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

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  • Daniel Traca

Abstract

The impact of subsidies on the efficiency of microfinance institutions (MFIs) is a key question in the field, given the large volume of subsidies received over the last twenty years. Using an original database of rating agencies, this paper gives empirical evidence on the impact of subsidy intensity on the efficiency of MFIs. After correcting for endogeneity bias, our results suggest that subsidies have contributed to raise efficiency, for the majority of MFIs in our sample. However, the evidence suggests also that there is a level beyond which increased subsidization taxes efficiency, at the margin. In our sample, 50% of MFIs receive levels of subsidization higher than that threshold.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/89989.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2011
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Publication status: Published in: World development (2011) v.39 n° 6,p.966-973
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/89989

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Keywords: microfinance;

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  1. Colin Rowat & Paul Seabright, 2004. "Intermediation by aid agencies," Industrial Organization 0412007, EconWPA.
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  10. Zeller, Manfred & Meyer, Richard L., 2002. "The triangle of microfinance," Food policy statements 40, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Ahmad Nawaz, 2010. "Issues in Subsidies and Sustainability of Microfinance: An Empirical Investigation," Working Papers CEB 10-010.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Renaud Bourlès & Anastasia Cozarenco, 2013. "State Intervention and the (Micro)Credit Market in Developed Countries: Loan Guarantee and Business Development Services," Working Papers halshs-00811191, HAL.
  8. 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.
  9. D’Espallier, Bert & Hudon, Marek & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Unsubsidized microfinance institutions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 174-176.
  10. 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.
  11. Serrano-Cinca, Carlos & Gutiérrez-Nieto, Begoña, 2014. "Microfinance, the long tail and mission drift," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 181-194.
  12. Janda, Karel & Zetek, Pavel, 2014. "The Impact of Public Spending on the Performance of Microfinance Institutions," MPRA Paper 55690, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Ahmad Nawaz, 2010. "Efficiency and Productivity of Microfinance: Incorporating the Role of Subsidies," Working Papers CEB 10-009.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  14. Janda, Karel & Zetek, Pavel, 2014. "Survey of Microfinance Controversies and Challenges," MPRA Paper 56657, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. 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.
  16. Annabel Vanroose, 2008. "What macro factors make microfinance institutions reach out?," Working Papers CEB 08-036.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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