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Microfinance at the margin: Experimental evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Augsburg, Britta & de Haas, Ralph & Harmgart, Heike & Meghir, Costas, 2014. "Microfinance at the margin: Experimental evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2014-304, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2014304
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Guinnane, Timothy W., 1999. "The economics of lending with joint liability: theory and practice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 195-228, October.
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    4. Marcel Fafchamps & David McKenzie & Simon Quinn & Christopher Woodruff, 2011. "When is capital enough to get female microenterprises growing? Evidence from a randomized experiment in Ghana," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. 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.
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    11. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Morduch, Jonathan & Ravi, Shamika & Bauchet, Jonathan, 2013. "Substitution Bias and External Validity: Why an Innovative Anti-poverty Program Showed no Net Impact," CEI Working Paper Series 2013-02, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Jaikishan Desai & Kristin Johnson & Alessandro Tarozzi, 2013. "On the Impact of Microcredit: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention in Rural Ethiopia," Working Papers 741, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Khandker, Shahidur R. & Samad, Hussain A., 2014. "Dynamic effects of microcredit in Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6821, The World Bank.
    4. Lori Beaman & Dean Karlan & Bram Thuysbaert & Christopher Udry, 2014. "Self-Selection into Credit Markets: Evidence from Agriculture in Mali," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 14/884, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. 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.
    6. Manuela Angelucci & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Win Some Lose Some? Evidence from a Randomized Microcredit Program Placement Experiment by Compartamos Banco," Working Papers 1026, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    7. Dean Karlan & Adam Osman & Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Follow the Money: Methods for Identifying Consumption and Investment Responses to a Liquidity Shock," NBER Working Papers 19696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bateman, Milford & Sinković, Dean & Škare, Marinko, 2012. "The contribution of the microfinance model to Bosnia's post-war reconstruction and development: How to destroy an economy and society without really trying," Working Papers 36, Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (ÖFSE) / Austrian Foundation for Development Research.
    9. Manuela Angelucci & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2015. "Microcredit Impacts: Evidence from a Randomized Microcredit Program Placement Experiment by Compartamos Banco," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 151-182, January.
    10. Lori Beaman & Dean Karlan & Bram Thuysbaert, 2014. "Saving for a (not so) Rainy Day: A Ramdomized Evaluation of Savings Groups in Mali," Working Papers 1043, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    11. Manuela Angelucci, Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Win Some Lose Some? Evidence from a Randomized Microcredit Program Placement Experiment by Compartamos Banco-Working Paper 330," Working Papers 330, Center for Global Development.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    microfinance; liquidity constraints; human capital; randomised controlled trial;

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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