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The Impacts of Microfinance: Evidence from Joint-Liability Lending in Mongolia

Author

Listed:
  • Orazio Attanasio
  • Britta Augsburg
  • Ralph De Haas
  • Emla Fitzsimons
  • Heike Harmgart

Abstract

We present evidence from a randomized field experiment in rural Mongolia to assess the poverty impacts of a joint-liability microcredit program targeted at women. We find a positive impact of access to group loans on female entrepreneurship and household food consumption but not on total working hours or income in the household. A simultaneously introduced individual-liability microcredit program delivers no significant poverty impacts. Additional results on informal transfers to families and friends suggest that joint liability may deter borrowers from using loans for noninvestment purposes with stronger impacts as a result. We find no difference in repayment rates between both types of microcredit. (JEL G21, I32, I38, J16, L26, O15, O16)

Suggested Citation

  • Orazio Attanasio & Britta Augsburg & Ralph De Haas & Emla Fitzsimons & Heike Harmgart, 2015. "The Impacts of Microfinance: Evidence from Joint-Liability Lending in Mongolia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 90-122, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:7:y:2015:i:1:p:90-122
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20130489
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Miriam Bruhn & David McKenzie, 2009. "In Pursuit of Balance: Randomization in Practice in Development Field Experiments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 200-232, October.
    2. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    3. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    4. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
    5. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Cynthia Kinnan, 2015. "The Miracle of Microfinance? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 22-53, January.
    6. Christian Ahlin & RobertM. Townsend, 2007. "Using Repayment Data to Test Across Models of Joint Liability Lending," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 11-51, February.
    7. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Timothy Besley & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1994. "Thy Neighbor's Keeper: The Design of a Credit Cooperative with Theory and a Test," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 491-515.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. de Quidt, Jonathan & Fetzer, Thiemo & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2016. "Group lending without joint liability," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 217-236.
    2. Maitra, Pushkar & Mitra, Sandip & Mookherjee, Dilip & Motta, Alberto & Visaria, Sujata, 2017. "Financing smallholder agriculture: An experiment with agent-intermediated microloans in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 306-337.
    3. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski & Yongseok Shin, 2017. "Taking Stock of the Evidence on Micro-Financial Interventions," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Poverty Traps National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Karlan, Dean & Osman, Adam & Zinman, Jonathan, 2016. "Follow the money not the cash: Comparing methods for identifying consumption and investment responses to a liquidity shock," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 11-23.
    5. Vandewalle, Lore, 2017. "The Role of Accountants in Indian Self-Help Groups: A Trade-off between Financial and Non-Financial Benefits," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 177-192.
    6. Czura, Kristina, 2015. "Do flexible repayment schedules improve the impact of microcredit? Evidence from a randomized evaluation in rural India," Discussion Papers in Economics 26608, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    7. Belot, Michèle & James, Jonathan, 2016. "Partner selection into policy relevant field experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 31-56.
    8. Czura, Kristina, 2015. "Pay, peek, punish? Repayment, information acquisition and punishment in a microcredit lab-in-the-field experiment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 119-133.
    9. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:75-95 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Karlan, Dean & Knight, Ryan & Udry, Christopher, 2015. "Consulting and capital experiments with microenterprise tailors in Ghana," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 281-302.
    11. Erhardt, Eva Christine, 2017. "Microfinance beyond self-employment: Evidence for firms in Bulgaria," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 75-95.
    12. Attanasio, O. & Augsburg, B. & de Haas, Ralph, 2016. "Microcredit Contracts, Risk Diversification and Loan Take-Up," Discussion Paper 2016-020, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    13. Shagata Mukherjee & Michael Price, 2016. "Gender, Group and Moral Hazard in Microfinance: Evidence from Matrilineal and Patrilineal Societies in India," Framed Field Experiments 00554, The Field Experiments Website.
    14. Farah Said, 2016. "Access to Finance and Agency: An Overview of the Constraints to Female-Run Enterprises," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 21(Special E), pages 331-349, September.
    15. Mathilde Maîtrot & Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, 2017. "Poverty and wellbeing impacts of microfinance: What do we know?," WIDER Working Paper Series 190, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. repec:eee:ecolet:v:165:y:2018:i:c:p:17-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Nene Oumou & Jonathan Goyette, 2016. "Can microcredit impact the activity of small and medium enterprises? New evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design in Panama," Cahiers de recherche 16-05, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    18. repec:eee:wdevel:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:330-348 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:4:p:e67-e87 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Emily Breza & Cynthia Kinnan, 2018. "Measuring the Equilibrium Impacts of Credit: Evidence from the Indian Microfinance Crisis," Working Papers id:12587, eSocialSciences.
    21. Caroline Krafft, 2016. "Understanding the Dynamics of Household Enterprises in Egypt: Birth, Death, Growth and Transformation," Working Papers 983, Economic Research Forum, revised Mar 2016.
    22. Rachael Meager, 2015. "Understanding the Impact of Microcredit Expansions: A Bayesian Hierarchical Analysis of 7 Randomised Experiments," Papers 1506.06669, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2016.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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