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Credit risk in microfinance industry: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa


  • Sydney Chikalipah

    () (Bournemouth University)


Paradoxically, a plethora of empirical evidence in the traditional banking industry claims that smaller loans are associated with higher risk and the exact opposite is true for large loans. In this study we investigate these claims by estimating the relationship between loan sizes and credit risk in the microfinance industry. The sample used for our analysis incorporates over 2000 annual observations, and 632 microfinance institutions drawn from 37 countries of the sub-Saharan African (SSA) region over the period 1995 to 2013. Using the GMM technique, our estimates indicate that credit risk is positively related to loan sizes among microfinance institutions operating in SSA. Our findings have significant implications for the portfolio managers of microfinance institutions operating in SSA, particularly in light of the current wave of mobile money services in many countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Sydney Chikalipah, 2018. "Credit risk in microfinance industry: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," Review of Development Finance Journal, Chartered Institute of Development Finance, vol. 8(1), pages 38-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:afj:journ3:v:8:y:2018:i:1:p:38-48

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    More about this item


    Credit risk; Female borrowers; Loan sizes; Microfinance; sub-Saharan Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa


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