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The Impacts of Self-Help Group Programs: Experimental and Survey Evidence from South India

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  • Jun Goto

    ()
    (University of Tokyo)

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    Abstract

    This study aims to provide empirical evidence of the economic and social impacts of access to microloans disbursed thorough self-help group (SHG) programs. For this purpose, primary data were collected from households in Kerala, South India, and combined with detailed financial transactions of SHG members and information collected through laboratory experiments. The estimation results show that wealthier group members are significantly more likely to reap economic benefits, probably from productive investments. For poor members, asset accumulation and consumption smoothing are the two main pathways out of poverty through SHG-modeled microfinance initiatives. Finally, we find that reciprocal cooperation and trust among group members are developed by repeated social interactions, which are facilitated by weekly meetings of SHGs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 2874-2889

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    Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-13-00306

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    Related research

    Keywords: microfinance; impact evaluation; self-help group; social capital; pipeline approach; laboratory experiment;

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    References

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    1. Feigenberg, Benjamin & Field, Erica M. & Pande, Rohini, 2010. "Building Social Capital through Microfinance," Working Paper Series rwp10-019, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Bali Swain, Ranjula & Varghese, Adel, 2008. "Does Self Help Group Participation Lead to Asset Creation?," Working Paper Series 2008:5, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    3. P. Mosley, 2001. "Microfinance and Poverty in Bolivia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 101-132.
    4. Kadiyala, Suneetha, 2004. "Scaling up Kudumbashree collective action for poverty alleviation and women's empowerment," FCND discussion papers 180, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Bali Swain, Ranjula & Wallentin, Fan Yang, 2007. "DOES MICROFINANCE EMPOWER WOMEN? Evidence from Self Help Groups in India," Working Paper Series 2007:24, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    6. Hisaki KONO & Kazushi TAKAHASHI, 2010. "Microfinance Revolution: Its Effects, Innovations, And Challenges," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 48(1), pages 15-73.
    7. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    8. Coleman, Brett E., 2006. "Microfinance in Northeast Thailand: Who benefits and how much?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1612-1638, September.
    9. Coleman, Brett E., 1999. "The impact of group lending in Northeast Thailand," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 105-141, October.
    10. Jonathan Zinman & Dean Karlan, 2009. "Expanding Microenterprise Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts in Manila," Working Papers 976, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    11. Garikipati, Supriya, 2008. "The Impact of Lending to Women on Household Vulnerability and Women's Empowerment: Evidence from India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2620-2642, December.
    12. David Kreps & Paul Milgrom & John Roberts & Bob Wilson, 2010. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Levine's Working Paper Archive 239, David K. Levine.
    13. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    14. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
    15. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2003. "Playing both roles in the trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-216, June.
    16. Schechter, Laura, 2007. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural Paraguay," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 272-292, February.
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