An overview of recent developments in the microfinance literature
Valentina M. Hartarska
This paper presents an overview of microfinance and microfinance research. The objective is to show that microfinance research has come full circle: from policies to lending methodologies and to organizations in the 1990s, and back to a focus on policies. Specifically, developments in the theoretical literature on asymmetric information, transaction costs, contracts, and banking identify the challenges that MFIs must overcome. Recent trends toward intermediation and commercialization have brought about renewed focus on identifying appropriate policies to promote a viable microfinance industry. The paper concludes by describing some current challenges faced by the industry and offers a possible research agenda for agricultural economists.
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