EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Microfinance for poverty alleviation: Do transnational initiatives overlook fundamental questions of competition and intermediation?

Frithjof Arp, Alvin Ardisa and Alviani Ardisa

EconStor Open Access Articles, 2017, 103-117

Abstract: Numerous microfinance initiatives around the world aim to alleviate poverty in developing countries. However, debate persists about their effectiveness and sustainability – a concern for transnational corporations and the international business community, which contribute about $9.4 billion to microfinance funding. In this policy-oriented article we aggregate findings from two studies in Indonesia that help explain why moneylending can still thrive when low-interest microfinance is widely available and why the poorest borrowers benefit less than the less-poor. To avoid methodological debates about validity, we interview market participants and triangulate the perspectives of borrowers with those of formal and informal lenders. Importantly, our research includes current and past borrowing from formal and informal sources, prompting participants to draw comparisons. We find that the importance to borrowers of key characteristics of informal lending is insufficiently recognized and that inappropriate human resource management and informal intermediation are significant problems. The latter can be an unintended consequence of formal microfinance: The availability of formal low-interest microfinance creates informal intermediation opportunities for entrepreneurs, often developing from casual intermediation into systematic deception. We discuss implications for microfinance policy with reference to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and offer suggestions for further research.

Keywords: Microfinance; Poverty; Competition; Formal; Informal; Intermediation; Indonesia; Qualitative; United Nations; Sustainable Development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I30 I38 I39 O17 O19 Q01 Q13 Q14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/170696/1/A ... n%20-%20econstor.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Microfinance for poverty alleviation: Do transnational initiatives overlook fundamental questions of competition and intermediation? (2017)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:espost:170696

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in EconStor Open Access Articles from ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics ().

 
Page updated 2021-04-25
Handle: RePEc:zbw:espost:170696