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The Impact of the Global Financial Crisison Microfinance and Policy Implications


  • Gabriel Di Bella


The global financial crisis affected microfinance institutions (MFIs) as lending growth was constrained by scarcer borrowing opportunities, while the economic slowdown negatively impacted asset quality and profitability. It also brought to the fore the relatively high interest rates that MFIs charge to their (low-income) customers. This paper revisits the issue of systemic risk of MFIs, and finds that contrary to the evidence before the crisis, MFI performance is correlated not only to domestic economic conditions but also to changes in international capital markets. It also presents an empirical analysis of lending rates with the purpose of informing policy decisions, and finds that loan sizes, productivity, and MFI age contribute to explain differences in lending rate levels. This suggest that regulation (and policies) promoting MFI competition, and innovation in lending technologies have a better chance to result in decreased lending rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriel Di Bella, 2011. "The Impact of the Global Financial Crisison Microfinance and Policy Implications," IMF Working Papers 11/175, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/175

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven B. Caudill & Daniel M. Gropper & Valentina Hartarska, 2009. "Which Microfinance Institutions Are Becoming More Cost Effective with Time? Evidence from a Mixture Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(4), pages 651-672, June.
    2. Gonzalez, Adrian, 2007. "Resilience of Microfinance Institutions to National Macroeconomic Events: An Econometric Analysis of MFI asset quality," MPRA Paper 4317, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ahlin, Christian & Lin, Jocelyn & Maio, Michael, 2011. "Where does microfinance flourish? Microfinance institution performance in macroeconomic context," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 105-120, July.
    4. Nicolas Krauss & Ingo Walter, 2009. "Can Microfinance Reduce Portfolio Volatility?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(1), pages 85-110, October.
    5. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2007. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 141-168, Winter.
    6. Niels Hermes & Robert Lensink, 2007. "The empirics of microfinance: what do we know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 1-10, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brière, Marie & Szafarz, Ariane, 2015. "Does Commercial Microfinance Belong to the Financial Sector? Lessons from the Stock Market," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 110-125.
    2. Berg, Gunhild & Kirschenmann, Karolin, 2012. "Funding vs. real economy shock : the impact of the 2007-2009 crisis on small firms'credit availability," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6030, The World Bank.
    3. Mohieldin , Mahmoud & Rostom , Ahmed & Fu, Xiaochen & Iqbal, Zamir, 2012. "The Role of Islamic Finance in Enhancing Financial Inclusion in Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Countries," Islamic Economic Studies, The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), vol. 20, pages 55-120.
    4. Pawel Galinski, 2013. "Activity Of Microfinance Institutions In The Period Of The Global Financial Crisis," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 8(1), pages 91-105, March.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7858 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Nicolas A. LASH & Bala BATAVIA, 2016. "Government Policies And Micro Lending In Emerging Markets," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 17, pages 9-32, June.
    7. Marie Briere & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "Investment in Microfinance Equity: Risk, Return, and Diversification Benefits," Working Papers CEB 11-050, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Wagner, Charlotte & Winkler, Adalbert, 2013. "The Vulnerability of Microfinance to Financial Turmoil – Evidence from the Global Financial Crisis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 71-90.
    9. Wijesiri, Mahinda, 2016. "Weathering the storm: ownership structure and performance of microfinance institutions in the wake of the global financial crisis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 238-247.


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