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The welfare impact of microcredit on rural households in China

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  • Li, Xia
  • Gan, Christopher
  • Hu, Baiding
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    Abstract

    Microcredit has gained worldwide acceptance in recent years as a flexible mechanism to expand individuals' (especially the poor's) access to financial services, which is considered as an efficient way to achieve poverty reduction and other social development. A large number of empirical studies have been done to examine the welfare effects of microcredit on the borrowers and such effects are well documented in many other countries such as Bangladesh. However, the impacts of microcredit on China rural households' livelihood are not well documented. This paper attempts to empirically evaluate the impact of microcredit on household welfare outcomes such as income and consumption in rural China. The estimation is based on the difference-in-difference approach which is an increasingly popular method of tackling the selection bias issue in assessing the impacts of microcredit. The study uses a two-year panel dataset, including both primary and secondary data collected through a household survey in rural China. Our empirical results favour the wide belief in the literature that joining microcredit programme helps improve households' welfare such as income and consumption. Despite the optimistic findings on how microcredit has changed the rural households' living conditions, our results show that the vast majority of the programme participants are non-poor, which casts some doubts on the social potential (such as poverty reduction) of China's microcredit programmes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 404-411

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:4:p:404-411

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

    Related research

    Keywords: Microcredit Household welfare Difference-in-difference Rural China;

    References

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    1. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 1984. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," Working Papers 554, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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    12. Vigenina, Denitsa & Kritikos, Alexander S., 2005. "The individual micro-lending contract: Is it a better design than joint-liability? - Evidence from Georgia," Working Paper Series 2005,10, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), The Postgraduate Research Programme Capital Markets and Finance in the Enlarged Europe.
    13. Jonathan Morduch, 1998. "Does Microfinance Really Help the Poor? New Evidence from Flagship Programs in Bangladesh," Working Papers 198, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
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    Cited by:
    1. You, Jing, 2013. "The role of microcredit in older children’s nutrition: Quasi-experimental evidence from rural China," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 167-179.
    2. Jing You & Samuel Annim, 2013. "The impact of microcredit on child education: quasi-experimental evidence from rural China," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 18313, BWPI, The University of Manchester.

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