Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Small Sums, Big Impact: Corruption and Microfinance Institutions

Afrifa, Godfred Adjapong, Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, Acquaye, Adolf, Yamoah, Fred A., Mwiti, Fredah G. (2022) Small Sums, Big Impact: Corruption and Microfinance Institutions. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 45 (1). pp. 164-199. ISSN 0143-831X. (doi:10.1177/0143831x221140155) (KAR id:97669)


Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) have been promoted worldwide as developmental platforms that can help eliminate some of the major global challenges such as poverty and economic development. The effectiveness of using MFIs to fulfill such expectations depends on their performance, which can be affected by a range of institutional factors such as corruption, rule of law and financial sector development. However, there is a lack of clarity on whether these factors are performance inhibitors or promoters. Using gender as a mediating factor, this study develops and tests these relationships on MFI performance, with the aim of contributing to research on institutions and corruption in the Global South. Drawing on the MFI performance model, the study uses data on MFIs operating in 33 African countries. The results reveal that the control of corruption reduces MFIs’ operating expenditure, while the control of corruption increases MFIs’ operating income. Drawing from the essentialist perspective of the theory of Social Construction of Gender, it is argued that female borrowers from MFIs are shown to have a mediating impact on the relationship between the variables tested (such as control of corruption) and MFI performance. The study also has public policy relevance for nations seeking to use MFIs as means of fostering entrepreneurship and economic development.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0143831x221140155
Additional information: Pubrouter update. JAC 25-01-23 Pubrouter update. VoR uploaded. JP 15/02/2024
Uncontrolled keywords: Africa; development; microfinance; gender, corruption; institutions
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Joseph Amankwah-Amoah
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2022 10:45 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2024 09:29 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Afrifa, Godfred Adjapong.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:

Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:

Acquaye, Adolf.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:

Yamoah, Fred A..

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:

Mwiti, Fredah G..

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.