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Apex Organizations and the Growth of Microfinance in Bolivia


  • Sergio Navajas


  • Mark Schreiner

    (Washington University in St. Louis)


Bolivia has the most advanced microfinance sector in Latin America and has been a model worldwide. Apex organizations--second-tier wholesaling mechanisms that lend and offer non- financial assistance to retailing microfinance organizations--have not been responsible for this success. Former and current Bolivian apex organizations have engaged in little market development. Some have provided some liquidity to microfinance organizations, but they have not played an indispensable role in the development of the sector. Other mechanisms for the delivery of donor aid have been more effective in strengthening the best Bolivian microfinance organizations. There appears, therefore, to be no justification for various apex organizations planned for the future. These mechanisms may actually discourage deposit mobilization and if they would disburse funds to un-sustainable microfinance organizations, they may create an unfair playing field. This paper examines the role of apex organizations in the development of microfinance in Bolivia in two sections. The first one discusses demand and supply in the market for microfinance, the regulatory framework for the sector, and the nature of constraints on sustainable microfinance in this country. The second one evaluates the poor performance of a number of public-sector apex mechanisms and the predicament of one non-government apex organization. It also discusses options for the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Sergio Navajas & Mark Schreiner, 2001. "Apex Organizations and the Growth of Microfinance in Bolivia," Development and Comp Systems 0109010, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0109010
    Note: Type of Document - Adobe Acrobat 3.0; prepared on Windows 98; to print on Adobe Acrobat 3.0; pages: ; figures: Included in pdf file

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Deaton, Angus, 1992. " Household Saving in LDCs: Credit Markets, Insurance and Welfare," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 253-273.
    2. Reinhard H. Schmidt & Claus-Peter Zeitinger, 1996. "Prospects, problems and potential of credit-granting NGOs," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(2), pages 241-258.
    3. Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio & Meyer, Richard L. & Navajas, Sergio & Schreiner, Mark & Rodriguez-Meza, Jorge & Monje, Guillermo F., 1996. "Microfinance Market Niches And Client Profiles In Bolivia," Economics and Sociology Occasional Papers 28332, Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
    4. Braverman, Avishay & Guasch, J. Luis, 1986. "Rural credit markets and institutions in developing countries: Lessons for policy analysis from practice and modern theory," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(10-11), pages 1253-1267.
    5. Yaron, J., 1992. "Assessing Development Finance Institutions; A Public Interest Analysis," World Bank - Discussion Papers 174, World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Werner L. Hernani-Limarino & Paul Villarroel, 2015. "Evaluando el Impacto de Microcréditos en Bolivia - Evidencia del Crédito Productivo Individual – Banco de Desarrollo Productivo," Working Papers 05/2015, Fundación Aru.

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    JEL classification:

    • O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth
    • P - Economic Systems

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