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The Cost Structure Of Microfinance Institutions In Eastern Europe And Central Asia


  • Valentina Hartarska
  • Steven B. Caudill


  • Daniel M. Gropper



Microfinance institutions are important, particularly in developing countries, because they expand the frontier of financial intermediation by providing loans to those traditionally excluded from formal financial markets. This paper presents the first systematic statistical examination of the performance of MFIs operating in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. A cost function is estimated for MFIs in the region from 1999-2004. First, the presence of subsidies is found to be associated with higher MFI costs. When output is measured as the number of loans made, we find that MFIs become more efficient over time and that MFIs involved in the provision of group loans and loans to women have lower costs. However, when output is measured as volume of loans rather than their number, this last finding is reversed. This may be due to the fact that such loans are smaller in size; thus for a given volume more loans must be made.

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  • Valentina Hartarska & Steven B. Caudill & Daniel M. Gropper, 2006. "The Cost Structure Of Microfinance Institutions In Eastern Europe And Central Asia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp809, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2006-809

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    Cited by:

    1. Erhardt, Eva Christine, 2017. "Microfinance beyond self-employment: Evidence for firms in Bulgaria," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 75-95.
    2. Servin, Roselia & Lensink, Robert & van den Berg, Marrit, 2012. "Ownership and technical efficiency of microfinance institutions: Empirical evidence from Latin America," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 2136-2144.
    3. Mihir Dash & Shyam Lal Dev Pandey, 2016. "Efficiency Measurement for MFIs in India Using the Control-Efficiency Model," Journal of Applied Management and Investments, Department of Business Administration and Corporate Security, International Humanitarian University, vol. 5(3), pages 156-161, August.
    4. repec:rss:jnljef:v3i4p3 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Eastern Europe; banking; microfinance; efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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