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Regulatory impact assessment in microfinance: a theoretical framework and its application to Uganda

Staschen, Stefan (2010) Regulatory impact assessment in microfinance: a theoretical framework and its application to Uganda. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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This thesis develops a public interest methodology for assessing the impact of regulatory reforms in microfinance, applies this methodology to the case study of Uganda and explains the results by analysing the political economy of policy change. It thus combines public and private interest approaches in assessing microfinance regulation. Firstly, the study develops a methodology for regulatory impact assessment based on the public interest theory of regulation. The first step is an analysis of market failures as the main rationale for regulation. Regulatory objectives are then defined with reference to these market failures. Finally, a variety of quantitative and qualitative impact indicators are identified to measure the benefits of regulation with reference to the achievement of the regulatory objectives while also considering the costs. Secondly, the thesis applies this rationale-objectives-indicators approach to the new legal framework for microfinance deposit-taking institutions (MDIs) in Uganda using similar, but unregulated microfinance institutions as a control group. The results show that the MDI regime‘s generally positive impact was only achieved at substantial cost to the regulator and regulated institutions and is skewed towards safety and soundness and systemic stability without adequate consideration of other objectives such as consumer protection and access. Thirdly, the thesis explains the degree to which public interest objectives were achieved by analysing the political economy of regulatory change. It shows that the three stakeholder groups with the best knowledge of microfinance regulation and whose interests were most closely aligned with the public interest objectives - the Central Bank (Bank of Uganda), the MDI candidates, and donor agencies - were also those who had the strongest influence on the policy change process. The thesis concludes that its unique contribution is to develop a thorough methodology for assessing regulatory impact in microfinance. The methodology is used to measure the strengths and weaknesses of the MDI regime in Uganda, while the political economy analysis explains why these strengths and weaknesses arose.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2010 Stefan Staschen
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Sets: Departments > International Development
Supervisor: Leape, Jonathan

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