The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 842–870 | Cite as

Competition, Performance and Portfolio Quality in Microfinance Markets

  • Ashim Kumar KarEmail author
  • Ranjula Bali Swain
Original Article


Growing competition in microfinance has been blamed for multiple borrowing, over-indebtedness and loan repayment crisis in recent times. Using the Boone indicator as a proxy for competition, in this paper we investigate how competition impacts the outreach, financial performance and loan portfolio quality of microfinance institutions (MFIs). The analysis is based on data from 568 MFIs in ten vibrant microfinance markets (Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru and Philippines) for the period 2003–2014. We control for potential endogeneity of MFI performance, competition and other covariates by employing the generalized method of moments (GMM) estimation technique. We find that increased competition leads to higher profitability and better loan portfolio quality of the sampled MFIs, but worsens depth of outreach to the poor, which is an indication of mission drift.


microfinance institutions competition outreach financial performance panel data IV estimation stochastic frontier model Boone indicator 

La concurrence croissante dans le secteur de la microfinance a récemment été pointée du doigt comme responsable des problèmes d’emprunts multiples, de surendettement et de crise de remboursement de prêts. En utilisant l’indicateur Boone comme indicateur indirect de la concurrence, nous étudions dans cet article comment la concurrence influence la portée, la performance financière et la qualité du portefeuille de prêts des institutions de microfinance (IMF). L’analyse se base sur les données de 568 IMF dans 10 marchés de microfinance dynamiques (Bangladesh, Bolivie, Équateur, Inde, Indonésie, Mexique, Népal, Nicaragua, Pérou et Philippines) pour la période 2003–2014. Nous réduisons le risque potentiel d’endogénéité des performances des IMF, de la concurrence et d’autres covariables en utilisant la méthode d’estimation appelée méthode des moments généralisée (MMG). Pour les IMF échantillonnées, nous constatons qu’une concurrence accrue conduit à une rentabilité plus élevée et à une meilleure qualité du portefeuille de prêts, mais entraîne une accessibilité bien plus mauvaise pour les plus pauvres, ce qui indique une dérive de la mission.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Helsinki Center of Economic Research (HECER)University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Misum, Stockholm School of EconomicsStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsSödertörn UniversityStockholmSweden

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