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Unsubsidized microfinance institutions

Author

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  • D’Espallier, Bert
  • Hudon, Marek
  • Szafarz, Ariane

Abstract

This paper starts from the observation that 23% of the world’s microfinance institutions (MFIs) manage without subsidies. We examine how unsubsidized institutions cope with their social mission. Overall, the lack of subsidies worsens social performances. However, our results show that strategies to achieve financial self-sufficiency differ substantially across regions. African and Asian MFIs compensate for non-subsidization by charging higher interest rates. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, unsubsidized MFIs find it more suitable to target less poor clients. Unsubsidized Latin American MFIs tend to reduce their share of female borrowers.

Suggested Citation

  • D’Espallier, Bert & Hudon, Marek & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Unsubsidized microfinance institutions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 174-176.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:120:y:2013:i:2:p:174-176 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2013.04.021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. D'Espallier, Bert & Guérin, Isabelle & Mersland, Roy, 2011. "Women and Repayment in Microfinance: A Global Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 758-772, May.
    2. Beatriz Armendáriz & Jonathan Morduch, 2010. "The Economics of Microfinance, Second Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262014106, January.
    3. Steven B. Caudill & Daniel M. Gropper & Valentina Hartarska, 2009. "Which Microfinance Institutions Are Becoming More Cost Effective with Time? Evidence from a Mixture Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(4), pages 651-672, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Mersland, Roy, 2009. "The Cost of Ownership in Microfinance Organizations," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 469-478, February.
    6. 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 107-133, February.
    7. Agier, Isabelle & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Microfinance and Gender: Is There a Glass Ceiling on Loan Size?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 165-181.
    8. Marek Hudon, 2006. "Subsidies and financial performances of the microfinance institutions: Does management matter?," Working Papers CEB 05-015.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Mersland, Roy & Strøm, R. Øystein, 2010. "Microfinance Mission Drift?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 28-36, January.
    10. Isabelle Agier & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Subjectivity in credit allocation to micro-entrepreneurs: evidence from Brazil," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 263-275, June.
    11. Robert Cull & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Jonathan Morduch, 2009. "Microfinance Meets the Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 167-192, Winter.
    12. Beatriz Armendáriz & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "On Mission Drift in Microfinance Institutions," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Handbook Of Microfinance, chapter 16, pages 341-366 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    13. Conning, Jonathan, 1999. "Outreach, sustainability and leverage in monitored and peer-monitored lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 51-77, October.
    14. Copestake, James, 2007. "Mainstreaming Microfinance: Social Performance Management or Mission Drift?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1721-1738, October.
    15. Beatriz Armendariz & Bert D'Espallier & Marek Hudon & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "Subsidy Uncertainty and Microfinance Mission Drift," Working Papers CEB 11-014, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Microfinance; Subsidies; Female borrowers; Poverty reduction; Average loan size; Interest rates;

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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