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Designing Credit Agent Incentives to Prevent Mission Drift in Pro-Poor Microfinance Institutions

Author

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  • Cécile Aubert

    (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Elisabeth Sadoulet
  • Alain De Janvry

Abstract

Credit agents in microfinance institutions (MFIs) must be given incentives to acquire information on potential borrowers and select them in accordance with the MFI's objectives. We show that while giving incentives has no cost in for-profit MFIs, it is costly in pro-poor MFIs: When repayment and wealth are positively correlated, a pro-poor MFI cannot obtain the selection of poor clients in the proportion it wishes with incentives based solely on repayment. It then becomes necessary to audit the share of very poor borrowers selected by an agent in order to provide the latter with adequate incentives. When audit costs are large, pro-poor MFIs may have to forego selection on wealth -- and use other targeting devices such as working in impoverished geographical locations. Driven by donor concerns with 'mission drift' away from the poor, audits on the wealth status of clients have been introduced at the level of MFIs. We show that introducing pro-poor incentives requires extending such audits to the level of credit agents.
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Suggested Citation

  • Cécile Aubert & Elisabeth Sadoulet & Alain De Janvry, 2009. "Designing Credit Agent Incentives to Prevent Mission Drift in Pro-Poor Microfinance Institutions," Post-Print hal-00382221, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00382221
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00382221
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brishti Guha & Prabal Roy Chowdhury, 2014. "Borrower Targeting under Microfinance Competition with Motivated Microfinance Institutions and Strategic Complementarity," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 52(3), pages 211-240, September.
    2. Jia, Xiangping & Cull, Robert & Guo, Pei & Ma, Tao, 2016. "Commercialization and mission drift: Evidence from a large Chinese microfinance institution," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 17-32.
    3. Agier, Isabelle & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Microfinance and Gender: Is There a Glass Ceiling on Loan Size?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 165-181.
    4. Labie, Marc & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Mersland, Roy & Szafarz, Ariane, 2015. "Discrimination by microcredit officers: Theory and evidence on disability in Uganda," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 44-55.
    5. Sagamba, MoÏse & Shchetinin, Oleg & Yusupov, Nurmukhammad, 2013. "Do Microloan Officers Want to Lend to the Less Advantaged? Evidence from a Choice Experiment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 182-198.
    6. Isabelle Agier & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Subjectivity in credit allocation to micro-entrepreneurs: evidence from Brazil," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 263-275, June.
    7. Solène Morvant-Roux & Isabelle Guérin & Marc Roesch & Jean-Yves Moisseron, 2014. "Adding value to randomization with qualitative analysis : the case of microcredit in rural Morocco," Post-Print ird-01471911, HAL.
    8. repec:kap:jbuset:v:147:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2948-y is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Sara Biancini & David Ettinger & Baptiste Venet, 2017. "Mission Drift in Microcredit and Microfinance Institution Incentives," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 2017-02, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    10. repec:eee:ecmode:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:281-290 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Mallick, Debdulal & Nabin, Munirul, 2010. "Where NGOs go and do not go?," MPRA Paper 27185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Julie De Pril & Cécile Godfroid, 2017. "How to Reconcile Financial Incentives and Prosocial Motivation of Loan Officers in Microfinance?," Working Papers CEB 17-011, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    13. Aree Cheamuangphan & Aree Wiboonpongse & Songsak Sriboonchitta, 2012. "Factors enhancing efficiency of microfinance performance in agricultural communities of upper Northern Thailand," The Empirical Econometrics and Quantitative Economics Letters, Faculty of Economics, Chiang Mai University, vol. 1(4), pages 1-20, December.
    14. Salim, Mir M., 2013. "Revealed objective functions of Microfinance Institutions: Evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 34-55.
    15. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2018. "Gender Biases in Bank Lending: Lessons from Microcredit in France," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 631-650, February.
    16. Brishti Guha & Prabal Roy Chowdhury, 2012. "Borrower Targeting under Micro-finance Competition with Motivated MFIs," Working Papers 05-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    17. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Women’s Access to Credit in France: How Microfinance Institutions Import Disparate Treatment from Banks," Working Papers CEB 13-037, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    18. Marc Labie & Carolina Laureti & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Flexible Products in Microfinance: Overcoming the Demand-Supply Mismatch," Working Papers CEB 13-044, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    19. Morvant-Roux, Solène & Guérin, Isabelle & Roesch, Marc & Moisseron, Jean-Yves, 2014. "Adding Value to Randomization with Qualitative Analysis: The Case of Microcredit in Rural Morocco," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 302-312.
    20. Koen Rossel-Cambier, 2011. "Is Combined Microfinance an Instrument to enhance Sustainable Pro-Poor Public Policy Outcomes?," Working Papers CEB 11-013, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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