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Special project: Financial institutions (Phase 2, 2010-2012)

The role of financial institutions in absorbing shocks and reducing vulnerability: Evidence for households and small enterprises in rural Thailand and Vietnam

Rainer Klump, Dr. rer. pol. (Prof., Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Department of Economics)

Lukas Menkhoff, Dr.rer.pol. (Prof., Leibniz Universität Hannover, Department of Economics)

Summary

The overall objective of this sub-project (phase 2) is to analyze how financial decisions and financial institutions influence vulnerability to poverty of households and single persons. Building on the first phase of work in this Research Unit which laid foundations we focus now on three directions: first, we analyze the role of financial institutions as instrument of shock absorption in a dynamic context which requires the panel data to be compiled, second, we use our broad data base to elaborate on some related and under-researched issues in development finance (such as the role of collateral, specific gender and ethnicity related aspects, and the interaction between business capital and human capital formation in family businesses) and, third, we extend the experimental evidence on behavior towards risk and financial decisions in a more general way. As in the first phase we will take advantage from comparisons between Thailand and Vietnam regarding households’ financial decisions and the activities of financial institutions; moreover, we will make use of intensive interdisciplinary cooperation with the other sub-projects of the Research Unit.