Delving into the Determinants of Default Risk in Savings Groups: Empirical Evidence from Ecuador.
Abstract: Financial inclusion has been broadly recognized as critical in alleviating poverty and achieving inclusive economic growth. The capability of borrowers to repay their microcredit loans is a critical concern and is the first risk of Microfinance institutions sustainability. Exploring the determinants of credit risk is an issue of substantial importance in microfinance. The purpose of this research was to identify the savings group members’ characteristics that have impact on default risk. We have used a multivariate regression model to identify the factors that affect default behaviour among microcredit borrowers from savings groups. We have analysed a sample of more than different 400 Savings Groups and 7251 active users of the “Saving and Learning” program in Ecuador. Empirical results demonstrated that factors such as seniority, accumulated savings and the number of members in the savings groups are determinant variables of default risk. The significant positive sign on variable “Gender” is consistent with the previous authors that indicate that the probability of having problems in loan repayment is higher for males than for females. The generalizability of our findings should, of course, be interpreted with caution, as they may be idiosyncratic of the sample, period or region. To contrast and contextualize these results, we had in-depth discussions with the Savinco managers and their field agent in Ecuador. There are many contributions. For practitioners, relevant factors that can affect savings groups default rates have been identified. For academics, the rich information provided by the Savinco mobile App could be a starting point for further quantitative research.
Universal identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/10641/2796
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