Patrick Reichert, Research Fellow in Social Innovation at the elea Chair for Social Innovation at IMD, recently won an Oxford Development Studies Journal Sanjaya Lall Prize for the best paper published in the previous two volumes, spanning from 2017-2018.

The paper, based on his PhD research is titled ‘A meta-analysis examining the nature of trade-offs in microfinance

Dr Reichert’s paper reviews the ability of microfinance institutions to achieve social and financial goals simultaneously. His meta-analysis identifies the dimensions of these institutions’ performance that drive the findings on trade-offs, and it explores the characteristics associated with trade-offs between financial and social objectives. Dr Reichert’s research also aggregates empirical findings from studies investigating performance trade-offs and identifies the article attributes that influence the nature of trade-offs in microfinance. The paper has found that articles using an economic frontier methodology, or are published in development journals, are more likely to confirm trade-offs. The winning piece has found that conflict between social and financial goals of microfinance are becoming less severe over time. With the social mission of microfinance being under pressure, identifying and measuring the extent to which social goals are being sacrificed greatly benefits the wider microfinance stakeholder universe, including policy makers, microfinance practitioners, and commercial investors.

Anand Narasimhan, Shell Professor of Global Leadership, and Dean of Research and Faculty at IMD said: “We congratulate Patrick for this excellent achievement. At IMD we strive to produce research that is rigorous, insightful, and actionable. We are pleased to have outstanding researchers like Patrick contributing to our mission.”

Patrick Reichert holds a PhD from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université libre de Bruxelles on the commercialization of microfinance. He also holds a degree in finance from Boston University’s School of Management and a Master Complémentaire conjoint en Microfinance from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. His research is at the intersection of impact investing, entrepreneurial finance and social innovation..

The prizes are awarded in honor of the late Sanjaya Lall, formerly Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and Managing Editor of the journal. 

The elea Center for Social Innovation inspires and encourages leaders in business, government and civil society to create social innovation in their respective areas of responsibility.