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Information, the Cost of Credit, and Operational Efficiency: An Empirical Study of Microfinance

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  • Mark J. Garmaise
  • Gabriel Natividad

Abstract

We provide direct evidence on the impact of asymmetric information on both financing and operating activities through a study of credit evaluations of microfinance institutions (MFIs). We employ a regression discontinuity model that exploits the eligibility criteria of an evaluation subsidy offered by a nonprofit consortium. Evaluations dramatically cut the cost of financing. This effect is strongest for commercial lenders and for short-term MFI--lender relationships. The impact of evaluations on the supply of finance is mixed. Evaluated MFIs lend more efficiently, extending more loans per employee. The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark J. Garmaise & Gabriel Natividad, 2010. "Information, the Cost of Credit, and Operational Efficiency: An Empirical Study of Microfinance," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(6), pages 2560-2590, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:23:y:2010:i:6:p:2560-2590
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhq021
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Ellul & Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano & Fausto Panunzi, 2016. "Transparency, Tax Pressure, and Access to Finance," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 20(1), pages 37-76.
    2. Michael Delgado & Christopher Parmeter & Valentina Hartarska & Roy Mersland, 2015. "Should all microfinance institutions mobilize microsavings? Evidence from economies of scope," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 193-225, February.
    3. Carli, Francesco & Uras, R.B., 2014. "Optimal Joint Liability Lending and with Costly Peer Monitoring," Discussion Paper 2014-075, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Andra C. Ghent & Rubén Hernández-Murillo & Michael T. Owyang, 2015. "Did Affordable Housing Legislation Contribute to the Subprime Securities Boom?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 820-854, November.
    5. Aggarwal, Raj & Goodell, John, 2013. "Lending to women in microfinance: influence of social trust and national culture Lending to women in microfinance: influence of social trust and national culture," Working Paper 1317, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    6. Tchakoute Tchuigoua, Hubert, 2016. "Buffer capital in microfinance institutions," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 3523-3537.
    7. Ghosh, Suman & Van Tassel, Eric, 2013. "Funding microfinance under asymmetric information," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 8-15.
    8. Guillermo Baquero & Malika Hamadi & Andréas Heinen, 2012. "Competition, loan rates and information dispersion in microcredit markets," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-12-02, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.

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