individuals - an association stronger than other behavioral traits such as risk-lovingness and present-biasedness. Remarkably, the effect of our personalized feedback is particularly strong for underconfident individuals. We discuss possible underlying mechanisms, rule out a set of alternative behavioral explanations, and address crowding-out behavior into other forms of saving.
    Keywords: Savings,Moneyboxes,Randomized Control Trial,Confidence
    JEL: O12 C93 D14 D91
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Zhang, Yifei
    Abstract: Despite a surging literature in investigating different impacts of corruption and/or anti-corruption from firms’ perspective, it is still unclear whether and how corruption and/or anti-corruption affect households’ borrowing behaviour. In this paper, we focus on a Chinese online peer-to-peer lending market and analyse the impact of the recent China’s anti-corruption campaign on households’ borrowing costs. We employ a Difference-in-Differences (DID) estimation strategy and investigate three exogenous shocks regarding the movement: 1) the 2012 Eight Point Policy announcement; 2) multiple rounds of the Central Inspection Team Campaigns during 2013 and 2014; 3) and the anti-corruption rules for military-related personnel in early 2015. Our results show that equilibrium interest rates of borrowers pertaining to Non-SOEs dropped significantly comparing to that of SOEs and/or government agencies in the wake of the first two events. Borrowers affiliating with military-related institutions were also worsened after the military specific anti-corruption campaign. Finally, we examine the two possible economic channels. Suggestive evidences show that both a rise of interest risk premium for SOEs borrowers and a better outlook of Non-SOEs after the anti-corruption reform could account for the observed favour of the borrowing costs towards Non-SOEs borrowers. These findings are consistent with previous studies regarding the effects of anti-corruptions from firms’ aspects such as Lin et al., (2016) and Griffin et al., (2016). This study also complements the P2P literature by demonstrating the importance of online borrowers’ occupations / job affiliations.
    Keywords: Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunding; Corruption; Household Debt;
    JEL: D14 D73
    Date: 2019–11–11

This nep-mfd issue is ©2019 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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