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Growth patterns of microfinance clients - Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Winkler, Adalbert
  • Wagner, Charlotte

We provide evidence on the growth patterns of microfinance clients. Our analysis is motivated by the debate on the impact of microfinance on client income and growth. Based on loan-level data from close to 40,000 clients in Sub-Saharan Africa we make use of an econometric approach widely employed in the firm growth literature. Results show that on average clients exhibit substantial growth between two consecutive loans. Moreover, there is a non-linear relationship between initial client size and growth: smaller businesses show higher growth rates which is marginally counteracted by positive growth of the very large clients. Results also indicate that growth rates decline in the course of the lending relationship. Overall our results provide econometric support for the largely anecdotal evidence presented by microfinance practitioners that their clients grow. At the same time they suggest that the equilibrium size of most clients remains small.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79945.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79945
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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  1. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli, 2006. "Small and medium-size enterprises: Access to finance as a growth constraint," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2931-2943, November.
  2. Alex Coad & Rekha Rao, 2006. "Innovation and Firm Growth in High-Tech Sectors: A Quantile Regression Approach," LEM Papers Series 2006/18, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  3. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2010. "Giving Credit Where It Is Due," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 61-80, Summer.
  4. Ulrike Vogelgesang, 2001. "The Impact of Microfinance Loans on the Clients' Enterprises: Caja Los Andes, Bolivia," GK working paper series 2001-03, Post Graduate Programme "Allocation on Financial Markets", University of Mannheim, revised Nov 2001.
  5. Cull, Robert & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Morduch, Jonathan, 2008. "Microfinance meets the market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4630, The World Bank.
  6. Henrekson, Magnus & Johansson, Dan, 2008. "Gazelles as Job Creators – A Survey and Interpretation of the Evidence," Ratio Working Papers 117, The Ratio Institute.
  7. Hans Degryse & Peter Goeij & Peter Kappert, 2012. "The impact of firm and industry characteristics on small firms’ capital structure," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 431-447, May.
  8. Jessica Schicks, 2010. "Microfinance Over-Indebtedness: Understanding its drivers and challenging the common myths," Working Papers CEB 10-048, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Micheline Goedhuys & Leo Sleuwaegen, 2010. "High-growth entrepreneurial firms in Africa: a quantile regression approach," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 31-51, January.
  10. Degryse, H.A. & de Goeij, P. C. & Kappert, P., 2009. "The Impact of Firm and Industry Characteristics on Small Firms' Capital Structure : Evidence from Dutch Panel Data," Discussion Paper 2009-21, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. van Rooyen, C. & Stewart, R. & de Wet, T., 2012. "The Impact of Microfinance in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review of the Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(11), pages 2249-2262.
  12. Scott Shane, 2009. "Why encouraging more people to become entrepreneurs is bad public policy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 141-149, August.
  13. Anis Chowdhury, 2009. "Microfinance as a Poverty Reduction Tool—A Critical Assessment," Working Papers 89, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  14. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
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