Finance-Growth Nexus and Banking Efficiency: The Impact of Microfinance Institutions
Journal of Economics and Business,
This paper investigates the relative importance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) at both the macro (financial development, economic growth, income inequality, and poverty) and micro levels (efficiency of traditional commercial banks). We observe a significant impact on most of the fronts. MFIs’ participation increases overall savings (total bank deposits) and credit allocation (loans to private sector) in the economy. Their involvement enhances economic welfare by reducing income inequality and poverty. Additionally, their active presence helps to discipline the traditional commercial banks by subjecting them to more competition triggering higher efficiency.
Role of the Community Reinvestment Act in Mortgage Supply and the U.S. Housing Boom
Review of Financial Studies,
This paper studies the role of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in the U.S. housing boom-bust cycle. I find that enhanced CRA enforcement in 1998 increased the growth rate of mortgage lending by CRA-regulated banks to CRA-eligible census tracts. I show that during the boom period house price growth was higher in the eligible census tracts because of the shift in mortgage supply of regulated banks. Consequently, these census tracts experienced a worse housing bust. I find that CRA-induced mortgages were awarded to borrowers with lower FICO scores and were more frequently delinquent.
Comparing Financial Transparency between For-profit and Nonprofit Suppliers of Public Goods: Evidence from Microfinance
Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money,
Previous research finds market financing is favored over relationship financing in environments of better governance, since the transaction costs to investors of vetting asymmetric information are thereby reduced. For industries supplying public goods, for-profits rely on market financing, while nonprofits rely on relationships with donors. This suggests that for-profits will be more inclined than nonprofits to improve financial transparency. We examine the impact of for-profit versus nonprofit status on the financial transparency of firms engaged with supplying public goods. There are relatively few industries that have large number of both for-profit and nonprofit firms across countries. However, the microfinance industry provides the opportunity of a large number of both for-profit and nonprofit firms in relatively equal numbers, across a wide array of countries. Consistent with our prediction, we find that financial transparency is positively associated with a for-profit status. Results will be of broad interest both to scholars interested in the roles of transparency and transaction costs on market versus relational financing; as well as to policy makers interested in the impact of for-profit on the supply of public goods, and on the microfinance industry in particular.