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Microfinance at the margin: Experimental evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Augsburg, Britta
  • de Haas, Ralph
  • Harmgart, Heike
  • Meghir, Costas

We use a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to analyse the impact of microcredit on poverty reduction in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The study population are loan appli-cants that would normally have just been rejected based on regular screening. We find that access to credit allowed borrowers to start and expand small-scale busi-nesses. Households that already had a business and where the borrower had more education, ran down their savings, presumably to complement the loan and to achieve the minimum amount necessary to expand their business. In less-educated households, however, consumption went down. A key new result is that there was a substantial increase in the labour supply of young adults (16-19 year olds). This was accompanied by a reduction in school attendance.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change with number SP II 2014-304.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2014304
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," NBER Working Papers 6357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2006. "Expanding credit access: Using randomized supply decisions to estimate the impacts," Natural Field Experiments 00281, The Field Experiments Website.
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  10. Orazio Attanasio & Britta Augsburg & Ralph de Haas & Emla Fitzsimons & Heike Harmgart, 2011. "Group lending or individual lending? Evidence from a randomised field experiment in Mongolia," IFS Working Papers W11/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Fafchamps, Marcel & McKenzie, David J. & Quinn, Simon & Woodruff, Christopher, 2011. "When is capital enough to get female microenterprises growing? Evidence from a randomized experiment in Ghana," CEPR Discussion Papers 8466, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  14. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Klapper, Leora F. & Panos, Georgios A., 2009. "Entrepreneurship in post-conflict transition : the role of informality and access to finance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4935, The World Bank.
  15. Joseph G. Altonji, 2005. "Employer Learning, Statistical Discrimination and Occupational Attainment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 112-117, May.
  16. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
  17. Joseph P. Kaboski & Robert M. Townsend, 2005. "Policies and Impact: An Analysis of Village-Level Microfinance Institutions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-50, 03.
  18. Nidhiya Menon, 2010. "Investment credit and child labour," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(12), pages 1461-1479.
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