The Outreach and Sustainability of Microfinance: Is There a Tradeoff?
Both practitioners and academics posit that microfinance organizations face a tradeoff between financial performance and outreach. We designed a randomized controlled trial of a transitory interest rate subsidy to investigate this tradeoff. We find that subsidized credit substantially increases demand, although a non-trivial fraction of members abstain from borrowing even when credit is virtually free. Among those who borrow, we find no effect on default rates. Whereas the intervention is initially unpro table due to lost interest rate revenues, profits eventually catch up because subsidized clients are more likely to apply for new loans (with interest) after the subsidy is lifted. In addition, because loan-taking clients more often deposit savings in the bank, the subsidy decreases the bank's dependence on external funding. We conclude that transitory interest rate subsidies that are unpro table in the short run may improve outreach without undermining sustainability in the long run. However, outreach ultimately appears constrained by low returns to capital and weak market integration among the poor.
|Date of creation:||30 Oct 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden|
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dehejia, Rajeev & Montgomery, Heather & Morduch, Jonathan, 2012.
"Do interest rates matter? Credit demand in the Dhaka slums,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 437-449.
- Dehejia, Rajeev & Montgomery, Heather & Morduch, Jonathan, 2005. "Do interest rates matter? credit demand in the Dhaka Slums," MPRA Paper 33146, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Karna Basu, 2011. "Hyperbolic Discounting and the Sustainability of Rotational Savings Arrangements," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 143-171, November.
- Basu, Karna, 2008. "Hyperbolic discounting and the sustainability of rotational savings arrangements," MPRA Paper 20440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilova & Jonathan Morduch, 2012. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence from Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1118-1139, April.
- Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Jonathan Morduch, 2008. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence From Rural India," Working Papers IES 2008/28, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2008.
- Bauer, Michal & Chytilová, Julie & Morduch, Jonathan, 2010. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence from Rural India," IZA Discussion Papers 4901, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Luigi Pascali, 2016. "Banks and Development: Jewish Communities in the Italian Renaissance and Current Economic Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 140-158, March.
- Luigi Pascali, 2011. "Banks and development: Jewish communities in the Italian Renaissance and current economic performance," Economics Working Papers 1274, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2012.
- Pascali, Luigi, 2013. "Banks and Development: Jewish Communities in the Italian Renaissance and Current Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1026, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Luigi Pascali, 2012. "Banks and Development: Jewish Communities in the Italian Renaissance and Current Economic Performance," Working Papers 562, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Pascaline Dupas & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Why Don't the Poor Save More? Evidence from Health Savings Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1138-1171, June.
- Pascaline Dupas & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Why Don't the Poor Save More? Evidence from Health Savings Experiments," NBER Working Papers 17255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Beatriz Armendáriz & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "On Mission Drift in Microfinance Institutions," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Handbook Of Microfinance, chapter 16, pages 341-366 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
- Beatriz Armendariz & Ariane Szafarz, 2009. "On Mission Drift In Microfinance Institutions," Working Papers CEB 09-015.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Armendáriz, Beatriz & Szafarz, Ariane, 2011. "On mission drift in microfinance institutions," MPRA Paper 31041, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
- Beatriz Armendariz & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "On Mission Drift in Microfinance Institutions," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/97387, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence From a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672.
- Jean-Marie Baland & Catherine Guirkinger & Charlotte Mali, 2011. "Pretending to Be Poor: Borrowing to Escape Forced Solidarity in Cameroon," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 1-16.
- Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "The role of subsidies in microfinance: evidence from the Grameen Bank," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 229-248, October. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)