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Tor Iversen and Tigist Woldetsadik Sommeno

This chapter expands on an earlier article (Folland and Iversen, 2014), bringing into view the many studies since then. These include the relationship of social capital to one’s age, ethnicity, gender, education and other categories described in recent findings. Of particular note, the authors sort out the complexity of the studies on income inequality and its effect on social capital. One study finds no relation between inequality and trust; yet another finds a negative correlation between social capital and inequality. In one study of kindergarten children it was found that the young girls were more trusting than the boys.

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Roy Mersland, Stephen Zamore, Kwame Ohene Djan and Tigist Woldetsadik Sommeno

Over the past four decades, microfinance has grown from small local initiatives into a global phenomenon practiced in many markets, mostly in low-income economies but also in well-developed markets like the US and the EU. Interestingly, microfinance institutions (MFIs), that is, providers of financial services to end customers, often have several cross-border stakeholders, including shareholders, donors, lenders, and providers of technical assistance and advanced IT systems. Moreover, important “think tanks” like the CGAP provide the industry with global policy guidelines. Thus, microfinance is a very international industry and empirical evidence shows that international stakeholders as well as policymakers influence the performance of MFIs (Mersland et al., 2011; Mersland and Urgeghe, 2013). The purpose of this chapter is therefore to give an overview of the internationalization of the industry and to suggest relevant theories when studying cross-border microfinance partnerships. Moreover, we present initial statistical evidence of how internationalization can influence MFIs’ performance and the type of services they offer. Based on our initial results, we suggest a research agenda for future studies.