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Microfinance Loan Officers Before and During Covid-19: Evidence from India

Kristina Czura, Florian Englmaier, Hoa Ho and Lisa Spantig
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Florian Englmaier: LMU Munich
Hoa Ho: LMU Munich

No 322, Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series from CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition

Abstract: The Microfinance industry has been severely affected by Covid-19. We provide detailed insights into how loan officers, the key personnel linking the lender to its borrowers, are affected in their performance and adapt their work to the pandemic. We use administrative records of an Indian Microfinance Institution and detailed panel survey data on performance, performed tasks, and work organization to document how the work environment became more challenging during the pandemic. Loan officers operate in a setting where work from home is hard to implement due to the nature of the tasks and technological constraints. The usual performance indicators appear to be mainly driven by external factors such as the nation-wide debt moratorium. Loan officers worked similar hours, but engaged less in planning activities and completed fewer of the usual tasks. Work perceptions and mental health of loan officers reflect these changes, and perceived stress was particularly high during the period of the debt moratorium.

Keywords: microfinance; loan officers; covid-19; work organization; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G21 J22 M54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-03-23
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban and nep-mfd
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4)

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