nep-mfd New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2020‒03‒16
three papers chosen by
Olivier Dagnelie
Université de Caen

  1. Adopting Mobile Money: Evidence from an Experiment in Rural Africa By Batista, Catia; Vicente, Pedro C.
  2. Can Women's Self-Help Groups Contribute to Sustainable Development? Evidence of Capability Changes from Northern India By Anand, Paul; Saxena, Swati; Gonzales Martinez, Rolando; Dang, Hai-Anh
  3. Micro-Equity for Microenterprises By De Mel,Suresh; Mckenzie,David J.; Woodruff,Christopher M.

  1. By: Batista, Catia (Universidade Nova de Lisboa); Vicente, Pedro C. (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
    Abstract: Who uses mobile money? What is mobile money used for? This paper describes the mobile money adoption patterns following the experimental introduction of mobile money for the first time in rural areas of Southern Mozambique. We use a combination of administrative and household survey data to characterize early and late adopters, as well as their mobile money usage patterns during the three years after mobile money was introduced. We find that a large proportion of the individuals who were offered mobile money services actively adopted this technology. Adopters of mobile money (and early adopters in particular) are more educated than non-adopters, and they are also more likely to already hold a bank account. Positive self-selection of mobile money adopters raises questions about the effectiveness of mobile money as a tool for financial inclusion.
    Keywords: fintech, mobile money, technology adoption, self-selection, financial inclusion, financial deepening, Mozambique, Africa
    JEL: O16 O33 G20
    Date: 2020–01
  2. By: Anand, Paul (The Open University); Saxena, Swati (Rajiv Gandhi Trust); Gonzales Martinez, Rolando (Agder University College); Dang, Hai-Anh (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper offers an evaluation of a supported women's self help program with over 1.5 million participants in one of the poorest rural regions of the world (Uttar Pradesh, India). Methodologically, it shows how indicators from the direct capability measurement literature can be adapted for program evaluation in a low income country setting. Unique data on capabilities across a range of dimensions are then developed for some 6000 women and used to estimate a number of propensity score matching models. The substantive empirical results of these models indicate that many of the capability indicators are higher for program members, that the difference appears robust, and that there are significant benefits for those from scheduled tribes and lower castes. The discussion highlights two points. First, human development improvements offered by multi-strand programs can help to explain the paradox as to why nearly 100 million women (in India alone) have participated in self help programs despite modest global research evidence for micro-finance impacts on nominal incomes. Second, results argue strongly for the use of capability measures over agency measures focused solely on household decision-making to assess women's empowerment when structural causes of disempowerment, external to the household, are present and significant.
    Keywords: propensity score matching, sustainable development, self-help groups, capability measurement, Sen, poverty, female empowerment
    JEL: I31 I32 O35
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: De Mel,Suresh; Mckenzie,David J.; Woodruff,Christopher M.
    Abstract: Many microenterprises in developing countries have high returns to capital, but also face risky revenue streams. In principle, equity offers several advantages over debt when financing investments of this nature, but the use of equity in practice has been largely limited to investments in much larger firms. The authors develop a model contract to make self-liquidating, quasi-equity investments in microenterprises. This contract has three key parameters that can be used to shift risk between the entrepreneur and the investor, resulting in a continuum of contracts ranging from a debt-like contract that shifts little risk from the entrepreneur to a pure revenue-sharing contract in which the investor absorbs much more of the risk. The paper discusses implementation choices, and then provides lessons from a proof-of-concept carried out by an investment partner, KGC Equity, which made nine investments averaging $3,800 in Sri Lankan microenterprises. This pilot demonstrates that this new contract structure can work in practice, but also highlights the difficulties of micro-equity investments in an environment with weak contract enforcement.
    Keywords: Rural Microfinance and SMEs,Microfinance,Private Sector Economics,Private Sector Development Law,Marketing,International Trade and Trade Rules,Labor Markets,Transport Services
    Date: 2019–04–01

This nep-mfd issue is ©2020 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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