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Issues in Subsidies and Sustainability of Microfinance: An Empirical Investigation

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  • Ahmad Nawaz

Abstract

The social nature of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) is mainly financed by subsidies received from the donors. This paper investigates the relationship between the sustainability and the efficiency of microfinance. Using Yaron’s Subsidy Dependence Index (SDI) as a measure of sustainability, a panel data set has been generated from the audit reports of the 179 MFIs worldwide. This essay empirically investigates some important relationships and phenomenons in microfinance. Even after correcting for the endogeneity bias, the results lend some support to the existence of mission drift tendency in microfinance. Notwithstanding interest rate policy, evidence is found that MFIs do charge higher interest rate to women borrowers with small loan sizes. Further, the determinants of MFIs profitability and sustainability have also been identified. Furthermore the evidence does not support the trade-off between outreach and sustainability, however, the trade-off between costs and sustainability of MFIs is well supported. While the productivity and efficiency of MFIs contributes towards sustainability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 10-010.RS.

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Length: 41 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:10-010

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Keywords: Microfinance; Sustainability; Profitability; Mission Drift;

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References

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  1. Navajas, Sergio & Schreiner, Mark & Meyer, Richard L. & Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio & Rodriguez-Meza, Jorge, 1998. "Microcredit And The Poorest Of The Poor: Theory And Evidence From Bolivia," Economics and Sociology Occasional Papers 28334, Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
  2. Robert Cull & Asli Demirguç-Kunt & Jonathan Morduch, 2007. "Financial performance and outreach: a global analysis of leading microbanks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F107-F133, 02.
  3. Hudon, Marek & Traca, Daniel, 2011. "On the Efficiency Effects of Subsidies in Microfinance: An Empirical Inquiry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 966-973, June.
  4. Armendáriz, Beatriz & Szafarz, Ariane, 2011. "On mission drift in microfinance institutions," MPRA Paper 31041, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
  5. Mark Schreiner, 2001. "Seven Aspects of Loan Size," Development and Comp Systems 0109001, EconWPA.
  6. Janos Kornai & Eric Maskin & Gerard Roland, 2002. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," Economics Working Papers 0019, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  7. 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.
  8. Yaron, J., 1992. "Assessing Development Finance Institutions; A Public Interest Analysis," World Bank - Discussion Papers 174, World Bank.
  9. Mersland, Roy & Strøm, R. Øystein, 2010. "Microfinance Mission Drift?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 28-36, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Sheremenko, Ganna & Escalante, Cesar L. & Florkowski, Wojciech J., 2012. "The Universality of Microfinance Operations Model in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Financial Sustainability vs. Poverty Outreach," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 123286, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Sheremenko, Ganna & Escalante, Cesar L. & Florkowski, Wojciech J., 2012. "The Road to Financial Sustainability. Comparative Analysis of Russia and the Caucasus Region," 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama 119525, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  3. 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.
  4. Baldi, Guido & Sadovskis, Vairis & Šipilova, Viktorija, 2014. "Economic and Employment Effects of Microloans in a Transition Country," MPRA Paper 52736, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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