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Expanding Microenterprise Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts in Manila

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  • Karlan, Dean S.
  • Zinman, Jonathan

Abstract

Microcredit seeks to promote business growth and improve well-being by expanding access to credit. We use a field experiment and follow-up survey to measure impacts of a credit expansion for microentrepreneurs in Manila. The effects are diffuse, heterogeneous, and surprising. Although there is some evidence that profits increase, the mechanism seems to be that businesses shrink by shedding unproductive workers. Overall, borrowing households substitute away from labor (in both family and outside businesses), and into education. We also find substitution away from formal insurance, along with increases in access to informal risk-sharing mechanisms. Our treatment effects are stronger for groups that are not typically targeted by microlenders: male and higher-income entrepreneurs. In all, our results suggest that microcredit works broadly through risk management and investment at the household level, rather than directly through the targeted businesses.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7396
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2010. "Expanding Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 433-464, January.
    2. J. Copestake & P. Dawson & J.-P. Fanning & A. McKay & K. Wright-Revolledo, 2005. "Monitoring the Diversity of the Poverty Outreach and Impact of Microfinance: A Comparison of Methods Using Data from Peru," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 23(6), pages 703-723, November.
    3. Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "Where Is The Missing Credit Card Debt? Clues And Implications," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(2), pages 249-265, June.
    4. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2008. "Lying About Borrowing," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 510-521, 04-05.
    5. 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.
    6. Joseph P. Kaboski & Robert M. Townsend, 2012. "The Impact of Credit on Village Economies," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 98-133, April.
    7. Zinman, Jonathan, 2010. "Restricting consumer credit access: Household survey evidence on effects around the Oregon rate cap," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 546-556, March.
    8. Conning, Jonathan & Udry, Christopher, 2007. "Rural Financial Markets in Developing Countries," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: Robert Evenson & Prabhu Pingali (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 56, pages 2857-2908, Elsevier.
    9. Signe-Mary McKernan, 2002. "The Impact Of Microcredit Programs On Self-Employment Profits: Do Noncredit Program Aspects Matter?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 93-115, February.
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    12. Coleman, Brett E., 1999. "The impact of group lending in Northeast Thailand," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 105-141, October.
    13. 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..
    14. 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.
    15. Joseph P. Kaboski & Robert M. Townsend, 2005. "Policies and Impact: An Analysis of Village-Level Microfinance Institutions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-50, March.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    formal finance; informal finance; microcredit; microentreprenuership; microfinance; risk sharing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy

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