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Microfinance, the long tail and mission drift

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  • Carlos Serrano-Cinca
  • Begoña Gutiérrez-Nieto

Abstract

Poor people were excluded from financial services until microfinance institutions (MFIs) emerged. The mission of MFIs is to alleviate poverty, contributing to women empowerment especially in rural communities. Microcredits can be analyzed under Pareto’s 80/20 Principle. Their clients are situated in the long tail of the wealth distribution function. This niche market is not very attractive, because of its high administrative costs, lack of deposits and the need for compensating low revenues with fluctuating subsidies. Some MFIs have drifted from their mission. This paper presents a model to explain microfinance and mission drift, tested with hypotheses. The results from the empirical study show a pattern of mission centered MFI: a small NGO, with labor productivity, receiving donations and obtaining a high margin. The need for reducing interest rates is concluded. According to the long tail theory, this can be done through the use of efficient technology, as the e-commerce sector has achieved.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Serrano-Cinca & Begoña Gutiérrez-Nieto, 2012. "Microfinance, the long tail and mission drift," Working Papers CEB 12-001, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/107018
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    Cited by:

    1. Dorfleitner, Gregor & Röhe, Michaela & Renier, Noémie, 2017. "The access of microfinance institutions to debt capital: An empirical investigation of microfinance investment vehicles," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 1-15.
    2. Larios-Hernández, Guillermo Jesús, 2017. "Blockchain entrepreneurship opportunity in the practices of the unbanked," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 865-874.
    3. Md Aslam Mia & Shamima Nasrin & Zhang Cheng, 2016. "Quality, quantity and financial sustainability of microfinance: Does resource allocation matter?," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 1285-1298, May.
    4. Sanfilippo-Azofra, Sergio & Torre-Olmo, Begoña & Cantero-Saiz, María, 2019. "Microfinance institutions and the bank lending channel in Asia and Latin America," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 19-32.
    5. Niels Hermes & Marek Hudon, 2018. "Determinants Of The Performance Of Microfinance Institutions: A Systematic Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(5), pages 1483-1513, December.
    6. Yu Shuai & Chuan-min Shuai & Wen-jing Li & Fu-bin Huang, 2019. "Role of women’s empowerment in improving farmer’s livelihood: empirical evidence from China," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 621-639, March.
    7. Mawuli Kodjovi Couchoro, 2019. "La place des mecanismes d’epargne-credit et de pret progressif dans la selection des clients des IMF en milieu urbain : le cas de WAGES en 2010," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 31(2), pages 314-331, April.
    8. Jeremy D. Turiel & Tomaso Aste, 2019. "P2P Loan acceptance and default prediction with Artificial Intelligence," Papers 1907.01800, arXiv.org.
    9. Joshua K Ault, 2016. "An institutional perspective on the social outcome of entrepreneurship: Commercial microfinance and inclusive markets," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 47(8), pages 951-967, October.
    10. Md Aslam Mia & V. G. R. Chandran, 2016. "Measuring Financial and Social Outreach Productivity of Microfinance Institutions in Bangladesh," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 505-527, June.
    11. Sydney Chikalipah, 2017. "Institutional Environment and Microfinance Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 29(1), pages 16-27, March.
    12. Dan Brockington & Nicola Banks, 2014. "Exploring the Success of BRAC Tanzania’s Microcredit Programme," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 20214, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    13. Julie De Pril & Cécile Godfroid, 2017. "How to Reconcile Financial Incentives and Prosocial Motivation of Loan Officers in Microfinance?," Working Papers CEB 17-011, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    14. Leif Atle Beisland & Bert D’Espallier & Roy Mersland, 2019. "The Commercialization of the Microfinance Industry: Is There a ‘Personal Mission Drift’ Among Credit Officers?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 119-134, August.
    15. Drori, Israel & Manos, Ronny & Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania & Shenkar, Oded & Shoham, Amir, 2018. "Language and market inclusivity for women entrepreneurship: the case of microfinance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 395-415.
    16. Hermes, Cornelis & Hudon, M., 2018. "Determinants of the Performance of Microfinance Institutions: A Systematic Review," Research Report 2018008, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).

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    Keywords

    Microfinance; financial ratios; outreach; social performance; mission drift; long tail; bankruptcy;

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