IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/jdevst/v48y2012i12p1864-1880.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

High Noon for Microfinance Impact Evaluations: Re-investigating the Evidence from Bangladesh

Author

Listed:
  • Maren Duvendack
  • Richard Palmer-Jones

Abstract

Recently, microfinance has come under increasing criticism raising questions of the validity of iconic studies which have justified it, such as Pitt and Khandker. Chemin applied propensity score matching to the Pitt and Khandker data, finding different impacts, but does not disaggregate by gender of borrower. We first replicate Chemin and extend his analysis in two ways. We test the robustness of propensity score matching results to selection on unobservables using sensitivity analysis, and we investigate propensity score matching estimates of impacts by gender of borrowers. The mainly insignificant impacts of microfinance differ greatly by gender of borrower, but are all vulnerable to selection on unobservables. We are therefore not convinced that the relationships between microfinance and outcomes are causal with these data.

Suggested Citation

  • Maren Duvendack & Richard Palmer-Jones, 2012. "High Noon for Microfinance Impact Evaluations: Re-investigating the Evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(12), pages 1864-1880, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:48:y:2012:i:12:p:1864-1880
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2011.646989
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00220388.2011.646989
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hala Abou-Ali & Hesham El-Azony & Heba El-Laithy & Jonathan Haughton & Shahid Khandker, 2010. "Evaluating the impact of Egyptian Social Fund for Development programmes," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(4), pages 521-555.
    2. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
    3. Andrea Ichino & Fabrizia Mealli & Tommaso Nannicini, 2008. "From temporary help jobs to permanent employment: what can we learn from matching estimators and their sensitivity?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 305-327.
    4. Karlan, Dean S. & Zinman, Jonathan, 2009. "Expanding Microenterprise Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts in Manila," CEPR Discussion Papers 7396, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Matthieu Chemin, 2008. "The Benefits and Costs of Microfinance: Evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 463-484, April.
    6. Tommaso Nannicini, 2007. "Simulation-based sensitivity analysis for matching estimators," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(3), pages 334-350, September.
    7. M. M. Pitt & S. R. Khandker, 2002. "Credit Programmes for the Poor and Seasonality in Rural Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 1-24.
    8. Leamer, Edward E, 1983. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 31-43, March.
    9. Sascha O. Becker & Marco Caliendo, 2007. "Sensitivity analysis for average treatment effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(1), pages 71-83, February.
    10. Marco Caliendo & Reinhard Hujer, 2006. "The microeconometric estimation of treatment effects—An overview," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer;German Statistical Society, vol. 90(1), pages 199-215, March.
    11. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    12. Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    13. DiPrete, Thomas A. & Gangl, Markus, 2004. "Assessing bias in the estimation of causal effects: Rosenbaum bounds on matching estimators and instrumental variables estimation with imperfect instruments," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2004-101, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    14. repec:pri:rpdevs:morduch_microfinance_poor is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
    16. Mark Pin & Shahidur Khandker & Signe-Mary Mckernan & M. Latif, 1999. "Credit programs for the poor and reproductive behavior in low-income countries: Are the reported causal relationships the result of heterogeneity bias?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(1), pages 1-21, February.
    17. David Roodman & Jonathan Morduch, 2014. "The Impact of Microcredit on the Poor in Bangladesh: Revisiting the Evidence," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(4), pages 583-604, April.
    18. Guido W. Imbens, 2010. "Better LATE Than Nothing: Some Comments on Deaton (2009) and Heckman and Urzua (2009)," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 399-423, June.
    19. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
    20. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker & Omar Haider Chowdhury & Daniel L. Millimet, 1998. "Credit Programs for the Poor and the Nutritional Status of Children in Rural Bangladesh," Working Papers 98-4, Brown University, Department of Economics, revised 16 Jan 1998.
    21. Shahidur R. Khandker, 2005. "Microfinance and Poverty: Evidence Using Panel Data from Bangladesh," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 263-286.
    22. Pitt, Mark M & Khandker, Shahidur R & Cartwright, Jennifer, 2006. "Empowering Women with Micro Finance: Evidence from Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 791-831, July.
    23. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton%20instruments%20of%20development%20keynes%20lecture%202009 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    25. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker & Omar Haider Chowdhury & Daniel L. Millimet, 2003. "Credit Programs for the Poor And the Health Status of Children in Rural Bangladesh," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 87-118, February.
    26. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
    27. Coleman, Brett E., 1999. "The impact of group lending in Northeast Thailand," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 105-141, October.
    28. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
    29. Nidhiya Menon, 2006. "Non-linearities in returns to participation in Grameen Bank programs," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 1379-1400.
    30. repec:ags:stataj:116022 is not listed on IDEAS
    31. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
    32. Coleman, Brett E., 2006. "Microfinance in Northeast Thailand: Who benefits and how much?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1612-1638, September.
    33. repec:ags:stataj:119255 is not listed on IDEAS
    34. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2007. "Viewpoint: Replication in economics," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 715-733, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Morduch, Jonathan & Ravi, Shamika & Bauchet, Jonathan, 2013. "Substitution Bias and External Validity: Why an Innovative Anti-poverty Program Showed no Net Impact," CEI Working Paper Series 2013-02, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Arraiz, Irani & Calero, Carla & Jon, Songqing & Peralta, Alexandra, 2015. "Planting the seeds: The impact of training on mando producers in Haiti," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212622, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Richard Mallett & Jessica Hagen-Zanker & Rachel Slater & Maren Duvendack, 2012. "The benefits and challenges of using systematic reviews in international development research," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 445-455, September.
    4. Agnes Quisumbing & Bob Baulch & Neha Kumar, 2011. "Evaluating the long-term impact of anti-poverty interventions in Bangladesh: an overview," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 153-174.
    5. Agnes Quisumbing & Neha Kumar, 2011. "Does social capital build women's assets? The long-term impacts of group-based and individual dissemination of agricultural technology in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 220-242.
    6. Seng, Kimty, 2017. "Considering the Effects of Mobile Phones on Financial Inclusion in Cambodia," MPRA Paper 82225, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 27 Oct 2017.
    7. Radhakrishnan, Smitha, 2015. "“Low Profile” or Entrepreneurial? Gender, Class, and Cultural Adaptation in the Global Microfinance Industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 264-274.
    8. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:75-95 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Erhardt, Eva Christine, 2017. "Microfinance beyond self-employment: Evidence for firms in Bulgaria," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 75-95.
    10. Dan Pan, 2014. "The Impact of Agricultural Extension on Farmer Nutrient Management Behavior in Chinese Rice Production: A Household-Level Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(10), pages 1-22, September.
    11. Ida D'Attoma & Silvia Pacei, 2014. "Offshoring and Firm Performance: Evidence from the Italian Manufacturing Industry," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 29-44, February.
    12. Chliova, Myrto & Brinckmann, Jan & Rosenbusch, Nina, 2015. "Is microcredit a blessing for the poor? A meta-analysis examining development outcomes and contextual considerations," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 467-487.
    13. Weber, Olaf & Ahmad, Adnan, 2014. "Empowerment Through Microfinance: The Relation Between Loan Cycle and Level of Empowerment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 75-87.
    14. Irani Arráiz & Carla Calero & Songqing Jin & Alexandra Peralta, 2015. "Planting the Seeds: The Impact of Training on Mango Producers in Haiti," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7184, Inter-American Development Bank.
    15. Ragasa, Catherine, 2012. "Gender and Institutional Dimensions of Agricultural Technology Adoption: A Review of Literature and Synthesis of 35 Case Studies," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126747, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    16. Bateman, Milford & Sinković, Dean & Škare, Marinko, 2012. "The contribution of the microfinance model to Bosnia's post-war reconstruction and development: How to destroy an economy and society without really trying," Working Papers 36, Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (ÖFSE) / Austrian Foundation for Development Research.
    17. Abhi Dattasharma & Rajalaxmi Kamath & Smita Ramanathan, 2016. "The Burden of Microfinance Debt: Lessons from the Ramanagaram Financial Diaries," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 47(1), pages 130-156, January.
    18. Duvendack, Maren & Palmer-Jones, Richard, 2011. "The microfinance of reproduction and the reproduction of microfinance: understanding the connections between microfinance, empowerment, contraception and fertility in Bangladesh in the 1990s," MPRA Paper 32384, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Maria Porter, 2016. "Effects of microcredit and other loans on female empowerment in Bangladesh: the borrower's gender influences intra-household resource allocation," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 47(2), pages 235-245, March.
    20. Robert M Hirth & Daanish Pestonjee, 2016. "How Group Lending Affects Innovation: Evidence From Ethiopia," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 21(04), pages 1-15, December.
    21. Djimeu, Eric W., 2014. "The impact of social action funds on child health in a conflict affected country: Evidence from Angola," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 35-42.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. High Noon for Microfinance Impact Evaluations: Re-investigating the Evidence from Bangladesh (JDS 2012) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:48:y:2012:i:12:p:1864-1880. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/FJDS20 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.