The Empirics of Microfinance: What do we Know?

B.W. Lensink, N. Hermes

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

180 Citations (Scopus)


Microfinance has received a lot of attention recently, both from policy makers as well as in academic circles. Two of the main topics that have been hotly debated are explaining joint liability group lending and its implications for reducing information asymmetries, and the trade-off between the financial sustainability and outreach of microfinance programmes. This Feature contains three novel empirical contributions providing new insights with respect to why and how joint liability group lending works. It also contains the first large-scale systematic analysis of the trade-off between financial performance and outreach of microfinance institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F1-F10
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number517
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • repayment performance
  • joint liability
  • peer selection
  • social cohesion
  • credit
  • design
  • information
  • bangladesh
  • programs
  • eritrea

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