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Microfinance at the margin: Experimental evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2014304
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  1. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2009. "Are Women More Credit Constrained? Experimental Evidence on Gender and Microenterprise Returns," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 1-32, July.
  2. Abhijit Banerjee & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2010. "The Shape of Temptation: Implications for the Economic Lives of the Poor," Working Papers id:2484, eSocialSciences.
  3. Hanan G. Jacoby & Emmanuel Skoufias, 1997. "Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 311-335.
  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. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2010. "Expanding Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 433-464, January.
  6. Feigenberg, Benjamin & Field, Erica M. & Pande, Rohini, 2010. "Building Social Capital through Microfinance," Working Paper Series rwp10-019, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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. Wydick, Bruce, 1999. "The Effect of Microenterprise Lending on Child Schooling in Guatemala," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(4), pages 853-869, July.
  12. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H. & Gatti, Roberta, 2006. "Child labor and agricultural shocks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 80-96, October.
  13. Jacoby, Hanan G, 1994. "Borrowing Constraints and Progress through School: Evidence from Peru," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 151-160, February.
  14. 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.
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