Microfinance and Investment: A Comparison between Group Lending, Bank Lending and Informal Credit
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Quantitative Methods and Business Strategies (DEMS); Paolo Baffi Center - Bocconi University
Using data from a World Bank survey carried out in Bangladesh during the period 1991-1992, this paper compares the impact of microfinance programs and other types of credit agreements on households' investment in productive activities. We find that group-lending positively affects variable input expenditure while fixed assets are more likely to be financed through bank credit. These features characterize the non agricultural sector, while farmers seem to rely on informal loans. Results are not a consequence of the differences in the amount borrowed, interest rates, collateral, and borrowers' wealth. This provides evidence that non-measurable determinants of credit agreements, such as for example liability, sanctions, repayment schedules, and non-credit services, play a considerable role in determining households' attitudes towards different investment choices.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 49
Keywords: Microfinance, Banks, Informal lending, Investment
JEL Classification: O16, O17, G21
Date posted: December 22, 2006 ; Last revised: March 12, 2008