In addition to the special lunch seminar, we also have a regular external seminar this Wednesday. Maitreesh Ghatak (LSE) will be presenting "Market structure and borrower welfare in microfinance".
Motivated by recent controversies surrounding the role of commercial lenders in microfinance, we analyze borrower welfare under different market structures, considering a benevolent non-profit lender, a for-profit monopolist, and a competitive credit market. To understand the magnitude of the effects analyzed, we simulate the model with parameters estimated from the MIX Market database. Our results suggest that market power can have severe implications for borrower welfare, while despite possible information frictions competition typically delivers similar borrower welfare to non-profit lending. In addition, for-profit lenders are less likely to use joint liability than non-profits.
You can find Maitreesh's paper here: http://econ.lse.ac.uk/staff/mghatak/marketpowerMFI.pdf
Staff and PhD students who would like to meet with Maitreesh, please contact Maris Goldmanis will be co-ordinating this seminar.