Amr Khafagy

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PhD Student

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitätsstr. 105, Room 2.23 / 2.24 / 2.27 / 2.32
44789 Bochum

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Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-26163

Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

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Research Project

Empirical Essays on the Economics of Financial Cooperatives

The three essays in this thesis focus on institutional factors that determine the development of financial cooperatives, and the role of financial cooperatives as intermediary channels that can enable the redistribution of wealth.

The first essay analyses the influence of political institutions on the development of financial cooperatives. It proposes a political economy theory where autocratic regimes deliberately oppose the development of a well-functioning financial cooperative sector to maintain their political influence, and prevent the formation of strong pressure groups that can threaten the current political status quo and reduce the governing elites' economic benefits from underdeveloped and exclusive financial sector. Using panel data from 65 developing countries from 1995–2014, the results show that democracy, political rights and civil liberties promote financial cooperative development. These results are robust in controlling for endogeneity as well as other economic and institutional factors.

The second essay examines the relationship between the development of financial cooperatives and the type of regulation that governs them, the supervisory agency responsible to monitor their activities, and the existence of a deposit insurance scheme, using panel data collected for sixty-five developing countries. Information on laws regulating financial cooperatives, the supervisory approaches adopted, and deposit insurance schemes were collected and tested against proxy indicators that represent the degree of development of the sector. Although causality is difficult to establish using only statistical methods, our results cautiously provide new empirical evidence to better understand what is best suitable for the development of financial cooperatives.

The third essay investigates the potentials of financial cooperatives to act as instruments for wealth redistribution, and their ability to channel funds from high-income populations to less wealthy people who can invest it in projects yielding high marginal returns. In this regards, as a case study, I am trying to see if the returns on Tea and Coffee crops affects the Kenyan financial cooperatives' decisions to expand their lending activities by seeking external borrowings, and if such decisions depend on the cost of external borrowings compared to interest on members' deposits, and the equity structure of the cooperatives, as well as the impact of all that on the financial cooperatives' ability to mobilize savings from their members.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Volker Nienhaus

Research Interests

  • Development finance
  • Cooperative economics
  • Collective decision-making
  • Institutional economics


2009: - 2014:   MSc. in Investment, Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Cairo, Egypt.
2012 - 2013:   Masters in Management of Development, University of Turin, Italy.
2004 - 2008:   BSc. in Finance and Economics, German University in Cairo, Egypt.

Work Experience

2014   Microfinance Specialist – Short-term consultant, PlaNet Finance Egypt.
2014:   Team Member for the Final Evaluation of ‘Ishraq Plus’, Save the Children, Egypt.
2013:   Microfinance Analyst, MicroSave, Lucknow, India.
2010 - 2013:   Microfinance Assistant Officer, Social Fund for Development (SFD), Egypt.
2009:   Corporate Account Officer, AlexBank (Intesa-Sanpaolo), Cairo, Egypt.


  • Khafagy, A. (2018) Finance, distribution and the economic objective of financial cooperative institutions. Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 1-25, Early View
  • Khafagy, A. (2017) Regulation, supervision and deposit insurance for financial cooperatives: an empirical investigation. In: Annals of Finance, 14(2), 143–193 (link to article)
  • Khafagy, A. (2016) Political institutions and financial cooperative development. Journal of Institutional Economics, 13(2), 467-498 (link to article)
  • Khafagy, A. (2013) Towards reasonably priced microcredit: analysing Egyptian NGO-MFIs’ cost structure and financial performance. Enterprise Development and Microfinance Journal, 24(4): 328-345.

Journal Review

Reviewer of manuscripts for the "Enterprise Development and Microfinance" Journal.