Value Chain Microfinance

January 15, 2024

Lorenzo Casaburi (University of Zurich) and Jack Willis (Columbia University)

We study the provision of financial services to small firms, consumers, and workers in developing countries as part of value chain relationships: value chain microfinance (VCMF). We first explore how VCMF can both overcome barriers to financial access – including asymmetric information, enforcement, and behavioral biases – and strengthen value chains, but also how it can introduce new challenges. We then review a recent empirical literature at the intersection of value chains and microfinance studying the demand for and effects of VCMF in credit, insurance, and savings markets. We conclude by highlighting promising directions for future work.

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