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Performance of Microfinance Institutions in Europe - Does Social Capital Matter?


Krauss, Annette; Chmelikova, Gabriela; Dvoulety, Ondrej (2019). Performance of Microfinance Institutions in Europe - Does Social Capital Matter? Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 68:100670- 100670.

Abstract

This paper investigates performance drivers of microfinance suppliers in Europe. As such suppliers, in contrast to advanced microfinance suppliers in developing economies, typically focus on uncollateralized microcredit services to individuals at the margins of society and of labor markets, we draw on the theory of social capital and empirically investigate the role that social capital may play in the overall performance of European microfinance suppliers. We build a unique, unbalanced panel data set of 302 microfinance service providers in Europe covering the years 2008 to 2015, and measure their performance in terms of credit risk, financial and social performance, and efficiency. Pursuing an econometric approach, we test a series of hypotheses using various measures of conditions conducive to building social capital on both the institutional and the country level, such as the client base of a microfinance supplier and the level of cultural fractionalization in a society. Our findings confirm that a higher intensity of social capital is positively associated with all areas of the performance of microfinance suppliers in Europe. Our conclusions could help in the design and launch of microfinance institutions in those European countries in which microfinance markets are developed not at all or only to a very limited extent. Our paper thus contributes to the nascent literature on microfinance in developed economies by applying and extending the theoretical framework and empirical models on social capital and microfinance that were originally elaborated for developing economies.

Abstract

This paper investigates performance drivers of microfinance suppliers in Europe. As such suppliers, in contrast to advanced microfinance suppliers in developing economies, typically focus on uncollateralized microcredit services to individuals at the margins of society and of labor markets, we draw on the theory of social capital and empirically investigate the role that social capital may play in the overall performance of European microfinance suppliers. We build a unique, unbalanced panel data set of 302 microfinance service providers in Europe covering the years 2008 to 2015, and measure their performance in terms of credit risk, financial and social performance, and efficiency. Pursuing an econometric approach, we test a series of hypotheses using various measures of conditions conducive to building social capital on both the institutional and the country level, such as the client base of a microfinance supplier and the level of cultural fractionalization in a society. Our findings confirm that a higher intensity of social capital is positively associated with all areas of the performance of microfinance suppliers in Europe. Our conclusions could help in the design and launch of microfinance institutions in those European countries in which microfinance markets are developed not at all or only to a very limited extent. Our paper thus contributes to the nascent literature on microfinance in developed economies by applying and extending the theoretical framework and empirical models on social capital and microfinance that were originally elaborated for developing economies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Banking and Finance
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:1 December 2019
Deposited On:14 Feb 2020 10:22
Last Modified:14 Feb 2020 10:24
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0038-0121
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2018.11.007
Related URLs:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0038012118300831 (Publisher)
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:16996

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