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The Impact of Short-Term Credit on Microenterprises: Evidence from the Fincomun-Bimbo Program in Mexico


  • Pablo Cotler
  • Christopher Woodruff


The lack of credit is often mentioned as one of the major constraints facing small businesses. We use differences in the phasing in of a new lending program designed to serve clients of the largest snack food company in Mexico to identify the impact of credit on outcomes of small retail enterprise in Mexico City. We find that the loans have positive impacts on the smallest firms but negative impacts on larger firms. These results are consistent with hypotheses that smaller firms have higher returns to capital and face greater credit constraints. Given that the program involved loans given for 4-month terms, we find surprisingly large effects on investment in fixed assets.

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Cotler & Christopher Woodruff, 2008. "The Impact of Short-Term Credit on Microenterprises: Evidence from the Fincomun-Bimbo Program in Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 829-849.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:56:y:2008:p:829-849 DOI: 10.1086/588169

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:pri:rpdevs:morduch_microfinance_poor is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Coleman, Brett E., 1999. "The impact of group lending in Northeast Thailand," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 105-141, October.
    3. J. Copestake & S. Bhalotra & S. Johnson, 2001. "Assessing the Impact of Microcredit: A Zambian Case Study," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 81-100.
    4. Jonathan Morduch, 1998. "Does Microfinance Really Help the Poor? New Evidence from Flagship Programs in Bangladesh," Working Papers 198, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    5. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2009. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 423-423.
    6. P. Mosley, 2001. "Microfinance and Poverty in Bolivia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 101-132.
    7. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther, 2004. "Do Firms Want to Borrow More? Testing Credit Constraints Using a Directed Lending Program," CEPR Discussion Papers 4681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Novat Pugo Sambodo & Riswanti Budi Sekaringsih & Meikha Azzani & Esa Assyahid, 2016. "Indonesian Muslim Household Financial Inclusion Profile: Evidence from IFLS4 and IFLS5 Panel Data," Universitas Gadjah Mada Working Papers on Islamic Economics and Business 2017007, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Faculty of Economics and Business.
    2. Yaya Koloma & Zaka Ratsimalahelo, 2015. "Jeunes, accès au microcrédit et performance des microentreprises: une évidence au Mali," Working Papers hal-01377920, HAL.
    3. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2009. "Finance and Inequality: Theory and Evidence," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 287-318, November.
    4. Raccanello, Kristiano, 2016. "Do Microenterprises’ size and status matter to access informal finance?./ ¿El tamaño y el registro de las microempresas permite el acceso a los mercados financieros informales?," Panorama Económico, Escuela Superior de Economía, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, vol. 12(23), pages 123-152, Segundo s.
    5. Rijkers, Bob & Söderbom, Måns & Loening, Josef L., 2010. "A Rural-Urban Comparison of Manufacturing Enterprise Performance in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1278-1296, September.
    6. Nene Oumou & Jonathan Goyette, 2016. "Can microcredit impact the activity of small and medium enterprises? New evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design in Panama," Cahiers de recherche 16-05, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    7. Zhuang, Juzhong & Gunatilake, Herath & Niimi, Yoko & Ehsan Khan, Muhammad & Jiang, Yi & Hasan, Rana & Khor, Niny & S. Lagman-Martin, Anneli & Bracey, Pamela & Huang, Biao, 2009. "Financial Sector Development, Economic Growth, and Poverty Reduction: A Literature Review," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 173, Asian Development Bank.
    8. Sefa K. Awaworyi, 2014. "The Impact of Microfinance Interventions: A Meta-analysis," Monash Economics Working Papers 03-14, Monash University, Department of Economics.

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