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Public-private partnerships in microfinance: Should NGO involvement be restricted?


  • Jaideep Roy

    () (Brunel University, Uxbridge)

  • Prabal Roy Chowdhury

    () (Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)


This paper examines public-private partnerships in micro-finance, whereby NGOs can help in channelizing credit to the poor, both in borrower selection, as well as in project implementation. We argue that a distortion may arise out of the fact that the private partner, i.e. the NGO, is a motivated agent. We find that whenever the project is neither too productive, nor too unproductive, reducing such distortion requires unbundling borrower selection and project implementation, with the NGO being involved in borrower selection only. Further, we compare and contrast two alternative credit delivery mechanisms, the linkage mechanism (which is the focus of this paper), with the `Grameen' one.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaideep Roy & Prabal Roy Chowdhury, 2008. "Public-private partnerships in microfinance: Should NGO involvement be restricted?," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 08-11, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  • Handle: RePEc:ind:isipdp:08-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 616-636, June.
    2. David Martimort & Flavio Menezes & Myrna Wooders & ELISABETTA IOSSA & DAVID MARTIMORT, 2015. "The Simple Microeconomics of Public-Private Partnerships," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(1), pages 4-48, February.
    3. Marco Francesconi & Abhinay Muthoo, 2011. "Control Rights In Complex Partnerships," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 551-589, June.
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    5. repec:eee:reecon:v:71:y:2017:i:2:p:356-371 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Roy Chowdhury, Prabal, 2007. "Borrower Empowerment and Savings: A Two-stage Micro-finance Scheme," MPRA Paper 3405, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Oliver Hart, 2003. "Incomplete Contracts and Public Ownership: Remarks, and an Application to Public-Private Partnerships," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages 69-76, March.
    8. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2001. "Government Versus Private Ownership of Public Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1343-1372.
    9. Dilip Mookherjee & Masatoshi Tsumagari, 2004. "The Organization of Supplier Networks: Effects of Delegation and Intermediation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1179-1219, July.
    10. Bebbington, Anthony, 1997. "New states, new NGOs? crises and transitions among rural development NGOs in the Andean region," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(11), pages 1755-1765, November.
    11. Martimort, David & Pouyet, Jérôme, 2006. "'Build It or Not': Normative and Positive Theories of Public-Private Partnerships," CEPR Discussion Papers 5610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Beatriz Armendariz & Jonathan Morduch, 2007. "The Economics of Microfinance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262512017, January.
    13. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2008. "Public-private partnerships and government spending limits," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 412-420, March.
    14. Nahum D. Melumad & Dilip Mookherjee & Stefan Reichelstein, 1995. "Hierarchical Decentralization of Incentive Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 654-672, Winter.
    15. Kumar Aniket, 2007. "Does Subsidising the Cost of Capital Help the Poorest? An Analysis of Saving Opportunities in Group Lending," ESE Discussion Papers 140, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    16. Mookherjee Dilip & Reichelstein Stefan, 2001. "Incentives and Coordination in Hierarchies," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-38, April.
    17. Besley, Timothy & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2017. "Public–private partnerships for the provision of public goods: Theory and an application to NGOs," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 356-371.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guha, Brishti & Chowdhury, Prabal Roy, 2013. "Micro-finance competition: Motivated micro-lenders, double-dipping and default," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 86-102.
    2. Amit Kundu, 2011. "Savings, Lending Rate and Skill Improvement in Microfinance Operating through Public-Private Cooperation," The IUP Journal of Managerial Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(4), pages 33-51, November.
    3. 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.
    4. Emilios Galariotis & Christophe Villa & Nurmukhammad Yusupov, 2011. "Recent Advances in Lending to the Poor with Asymmetric Information," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(9), pages 1371-1390, July.
    5. repec:eee:wdevel:v:95:y:2017:i:c:p:268-284 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:bbz:fcpbbr:v:8:y:2011:i:1:p:1-26 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Public-private partnerships; micro-finance; motivated agent; NGO; Ownership;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements


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