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Outreach and Efficiency of Microfinance Institutions

  • Hermes, Niels
  • Lensink, Robert
  • Meesters, Aljar

Summary This paper uses stochastic frontier analysis to examine whether there is a trade-off between outreach to the poor and efficiency of microfinance institutions (MFIs). We find convincing evidence that outreach is negatively related to efficiency of MFIs. More specifically, we find that MFIs that have a lower average loan balance (a measure of the depth of outreach) are also less efficient. Moreover, we find evidence showing that MFIs that have more women borrowers as clients (again a measure of the depth of outreach) are less efficient. These results remain robustly significant after having added a number of control variables.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 938-948

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:6:p:938-948
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  7. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-32.
  8. Fries, Steven & Taci, Anita, 2005. "Cost efficiency of banks in transition: Evidence from 289 banks in 15 post-communist countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 55-81, January.
  9. Martin Desrochers & Mario Lamberte, 2003. "Efficiency and Expense Preference in Philippines' Cooperative Rural Banks," Cahiers de recherche 0321, CIRPEE.
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  11. Sergio Navajas & Jonathan Conning & Claudio Gonzalez-Vega, 2003. "Lending technologies, competition and consolidation in the market for microfinance in Bolivia," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 747-770.
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  14. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:9:y:2003:i:2:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Robert Lensink & Aljar Meesters & Ilko Naaborg, 2008. "Bank efficiency and foreign ownership: do good institutions matter?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/14283, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. David A Grigorian & Vlad Manole, 2006. "Determinants of Commercial Bank Performance in Transition: An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(3), pages 497-522, September.
  17. 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, 06.
  18. Wang, Hung-jen & Schmidt, Peter, 2001. "One-step and two-step estimation of the effects of exogenous variables on technical efficiency levels," MPRA Paper 31075, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2002.
  19. Mark Schreiner, 2002. "Aspects of outreach: a framework for discussion of the social benefits of microfinance," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 591-603.
  20. Valentina Hartarska & Denis Nadolnyak, 2007. "Do regulated microfinance institutions achieve better sustainability and outreach? Cross-country evidence," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(10), pages 1207-1222.
  21. Craig McIntosh & Alain Janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2005. "How Rising Competition Among Microfinance Institutions Affects Incumbent Lenders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 987-1004, October.
  22. Gutiérrez-Nieto, Begoña & Serrano-Cinca, Carlos & Mar Molinero, Cecilio, 2007. "Microfinance institutions and efficiency," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 131-142, April.
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