IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/26346.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can Microfinance Unlock a Poverty Trap for Some Entrepreneurs?

Author

Listed:
  • Abhijit Banerjee
  • Emily Breza
  • Esther Duflo
  • Cynthia Kinnan

Abstract

Can microcredit help unlock a poverty trap for some people by putting their businesses on a different trajectory? Could the small microcredit treatment effects often found for the average household mask important heterogeneity? In Hyderabad, India, we find that “gung ho entrepreneurs” (GEs), households who were already running a business before microfinance entered, show persistent benefits that increase over time. Six years later, the treated GEs own businesses that have 35% more assets and generate double the revenues as those in control neighborhoods. We find almost no effects on non-GE households. A model of technology choice in which talented entrepreneurs can access either a diminishing-returns technology, or a more productive technology with a fixed cost, generates dynamics matching the data. These results show that heterogeneity in entrepreneurial ability is important and persistent. For talented but low-wealth entrepreneurs, short-term access to credit can indeed facilitate escape from a poverty trap.

Suggested Citation

  • Abhijit Banerjee & Emily Breza & Esther Duflo & Cynthia Kinnan, 2019. "Can Microfinance Unlock a Poverty Trap for Some Entrepreneurs?," NBER Working Papers 26346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26346
    Note: CF DEV LS PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w26346.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maitra, Pushkar & Mitra, Sandip & Mookherjee, Dilip & Motta, Alberto & Visaria, Sujata, 2017. "Financing smallholder agriculture: An experiment with agent-intermediated microloans in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 306-337.
    2. Alessandro Tarozzi & Jaikishan Desai & Kristin Johnson, 2015. "The Impacts of Microcredit: Evidence from Ethiopia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 54-89, January.
    3. Karlan, Dean S. & Zinman, Jonathan, 2009. "Expanding Microenterprise Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts in Manila," Center Discussion Papers 52600, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    4. Huw Lloyd-Ellis & Dan Bernhardt, 2000. "Enterprise, Inequality and Economic Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 147-168.
    5. Victor Chernozhukov & Mert Demirer & Esther Duflo & Iván Fernández-Val, 2018. "Generic Machine Learning Inference on Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in Randomized Experiments, with an Application to Immunization in India," NBER Working Papers 24678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Oriana Bandiera & Robin Burgess & Narayan Das & Selim Gulesci & Imran Rasul & Munshi Sulaiman, 2017. "Labor Markets and Poverty in Village Economies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(2), pages 811-870.
    7. Britta Augsburg & Ralph De Haas & Heike Harmgart & Costas Meghir, 2015. "The Impacts of Microcredit: Evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 183-203, January.
    8. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2012. "Estimating Time Preferences from Convex Budgets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3333-3356, December.
    9. Manuela Angelucci & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2015. "Microcredit Impacts: Evidence from a Randomized Microcredit Program Placement Experiment by Compartamos Banco," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 151-182, January.
    10. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    11. Bruno Crépon & Florencia Devoto & Esther Duflo & William Parienté, 2015. "Estimating the Impact of Microcredit on Those Who Take It Up: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Morocco," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 123-150, January.
    12. Tenzin Yindok & Alexander Karaivanov, 2016. "Involuntary Entrepreneurship - Evidence from Thai Urban Data," 2016 Meeting Papers 598, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Xinshen Diao & Josaphat Kweka & Margaret McMillan, 2016. "Economic Transformation in Africa from the Bottom Up: Evidence from Tanzania," NBER Working Papers 22889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-1034, December.
    15. Rachael Meager, 2019. "Understanding the Average Impact of Microcredit Expansions: A Bayesian Hierarchical Analysis of Seven Randomized Experiments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 57-91, January.
    16. Orazio Attanasio & Britta Augsburg & Ralph De Haas & Emla Fitzsimons & Heike Harmgart, 2015. "The Impacts of Microfinance: Evidence from Joint-Liability Lending in Mongolia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 90-122, January.
    17. Meager, Rachael, 2019. "Understanding the average impact of microcredit expansions: a Bayesian hierarchical analysis of seven randomized experiments," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88190, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    19. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Cynthia Kinnan, 2015. "The Miracle of Microfinance? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 22-53, January.
    20. Joseph P. Kaboski & Robert M. Townsend, 2011. "A Structural Evaluation of a Large‐Scale Quasi‐Experimental Microfinance Initiative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1357-1406, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Maitra, Pushkar & Mitra, Sandip & Mookherjee, Dilip & Visaria, Sujata, 2020. "Decentralized Targeting of Agricultural Credit Programs: Private versus Political Intermediaries," Discussion paper series HIAS-E-94, Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Brum, Matias & De Rosa, Mauricio, 2021. "Too little but not too late: nowcasting poverty and cash transfers’ incidence during COVID-19’s crisis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    3. Matías Brum & Mauricio de Rosa, 2020. "Too little but not too late. Nowcasting poverty and cash transfers' incidence in Uruguay during COVID-19's crisis," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 20-09, Instituto de Economia - IECON.
    4. Clare Balboni & Oriana Bandiera & Robin Burgess & Maitreesh Ghatak & Anton Heil, 2020. "Why Do People Stay Poor?," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 067, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    5. Christian Ahlin, 2020. "Group lending, matching patterns, and the mystery of microcredit: Evidence from Thailand," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(2), pages 713-759, May.
    6. Guillermo Boitano & Deybi Franco Abanto, 2020. "Challenges of financial inclusion policies in Peru," Revista Finanzas y Politica Economica, Universidad Católica de Colombia, vol. 12(1), pages 89-117, June.
    7. Pushkar Maitra & Sandip Mitra & Dilip Mookherjee & Sujata Visaria, 2020. "Decentralized Targeting of Agricultural Credit Programs: Private versus Political Intermediaries," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2020-70, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Jan 2020.
    8. Bernardus Van Doornik & Armando Gomes & David Schoenherr & Janis Skrastins, 2021. "Financial Access and Labor Market Outcomes: evidence from credit lotteries," Working Papers Series 547, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    9. Antonia Grohmann & Steffen Herbold & Friederike Lenel, 2020. "Repayment under Flexible Loan Contracts: Evidence from Tanzania," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1884, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bernardus Van Doornik & Armando Gomes & David Schoenherr & Janis Skrastins, 2021. "Financial Access and Labor Market Outcomes: evidence from credit lotteries," Working Papers Series 547, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    2. Emily Breza & Cynthia Kinnan, 2018. "Measuring the Equilibrium Impacts of Credit: Evidence from the Indian Microfinance Crisis," Working Papers id:12587, eSocialSciences.
    3. Ahlin, Christian & Gulesci, Selim & Madestam, Andreas & Stryjan, Miri, 2020. "Loan contract structure and adverse selection: Survey evidence from Uganda," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 180-195.
    4. Tamara Broderick & Ryan Giordano & Rachael Meager, 2020. "An Automatic Finite-Sample Robustness Metric: Can Dropping a Little Data Change Conclusions?," Papers 2011.14999, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2021.
    5. Dahal, Mahesh & Fiala, Nathan, 2020. "What do we know about the impact of microfinance? The problems of statistical power and precision," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    6. N'dri, Lasme Mathieu & Kakinaka, Makoto, 2020. "Financial inclusion, mobile money, and individual welfare: The case of Burkina Faso," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(3).
    7. Susmita Baulia, 2017. "Take-up of joint and individual liability loans: an analysis with laboratory experiments," Discussion Papers 117, Aboa Centre for Economics.
    8. Rafael P. Ribas, 2020. "Liquidity constraints, spillovers, and entrepreneurship: evidence from a cash transfer program," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 55(4), pages 1131-1158, December.
    9. Manthos D. Delis & Fulvia Fringuellotti & Steven Ongena, 2020. "Credit, Income and Inequality," Staff Reports 929, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    10. Cai, Shu, 2020. "Migration under liquidity constraints: Evidence from randomized credit access in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    11. Pedro Carneiro & Sokbae Lee & Daniel Wilhelm, 2020. "Optimal data collection for randomized control trials [Microcredit impacts: Evidence from a randomized microcredit program placement experiment by Compartamos Banco]," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 23(1), pages 1-31.
    12. Gyorgy Molnar & Attila Havas, 2019. "Escaping from the poverty trap with social innovation: a social microcredit programme in Hungary," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 1912, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    13. Karlan, Dean & Osman, Adam & Zinman, Jonathan, 2016. "Follow the money not the cash: Comparing methods for identifying consumption and investment responses to a liquidity shock," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 11-23.
    14. Nakano, Yuko & Magezi, Eustadius F., 2020. "The impact of microcredit on agricultural technology adoption and productivity: Evidence from randomized control trial in Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    15. Chowdhury, Shyamal & Smits, Joeri & Sun, Qigang, 2020. "Contract structure, time preference, and technology adoption," GLO Discussion Paper Series 633, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    16. Mathilde Maîtrot & Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, 2017. "Poverty and wellbeing impacts of microfinance: What do we know?," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-190, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    17. Alem, Yonas & Ruhinduka, Remidius D., 2020. "Saving Africa's tropical forests through energy transition: A randomized controlled trial in Tanzania," Ruhr Economic Papers 885, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    18. Baulia, Susmita, 2019. "Take-up of joint and individual liability loans: An analysis with laboratory experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    19. Mathilde Maîtrot & Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, 2017. "Poverty and wellbeing impacts of microfinance: What do we know?," WIDER Working Paper Series 190, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    20. Morduch, Jonathan, 2020. "Why RCTs failed to answer the biggest questions about microcredit impact," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D25 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice: Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26346. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.