Diskussionspapiere, Department für Agrarökonomie und Rurale Entwicklung 1404
Using a unique dataset of a commercial microfinance institution in Madagascar, this paper investigates how the provision of microfinance loans with (in)flexible repayment schedules affects loan delinquencies of agricultural borrowers. Flexible repayment schedules allow a redistribution of principal payments during periods with low agricultural returns to periods when agricultural returns are high. We develop a theoretical framework and apply and estimate an econometric model for the loan repayment behavior of agricultural microborrowers with seasonal and non-seasonal production types. Our results reveal that delinquencies of non-seasonal farmers and seasonal farmers with inflexible repayment schedules are not significantly different from those of non-farmers. Furthermore, we find that seasonal farmers with flexible repayment schedules show significantly higher delinquencies than non-farmers in low delinquency categories, but we also find that this effect disappears in the highest delinquency category.