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Relationships matter : social capital and microfinance

by Sundeen, Lisa


This study shows how social capital affects the outreach and operational self-sufficiency of microfinance institutions (MFIs) around the world. Borrowing from the literature, this thesis defines social capital as those features of human relationships—specifically social networks, social norms, and trustworthiness—which help a community to achieve economic development. This research uses quantitative data from the Microfinance Information Exchange and the World Values Survey as well as qualitative data collected during a ten-day case study with the Adelante Foundation in La Ceiba, Honduras. The regression model shows which aspects of social capital have the greatest influence on MFI performance, accounts for explanatory variables, and tests for an endogenous peer effect between MFIs. Results show that social capital—particularly friend networks and trust—has a direct influence on MFI performance, suggest that there is a tradeoff between outreach and sustainability, and proves that there is an endogenous peer effect between MFIs.


Includes bibliographical references

Includes client interview transcriptons.

Administrative Notes

Includes client interview transcriptons.

Copyright restrictions apply.
Colorado College
Digital Origin
born digital
37, 94 p. : illustrations (some color)
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Johnson, Daniel
Department of Economics and Business
Degree Name
Degree Type
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Grantor
Colorado College
Date Issued