Essays on Household and Microenterprise Credit in Uganda

Anni Heikkilä

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


This dissertation consists of three essays, all of which study household and microenterprise credit in Uganda. The first two essays examine microfinance lending in the context of a Ugandan microfinance institution (MFI), while the third essay takes into account the institutional variety of household and microenterprise credit providers in Uganda. The first essay studies the determinants of borrower-guarantor pair formation in a Ugandan MFI. I test the homogeneity of borrower-guarantor pairs' risk types, risk exposure and social characteristics with self-collected survey data. Examining matching patterns one characteristic at a time, I find significantly homogeneous matching by risk type and the majority of social characteristics. I also conduct multivariate analysis and find that the pairs' social closeness is associated with significantly positive matching payoffs. The second essay examines the effects of a loan officer rotation on borrowers' loan repayment outcomes in a Ugandan MFI. In this rotation part of the officers switched branches, which caused exogenous variation to the continuity of officer-borrower relationships. In the short run, loan repayment problems increased among the rotated officers' customers and remained at the same level among the control officers' customers. However, I do not find a statistically significant effect for the rotation in the differences-in-differences estimations. The third essay examines the impact of a Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) sensitization campaign on demand for and access to credit in Uganda. I analyze the effects of the campaign on borrowing from and constraints experienced with both CRB participating formal financial institutions and other, non-participating lenders. I find that poor and lowly educated borrowers in campaign districts increased borrowing from friends, relatives, shops, and moneylenders. These borrowers also experienced increased difficulties to access credit from both CRB participating and other lenders. Moreover, wealthier and more highly educated borrowers in campaign districts slightly decreased borrowing from CRB participating lenders. Thus, it appears that eligibility for the campaign increased borrowing from informal sources of credit.
Translated title of the contributionEsseitä kotitalouksien ja mikroyritysten luotoista Ugandassa
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Haaparanta, Pertti, Supervising Professor
  • Toivanen, Otto, Supervising Professor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-5760-6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • household and microenterprise credit
  • Uganda
  • borrowers
  • guarantors
  • matching
  • loan officers
  • repayment problems
  • credit information sharing


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