Do microfinance institutions fulfil their promise? Evidence from cross-country data

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1655-1677
Journal / PublicationApplied Economics
Issue number18
Online published3 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


The concept of microfinance promises poverty reduction and economic growth. We empirically challenge this economic and social promise in an attempt to prove its fulfilment. Our multivariate regressions of economic development variables such as per capita gross national income based on PPP converted to international dollars (GNI per capita PPP), GDP growth, as well as gross capital formation and labour participation rate against specific microfinance institutions’ (MFI) variables show that the success and performance of MFIs significantly influence economic development. Microfinance directly influences economic growth through the value that MFI performance adds to purchasing power. An indirect impact comes from an improvement in capital accumulation and employment rates. These insights are valuable as the interdependencies between microfinance and economic development that this article verifies offer new and progressive insights into purposeful action that can be taken to stimulate economic development and growth. Targeted development programmes as well as socially responsible investments can be applied in developing economies in order to strengthen their growth and alleviate poverty. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Research Area(s)

  • economic development, MFI performance, Microfinance, outreach