Journal article Open Access

Information, the Cost of Credit, and Operational Efficiency: An Empirical Study of Microfinance

Garmaise, Mark J.; Natividad, Gabriel

We provide direct evidence on the impact of asymmetric information on both financing and operating activities through a study of credit evaluations of microfinance institutions (MFIs). We employ a regression discontinuity model that exploits the eligibility criteria of an evaluation subsidy offered by a non-profit consortium. Evaluations dramatically cut the cost of financing. This effect is strongest for commercial lenders and for short-term MFI-lender relationships. The impact of evaluations on the supply of finance is mixed. Evaluated MFIs lend more efficiently, extending more loans per employee.

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