Unintended consequences of microfinance: effects on credit access for small- and medium-sized enterprises
While competition in the financial system generally mitigates small- and medium-sized enterprises' (SMEs) financing constraints, this paper theorises that competition by microfinance institutions (MFIs) has adverse effects through aggravating the ‘graduation problem’: Small firms outgrowing microfinance struggle to find financing as conventional financial institutions abstain from downscaling and developing suitable lending instruments for smaller firms if these market segments are narrowed down by upscaling MFIs. Using data from 51 countries between 2002 and 2015, microfinance is found to significantly lower SMEs' access to credit. Credit bureaus can reverse this effect indicating that credit information infrastructure can reconcile a strong microfinance sector with functioning SME finance.
Populist radical right parties' impact on european foreign aid spending
Since the early 2000s, populist radical right parties (PRRPs) have more than doubled their electoral support in Europe. Previous research found that PRRPs impact migration policy. However, little is known about whether they also impact other fields of domestic and foreign policy. Using a cross-country panel analysis, we test to what extent the rise of PRRPs has influenced European foreign aid spending. We find that while the rise of PRRPs has not been associated with an overall reduction in foreign aid, it has led to changes in how aid moneys are spent. PRRP strength is linked to a higher share of aid for migration-containment objectives, and less aid for addressing climate change and for multilateral organizations. Our analysis thereby provides evidence that the ‘electoral threat’ of PRRPs puts mainstream parties under pressure not only with regard to migration but also in relation to the climate–development nexus and aid for multilateralism.
Disaggregating democracy aid to explain peaceful democratisation after civil wars
Democratisation is hailed as a pathway to peace by some, yet, blamed for provoking renewed violence by others. Can democracy aid explain the effect of democratisation after civil war? Building upon findings that transitions to democracy are prone to violence, this article shows that external democracy aid can mitigate such negative effects. It is the first to disaggregate democracy aid and analyse its effect on peace after civil war. To this end, it uses a configurational approach and focuses on support for competition (for example, promoting free and fair elections), institutional constraints (for example, strengthening the judiciary), and cooperation (for example, facilitating reconciliation). Combining Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) with an illustrative case study on Liberia, it demonstrates that democracy aid can help to prevent recurrence during postconflict democratisation. Two pathways can explain peaceful democratisation: first, fostering ‘cooperative democratisation’ characterised by substantial support for cooperation in lower-risk contexts; and second, fostering ‘controlled competition’ by combining substantial support for institutional constraints and competition. Importantly, democracy support does not trigger renewed violence. These findings speak to the academic debate on the destabilising potential of democratisation processes after civil wars and inform policymakers designing postconflict support strategies.
Prioritarian rates of return to antipoverty transfers
A growing impact evaluation literature on antipoverty transfer programmes in low- and middle-income countries measures changes in utilitarian terms, at their unit value. The paper argues that valuing antipoverty transfers is more appropriately done within a framework of prioritarian social welfare functions, as the very presence of these programmes indicates that polities place a greater value on gains and losses among the disadvantaged. The paper applies this framework to the Senior Citizen Grant in Uganda, including survey and experimental work throwing light on social preferences for redistribution. It finds that default utilitarian valuation significantly underestimates the social value of transfer programmes.
Green Economy, innovation and quality infrastructure: a baseline study about the relevance of quality infrastructure for innovations in the green economy in Latin America and the Caribbean
This study explores the contribution of quality infrastructure (QI) to the development of a green economy (GE) using the example of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It is part of the project Promotion of innovation in the green economy by including quality infrastructure, which the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) implemented on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) from December 2015 to July 2019. Project partners were the regional organizations of the quality infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean (COPANT, IAAC and SIM).
Über das Recht auf eine sichere, saubere, gesunde und nachhaltige Umwelt
Die Resolution könnte einen wichtigen Beitrag dazu leisten, dass Entwicklungsakteure globale und nationale Standards zum Schutz vor Umweltschäden und für Umweltqualität sowie einen gerechten Zugang zu Umweltleistungen für jede*n festlegen.
Aligning recycling behaviors and the recycling system: towards a full cycle of materials and behavioral methods
In a transdisciplinary project with the Municipality of Trelew (Argentina), we assessed barriers to households disposing of separated waste, developed supportive behavioral interventions, tested the interventions in a randomized controlled trial, and supported the Municipality in upscaling the most successful and cost-effective intervention to a total of 20,000 households. The interventions were designed to address the three main barriers to waste separation detected through a baseline study: a lack of knowledge on how separation works; the additional hassle it represents; and the self-regulation challenge it poses. The interventions consisted of envelopes containing simplifying information, empathetic messages, a magnetic calendar acting as a reminder, or a combination thereof. The interventions roughly halved the prevalence of bags containing unusable mixed waste two weeks after the intervention. This impact was still present after six months. We did not find evidence for an additional effect of empathetic messages or the reminder. Based on these results, the simplified information intervention was rolled out. The results provide evidence of the high potential of using the full range of behavioral methods to increase sustainable behaviors, particularly in the context of limited options to adapt the waste management system as such.