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Can Self-Help Groups Really Be 'Self-Help'?

Brian Greaney (), Joseph Kaboski and Eva Van Leemput ()

No 1155, International Finance Discussion Papers from Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

Abstract: We provide an experimental and theoretical evaluation of a cost-reducing innovation in the delivery of \"self-help group\" microfinance services, in which privatized agents earn payments through membership fees for providing services. Under the status quo, agents are paid by an outside donor and offer members free services. In our multi-country randomized control trial we evaluate the change in this incentive scheme on agent behavior and performance, and on overall village-level outcomes. We find that privatized agents start groups, attract members, mobilize savings, and intermediate loans at similar levels after a year but at much lower costs to the NGO. At the village level, we find higher levels of borrowing, business-related savings, and investment in business. Examining mechanisms, we find that self-help groups serve more business-oriented clientele when facilitated by agents who face strong financial incentives.

Keywords: Microfinance; Self-Help Groups; Privatized Delivery (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 O12 O16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 77 pages
Date: 2016-01-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-mfd
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (15)

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http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/ifdp/2015/files/ifdp1155.pdf Full text (application/pdf)
http://dx.doi.org/10.17016/IFDP.2015.1155 DOI (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Can Self-Help Groups Really Be "Self-Help"? (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Can self-help groups really be self-help? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Can Self-Help Groups Really Be "Self-Help"? (2013) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:fip:fedgif:1155

DOI: 10.17016/IFDP.2015.1155r

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