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On the Efficiency Effects of Subsidies in Microfinance: An Empirical Inquiry

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  • Hudon, Marek
  • Traca, Daniel

Abstract

Summary Using an original database of rating agencies, this paper gives empirical evidence on the impact of subsidy intensity on the efficiency of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs). We find that subsidies have had a positive impact on efficiency, in the sense that MFIs that received subsidies are more efficient than those that do not. However, we find also that subsidization beyond a certain threshold renders the marginal effect on efficiency negative. In our sample, 26% of MFIs receive levels of subsidization higher than that threshold, which implies that a marginal cut on subsidy intensity would increase their efficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 966-973

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:6:p:966-973

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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Keywords: microfinance subsidies efficiency productivity;

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References

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  1. Xavier Gine & Pamela Jakiela & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Morduch, 2006. "Microfinance games," Framed Field Experiments 00150, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 11.
  3. Niels Hermes & Robert Lensink, . "The empirics of microfinance: what do we know?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/14198, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Cull, Robert & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Morduch, Jonathan, 2006. "Financial performance and outreach : a global analysis of leading microbanks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3827, The World Bank.
  5. Colin Rowat & Paul Seabright, 2004. "Intermediation by aid agencies," Industrial Organization 0412007, EconWPA.
  6. Armendariz de Aghion, Beatriz, 1999. "On the design of a credit agreement with peer monitoring," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 79-104, October.
  7. Lapenu, Cécile, 2000. "The role of the state in promoting microfinance institutions," FCND briefs 89, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Mathias Dewatripont & Eric Maskin, 2004. "Credit and efficiency in centralized and decentralized economies," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9605, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "The role of subsidies in microfinance: evidence from the Grameen Bank," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 229-248, October.
  10. Tim Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and incentives with motivated agents," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 928, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Morduch, J., 1998. "The Microfinance Schism," Papers 626, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  12. Zeller, Manfred & Meyer, Richard L., 2002. "The triangle of microfinance," Food policy statements 40, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. International Monetary Fund, 2002. "Microfinance Institutions and Public Policy," IMF Working Papers 02/159, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  15. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial Sector Policy and the Poor : Selected Findings and Issues," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14874, October.
  16. Lapenu, Cécile, 2000. "The role of the state in promoting microfinance institutions," FCND discussion papers 89, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ahmad Nawaz, 2010. "Issues in Subsidies and Sustainability of Microfinance: An Empirical Investigation," Working Papers CEB 10-010.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Mieno, Fumiharu & Kai, Hisako, 2012. "Do Subsidies Enhance or Erode the Cost Efficiency of Microfinance? Evidence from MFI Worldwide Micro Data," CEI Working Paper Series 2011-14, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Female Access to Credit in France: How Microfinance Institutions Import Disparate Treatment from Banks," AMSE Working Papers 1350, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised Dec 2013.
  4. Bert D'Espallier & Marek Hudon & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Unsubsidized Microfinance Institutions," Working Papers CEB 13-012, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Mieno, Fumiharu & Kai, Hisako, 2012. "Do Subsidies Enhance or Erode the Cost Efficiency of Microfinance? Evidence from MFI Worldwide Micro Data," PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series 26, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  6. Biener, Christian & Eling, Martin & Schmit, Joan T., 2014. "Regulation in Microinsurance Markets: Principles, Practice, and Directions for Future Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 21-40.
  7. Szafarz, Ariane & Brière, Marie, 2011. "Investment in Microfinance Equity : Risk, Return, and Diversification Benefits," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7858, Paris Dauphine University.
  8. Dlamini, Menzie S., 2012. "The effect of subsidies on the performance and sustainability of microfinance institutions in sub-Saharan Africa," Research Theses 134487, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics.
  9. Ahmad Nawaz, 2010. "Efficiency and Productivity of Microfinance: Incorporating the Role of Subsidies," Working Papers CEB 10-009.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Barry, Thierno Amadou & Tacneng, Ruth, 2014. "The Impact of Governance and Institutional Quality on MFI Outreach and Financial Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-20.
  11. Annabel Vanroose, 2008. "What macro factors make microfinance institutions reach out?," Working Papers CEB 08-036.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Renaud Bourlès & Anastasia Cozarenco, 2013. "State intervention and the (micro)credit market in developed countries: loan guarantee and business development services," Working Papers CEB 13-019, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Serrano-Cinca, Carlos & Gutiérrez-Nieto, Begoña, 2014. "Microfinance, the long tail and mission drift," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 181-194.
  14. Hudon, Marek & Périlleux, Anaïs, 2014. "Surplus distribution and characteristics of social enterprises: Evidence from microfinance," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 147-157.

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