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From boom to bust: how different has microfinance been from traditional banking?

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  • Wagner, Charlotte

Abstract

This paper presents an in-depth analysis of developments in the microfinance sector before and after the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008 by comparing them with developments in traditional banking sectors of emerging market economies and developing countries. The findings indicate that microfinance has been part of the same credit boom observed in the traditional banking sector. Moreover, as in the traditional banking sector, the boom was fostered by substantial inflows of foreign capital. This raises the question whether the crisis resilience the microfinance sector has shown in the past remains a characterizing feature of microfinance or whether the same risk factors associated with excessive credit growth lead - as in the traditional banking sector - to greater vulnerability. The findings indicate that microfinance markets with strong capital inflows, high credit growth rates and rapidly increasing competition experienced a substantial decrease in credit growth and deterioration of portfolio quality in the post-Lehman period. This is in line with the evidence found for the traditional banking sector in emerging markets and developing countries. The paper concludes that by becoming part of the global financial system, microfinance has lost one of the characteristics which distinguish it from traditional banking, namely its higher resilience towards crises in domestic and global financial markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Wagner, Charlotte, 2010. "From boom to bust: how different has microfinance been from traditional banking?," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 156, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:156
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Inklaar, Robert & Koetter, Michael & Noth, Felix, 2012. "Who's afraid of big bad banks? Bank competition, SME, and industry growth," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 197, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    2. Dietmar Harhoff & Elisabeth Mueller & John Reenen, 2014. "What are the Channels for Technology Sourcing? Panel Data Evidence from German Companies," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 204-224, March.
    3. Boeing, Philipp & Mueller, Elisabeth & Sandner, Philipp, 2012. "What makes Chinese firms productive? Learning from indigenous and foreign sources of knowledge," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 196, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    4. Marie Briere & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "Investment in Microfinance Equity: Risk, Return, and Diversification Benefits," Working Papers CEB 11-050, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Kostka, Genia & Moslener, Ulf & Andreas, Jan G., 2011. "Barriers to energy efficiency improvement: Empirical evidence from small-and-medium sized enterprises in China," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 178, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    6. Alexander Libman & Vladimir Kozlov & André Schultz, 2012. "Roving Bandits in Action: Outside Option and Governmental Predation in Autocracies," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 526-562, November.
    7. Yu, Xiaofan, 2011. "A spatial interpretation of the persistency of China's provincial inequality," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 171, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    8. Böing, Philipp & Müller, Elisabeth, 2012. "Technological Capabilities of Chinese Enterprises: Who is Going to Compete Abroad?," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62081, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    microfinance; crisis resilience; credit boom; financial crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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