Katja Kirchstein

Dissertation subject:

Functions and Functionalities of Ratings in Microfinance – with the Case of Peru

Starting with theoretical approaches from the Theory of Financial Intermediation, the Ph.d. research project aims at identifying and analyzing the functions of ratings by external rating agencies in the context of microfinance. Furthermore, the ability to fulfill these functions – the functionalities – especially in comparison to other evaluation mechanisms will be assessed. A critical discussion of the activities of mainstream rating agencies and possible implications for the microfinance industry and their clients will also form part of the study. However, the research also includes the assessment of so-called social ratings – a phenomenon particular to microfinance. The empirical part consists in studying the case of Peru as it has one of the most developed microfinance markets worldwide. Own qualitative data will be collected and jointly analyzed with available quantitative data through data triangulation.