IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Crisis in Nicaraguan microfinance: between the Scylla of business for profit and the Charybdis of clientelism

Listed author(s):
  • Bastiaensen, Johan
  • Marchetti, Peter
Registered author(s):

    From the being a poster child of microfinance development, Nicaragua became one of the nightmares for the industry. The negative influence on the countries' repayment culture of the Non-Payment Movement, ambiguously related to the new Sandinista government, is typically blamed for the crisis. A closer analysis, however, reveals that features of the mainstream microfinance policies in Nicaragua are possibly more to blame for the crisis than the political turmoil, which opportunistically seems to have taken advantage of the underlying problems. Overfunding of regulated MFI-banks and promotion of excessive competition, in particular of these banks with the non-regulated MFIs, led to reckless lending and created over-indebtedness. Gradual professionalization and conventionalization also led to the erosion of social embeddedness –once at the core of the Microfinance revolution- and left MFI weak in the face of political challenges. And the obsession with profitability and 'finance only' implied higher interest rates and left many poorer clients with little or negative impact, lending credibility to the accusation of usury. While the Non-Payment Movement could be understood as a Polanyian countermovement to the problems created by market development, its ultimate political objectives however seem to offer only dubious perspectives for future inclusive economic development.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB) in its series IOB Working Papers with number 2011.04.

    in new window

    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: May 2011
    Handle: RePEc:iob:wpaper:2011004
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Prinsstraat 13, B-2000 Antwerp

    Phone: +32-(0)3-265 5770
    Fax: +32-(0)3-265 5771
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    in new window

    1. Park, Hwanil & Fortenbery, T. Randall, 2007. "The Effect of Ethanol Production on the U.S. National Corn Price," 2007 Conference, April 16-17, 2007, Chicago, Illinois 37565, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iob:wpaper:2011004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Hans De Backer)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.