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Category Archives: F

What is the Effect of Regulatory Supervision on the Profitability and Outreach of Microfinance Institutions?

By Nikolaus Axmann

Regulatory supervision is an important part of the formal banking process. As microfinance institutions have developed and multiplied, they have become more closely regulated, which has allowed many of them to evolve into more traditional banks. But there are concerns over microfinance regulation, as complying with regulatory can be costly, particularly for smaller institutions. Using high-quality cross-sectional data from the Microfinance Information eXchange, I conduct ordinary least squares and instrumental variables regression of regulatory supervision on profitability and outreach of microfinance institutions. Controlling for the non-random assignment of regulation using instrumental variables, I find that regulation is correlated with higher average loan sizes and less lending to women, but increased profitability among for-profit microfinance institutions. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that for-profit microfinance institutions change their business model in response to regulation by cutting outreach to lending sectors that are generally more costly per dollar lent. In contrast, nonprofit microfinance institutions do not adjust loan sizes or reduce lending to women in
response to regulation, although their profitability does not increase either.

Honors Thesis

Data Set

Advisor: Edward Tower | JEL Codes: F6, F61, F63 | Tagged: Development, Microfinance, Regulation

Evaluating the Motivation and Feasibility Theory in Predicting the Onset and Severity of Civil Conflict

By Ishita Chordia

This paper looks at 187 countries from 1960-2004 and explores the economic indicators of the onset and the severity of civil conflicts, where civil conflicts are described as small clashes that result in 25 or more battle deaths per conflict. For conflict onset, I test a model that uses the Motivation Theory to predict when a conflict will begin while for conflict severity. I test a model that uses the Feasibility Theory to predict how severe a conflict will become. In the final section, I reverse the models and test the ability of the Motivation Theory to predict conflict severity and the ability of the Feasibility Theory to predict conflict onset. I find that the Motivation Theory performs ber at predicting both conflict onset and severity.

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JEL Codes: F51, F52, O57 | Tagged: Conflict, Feasibility, International Security, Motivation, Peace

Government Allocation of Import Quota Slots to US Films in China’s Cinematic Movie Market

By Sabrina McCutchan

The Chinese government implements a complex regulatory system to decrease the market share of imported Hollywood films for theatrical release. The import quota, censorship, and competitive release-scheduling policies in particular severely limit Hollywood’s access to the Chinese market. However, because the government has a monopoly on film distribution and receives nearly half of all box office receipts from Hollywood films, I expect that the profit incentive is comparatively more important than protectionist motives in the decision to import a Hollywood film or grant it a revenue-sharing quota slot. This paper’s findings support this hypothesis. Using a probit model, I find that three strong predictors of Chinese box office, namely US box office, Hong Kong box office, and the action genre, positively predict entry to the Chinese market and the allocation of a revenue-sharing quota slot for US-movies released in 2012.

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Advisor: Edward Tower | JEL Codes: F14, F19 | Tagged: China, Hollywood, Motion Pictures, Protectionism, Quota

Foreign Aid Allocation and Impact: A Sub-National Analysis of Malawi

By Rajlakshmi De

Understanding the role of foreign aid in poverty alleviation is one of the central inquiries for development economics. To augment past cross-country studies and randomized evaluations, this project data from Malawi is used in combination with multiple rounds of living standards data to predict the allocation and impact of health aid, water aid, and education aid.  Both instrumentation and propensity score matching methods are used.

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Advisor: Kent Kimbrough, Lori Leachman | JEL Codes: F35, I15, I25, I32, O12 | Tagged: Development, Education, Foreign Aid, Health, Malawi, Water

Questions?

Undergraduate Program Assistant
Jennifer Becker
dus_asst@econ.duke.edu

Director of the Honors Program
Michelle P. Connolly
michelle.connolly@duke.edu