Are microcredit borrowers in Bangladesh over-indebted ?
Microcredit programs in Bangladesh have experienced spectacular growth in recent years, with a growing number of borrowers availing credit from multiple microcredit agencies. There is a growing concern that if there are not sufficient returns to borrowing from microfinance institutions (MFIS), some borrowers might be taking loans that they will not be able to repay. A household may be considered over-indebted, for example, if its debt liability exceeds 40 percent of its income or assets. Using a long panel of household survey data from Bangladesh, the paper finds that some 26 percent of microcredit borrowers are over-indebted on this measure versus 22 percent of non-microcredit borrowers. Econometric analysis suggests that both MFI competition and multiple borrowing raise indebtedness. However, repeated borrowing, while it affects short-term liability adversely, does affect the long-term debt-asset ratio favorably. That is, repeated borrowing helps increase assets more than debt over time. Microcredit borrowers in Bangladesh are thus not necessarily over-indebted. But when borrowing is seen as protection against shocks such as floods even at the cost of being indebted, MFIs may offer micro-insurance schemes to safeguard borrowers against economic shocks.
|Date of creation:||01 Aug 2013|
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- Jessica Schicks, 2010. "Microfinance Over-Indebtedness: Understanding its drivers and challenging the common myths," Working Papers CEB 10-048, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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- Vogelgesang, Ulrike, 2003.
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Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 2085-2114, December.
- Ulrike Vogelgesang, 2001. "Microfinance in Times of Crisis: The Effects of Competition, Rising Indebtedness, and Economic Crisis on Repayment Behavior," GK working paper series 2001-06, Post Graduate Programme "Allocation on Financial Markets", University of Mannheim, revised Nov 2001.
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