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Microfinance and moneylenders : long-run effects of MFIs on informal credit market in Bangladesh

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  • Berg, Claudia
  • Emran, M. Shahe
  • Shilpi, Forhad

Abstract

Using two surveys from Bangladesh, this paper provides evidence on the effects of microfinance competition on village moneylender interest rates and households'dependence on informal credit. The views among practitioners diverge sharply: proponents claim that competition of microfinance institutions reduces both the moneylender interest rate and households'reliance on informal credit, while the critics argue the opposite. Taking advantage of recent econometric approaches that address selection on unobservables without imposing standard exclusion restrictions, this paper finds that microfinance competition does not reduce moneylender interest rates, thus partially repudiating the proponents. The effects are heterogeneous; there is no perceptible effect at low levels of coverage, but when microfinance coverage is high enough, the moneylender interest rate increases significantly. In contrast, households'dependence on informal credit tends to go down after they become a member of a microfinance institution, which contradicts part of the critic's argument. The evidence is consistent with a model where microfinance institutions draw away better borrowers from the moneylender, and fixed costs are important in informal lending.

Suggested Citation

  • Berg, Claudia & Emran, M. Shahe & Shilpi, Forhad, 2013. "Microfinance and moneylenders : long-run effects of MFIs on informal credit market in Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6619, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6619
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Bo & Yu, Yunjun & Yang, Ziying & Zhang, Xiaomei, 2021. "Microfinance institutions and Peer-to-Peer lending: What does microfinance competition bring?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    2. Demont, Timothée, 2016. "Microfinance spillovers: A model of competition in informal credit markets with an application to Indian villages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 21-41.
    3. Rabbani, Atonu & Hasan, Md. Mehadi, 2021. "The role of borrowing in crisis coping among ultra-poor households in rural Bangladesh," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    4. Islam, Asadul & Nguyen, Chau & Smyth, Russell, 2015. "Does microfinance change informal lending in village economies? Evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 141-156.
    5. Hoffmann, Vivian & Rao, Vijayendra & Surendra, Vaishnavi & Datta, Upamanyu, 2021. "Relief from usury: Impact of a self-help group lending program in rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    6. Mallick, Debdulal & Nabin, Munirul H., 2018. "Cost effectiveness or serving the poor? Factors determining program placement of NGOs in Bangladesh," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 281-290.
    7. Bardsley, Peter & Meager, Rachael, 2019. "Competing lending platforms, endogenous reputation, and fragility in microcredit markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 107-126.
    8. Rejaul K. Bakshi & Debdulal Mallick & Mehmet A. Ulubaşoğlu, 2019. "Social capital as a coping mechanism for seasonal deprivation: the case of the Monga in Bangladesh," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 239-262, July.
    9. Mookherjee, D. & Motta, A., 2016. "A theory of interactions between MFIs and informal lenders," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 191-200.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Access to Finance; Debt Markets; Banks&Banking Reform; Economic Theory&Research; Emerging Markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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