Do interest rates matter? credit demand in the Dhaka Slums
AbstractIf the demand for credit by the poor changes little when interest rates increase, lenders can raise fees to cost-covering levels without losing customers. This claim is at the core of sustainable microfinance strategies that aim to provide banking services to the poor while eschewing long-term subsidies, but, so far, there is little direct evidence of this. This paper uses data from SafeSave, a credit cooperative in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh, to examine how sensitive borrowers are to increases in the interest rate on loans. Using unanticipated between-branch variation in the interest rate we estimate interest elasticities of loan demand ranging from -0.73 to -1.04. Less wealthy accountholders are more sensitive to the interest rate than (relatively) wealthier borrowers (an elasticity of -0.86 compared to -0.26), and consequently the bank’s portfolio shifts away from its poorest borrowers when it increases the interest rate.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33146.
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
microfinance; credit; demand;
Other versions of this item:
- Dehejia, Rajeev & Montgomery, Heather & Morduch, Jonathan, 2012. "Do interest rates matter? Credit demand in the Dhaka slums," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 437-449.
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
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