3704146: International Economics and Microfinance

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Semester:SS 14
Scheduled in semester:2
Semester Hours per Week / Contact Hours:45.0 L / 34.0 h
Self-directed study time:116.0 h

Module coordination/Lecturers


Master's degree programme in Banking and Financial Management (01.10.2008)
Master's degree programme in Entrepreneurship - Major Finance (01.10.2008)
Master's degree programme in IT and Business Process Management (01.10.2008)
Master's degree programme in Entrepreneurship (01.10.2008)
Master's degree programme in Entrepreneurship (01.09.2012)


Microfinance has become a globally heeded theme since the United Nations declared 2005 as the International Year of Microcredit, and in 2006 Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the promotion of economic and social development in an international context.

In the last few years, microfinance, the provision of financial services to low-income customers in developing countries, has expanded and matured. It is now considered an integral part of financial sector development. The range of services offered has widened. To date, public, not-for-profit and for-profit investment in microfinance complement each other. In fact, the financial industry continues to develop a range of vehicles to meet the return objectives of different types of funders. In addition, a set of tools is now available to assess the social and financial performance and manage the risk of microfinance ventures.

Lecture Goals

This course is designed to increase students’ understanding of the role of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and banks in providing financial services to poor and low-income customers in developing countries. In general, the lecture aims at:

  • understanding the goals and principles of microfinance
  • explaining instruments, institutional framework and results of different microfinance approaches
  • identifying and discussing challenges facing microfinance for forstering international development and entrepreneurship

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be able to

  • elaborate on how the microfinance industry evolved and how it works
  • understand and explain the skills and techniques used by microfinance analysts, managers, and investors
  • outline how governments and central banks can support the growing microfinance industry
  • engage in theoretically grounded discussions about chances and risks of microfinance in the context of international economics


Lectures Method

Lecturing, interactive group work, individual and group presentations


  • Oehri, O., Dreher, C., Schäfer, H. (2010), Microfinance. A New Type of Investment for Socially Oriented Clients. CSSP, Vaduz
an online version is available at http://www.cssp-ag.com/hp/navigation-links/info-center/studienpublikationen/details/article/49/Buch-Microfinance-A-new-type-of-investment-for-socially-oriented-clients.html (Flash required)

Journal articels available in the forum:
  • Khavul, S. (2010). Microfinance: Creating Opportunities for the Poor?. Academy Of Management Perspectives, 24(3)
  • Milana, C., & Ashta, A. (2012). Developing microfinance: A survey of the literature. Strategic Change, 21(7/8), 299-330.
  • Korth, M., Stewart, R., Rooyen, C., & Wet, T. (2012). Microfinance: Development Intervention or Just Another Bank?. Journal Of Agrarian Change, 12(4)


Slides, journal articles posted at the moodle forum. In addition students will be given access to www.yourSRI.com, an online data repository containing information and data from more than 1000 actors, 2500 documents and rich statistics on all aspects of microfinance and sustainable development in general. This data base offers also insights into the most recent research findings concerning Microfinance.

Exam Modalities

  • Written term paper of 50.000 to 100.000 characters including blanks (about 25-30 pages) dealing with topics evidently related to issues of international economics and politics. Students can write individual term papers or in a team of two persons (70% of total assessment). Please be aware that the term paper has to fulfill all requirements defined by the "Standards of Scientific Writing" of the University of Liechtenstein as published in December 2013. The Standards are available at the Moodle Forum.
  • Students are being asked to hand in a research proposal until Friday, 26 of April introducting to the research topic, research gap and research question including basic literature. The final version of the term paper is due in digital copy sent to barbara.fuchs@uni.li on May, 31, 2 pm.
  • 20 min presentation of the term paper (30% of total assessment) on final date of the course


This lecture is an elective offered within the module. Please register for one of the lectures.


14.03.201409:00 - 16:30S4
15.03.201409:00 - 16:30S4
02.05.201409:00 - 16:30S4
03.05.201409:00 - 16:30S4