IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

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

  • Hudon, Marek
  • Traca, Daniel

Summary Using an original database of rating agencies, this paper gives empirical evidence on the impact of subsidy intensity on the efficiency of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs). We find that subsidies have had a positive impact on efficiency, in the sense that MFIs that received subsidies are more efficient than those that do not. However, we find also that subsidization beyond a certain threshold renders the marginal effect on efficiency negative. In our sample, 26% of MFIs receive levels of subsidization higher than that threshold, which implies that a marginal cut on subsidy intensity would increase their efficiency.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 966-973

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:6:p:966-973
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Armendariz de Aghion, Beatriz, 1999. "On the design of a credit agreement with peer monitoring," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 79-104, October.
  2. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  3. Morduch, J., 1998. "The Microfinance Schism," Papers 626, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "The role of subsidies in microfinance: evidence from the Grameen Bank," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 229-248, October.
  5. Janos Kornai & Eric Maskin & Gerard Roland, 2002. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," Economics Working Papers 0019, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  6. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 616-636, June.
  7. Dean Karlan & Xavier Gine & Jonathan Morduch & Pamela Jakiela, 2006. "Microfinance Games," Working Papers 936, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  8. Zeller, Manfred & Meyer, Richard L., 2002. "The triangle of microfinance," Food policy statements 40, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. Cull, Robert & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Morduch, Jonathan, 2006. "Financial performance and outreach : a global analysis of leading microbanks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3827, The World Bank.
  10. Colin Rowat and Paul Seabright, 2005. "Intermediation by aid agencies," Discussion Papers 05-16, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  11. Daniel Hardy & Paul Holden & Vassili Prokopenko, 2003. "Microfinance institutions and public policy," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 147-158.
  12. Lapenu, Cécile, 2000. "The role of the state in promoting microfinance institutions," FCND briefs 89, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial Sector Policy and the Poor : Selected Findings and Issues," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14874.
  14. Lapenu, Cécile, 2000. "The role of the state in promoting microfinance institutions," FCND discussion papers 89, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  15. Niels Hermes & Robert Lensink, 2007. "The empirics of microfinance: what do we know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F1-F10, 02.
  16. Mathias Dewatripont & Eric Maskin, 2004. "Credit and efficiency in centralized and decentralized economies," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9605, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  17. Roy Mersland & Reidar Øystein Str�m, 2008. "Performance and trade-offs in Microfinance Organisations-does ownership matter?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(5), pages 598-612.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:6:p:966-973. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.