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Balancing flexibility and discipline in microfinance: Innovative financial products that benefit clients and service providers

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  • Michael Hamp
  • Carolina Laureti

Abstract

Product innovation in microfinance is aimed at responding to the variety of poor clients’ needs, i.e. to develop and sustain the offer of a range of client-led products. The paper describes innovative market-oriented products that combine flexibility features with financial discipline. Those are microsavings, microcredit and microinsurance products and come from microfinance institutions worldwide. This review shows that service providers are introducing various types of flexibility into financial contracts; and that flexibility combined with appropriate enforcement mechanisms may enhance clients’ discipline. We notice, however, that flexibility may require information-intensive lending technologies, raising the MFIs’ costs of screening and monitoring clients, and have a limited outreach.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Hamp & Carolina Laureti, 2011. "Balancing flexibility and discipline in microfinance: Innovative financial products that benefit clients and service providers," Working Papers CEB 11-044, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/98728
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael R. CARTER & Alain de JANVRY & Elisabeth SADOULET & Alexandros SARRIS, 2014. "Index-based weather insurance for developing countries: A review of evidence and a set of propositions for up-scaling," Working Papers P111, FERDI.
    2. Jessica Schicks, 2011. "From a supply gap to a demand gap? The risk and consequences of over-indebting the underbanked," Working Papers CEB 11-046, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Schicks, Jessica, 2014. "Over-Indebtedness in Microfinance – An Empirical Analysis of Related Factors on the Borrower Level," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 301-324.
    4. Müller, Kirsten & Musshoff, Oliver & Weber, Ron, 2014. "The more the better? How collateral levels affect credit risk in agricultural microfinance," DARE Discussion Papers 1402, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    product flexibility; discipline; commitments; microfinance;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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