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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2011/2012 Research Topic: 1-15
The Impact of Micro-Credit Repayment Rules on Seasonal Migration and Loan Repayment during the Agricultural Lean Season – A Randomised Experiment in Bangladesh


The emergence of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) has been a recent policy development in the area of poverty alleviation in developing countries. These institutions have improved the access of the poor to the informal credit market. However, the interactions and side-effects of this policy instrument have not yet been studied extensively, although they are of major importance for the evaluation of such instruments.

Based on anecdotic and survey evidence, we find that micro-credit can actually hamper temporary migration during lean seasons, thus lowering the welfare of rural people. We have not come across any examples to suggest that this problem has been studied appropriately in the literature, even though it has direct implications for development policy. This establishes the need, importance, and relevance of a comprehensive and methodologically sound study of the problem, such as that which we propose.

The results of this project will help MFIs to optimize their credit schemes, and will also assist other interested parties including governmental institutions to either advocate a relaxation of micro-credit rules or to search for alternative policy instruments, particularly in the agricultural lean periods.


April 2011 - February 2013

Members of the Research Project

[ Organizer ] SHONCHOY Abu
[ Co-researchers ] YAMAGATA Tatsufumi
KUROSAKI Takashi (Professor, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)
TSUKADA Kazunari


Information of the Research Project

For a background reading of this topics, you may read Abu Shonchoy, “Seasonal Migration and Micro-credit in the Lean Period: Evidence from Northwest Bangladesh,” IDE Discussion Paper No. 294, March 11, to have a better understanding of the subject matter of this research project.