Competition and the performance of microfinance institutions

Assefa, Esubalew; Hermes, Niels and Meesters, Aljar (2013). Competition and the performance of microfinance institutions. Applied Financial Economics, 23(9) pp. 767–782.



This article examines the relationship between competition and the performance of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs). We measure competition by constructing a Lerner index. Next, we assess the association between increased competition among MFIs on the one hand and outreach and loan repayment performance of individual MFIs on the other. The empirical investigation is based on data from 362 MFIs in 73 countries for the period 1995–2008. Based on our analysis we do find a general trend of increased competition in microfinance during the last decade. Moreover, our econometric analysis provides evidence that competition among MFIs is negatively associated with their outreach and repayment performance.

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