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Should Access to Credit be a Right?

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  • Marek Hudon

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Abstract

Discussion on financial ethics increasingly includes the problem of exclusion of the poorer segments of society from the financial system and access to credit. This paper explores the ethical dimensions surrounding the concept of a human right to credit. If access to credit is directly instrumental to economic development, poverty reduction and the improved welfare of all citizens, then one can proclaim, as Nobel Prize Laureate M. Yunus has done, that it is a moral necessity to establish credit as a right. Arguments both supporting and opposing the concept of a right to credit are presented. While there may be general agreement that access to financial services may provide a pathway out of poverty, granting a universal right could induce perverse effects such as overindebtedness. Bearing in mind the ultimate goal of proponents of this right as well as the potential harmful consequences, this paper offers a new perspective on the question of access to credit based on a goal-right system.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-008-9670-y
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

Volume (Year): 84 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 17-28

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:84:y:2009:i:1:p:17-28

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

Related research

Keywords: credit; financial exclusion; human right; justice; microfinance; B0; O16; Q14;

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References

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  1. Gauri, Varun, 2004. "Social Rights and Economics: Claims to Health Care and Education in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 465-477, March.
  2. Rahman, Aminur, 1999. "Micro-credit initiatives for equitable and sustainable development: Who pays?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 67-82, January.
  3. Pretes, Michael, 2002. "Microequity and Microfinance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1341-1353, August.
  4. Marc Labie & Anaïs Périlleux, 2008. "Corporate governance in microfinance: credit unions," Working Papers CEB 08-003.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. P. B. Anand, 2007. "Right to water and access to water: an assessment," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 511-526.
  6. Anand, P B, 2007. "Right to water and access to water," MPRA Paper 47437, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marco Tavanti, 2013. "Before Microfinance: The Social Value of Microsavings in Vincentian Poverty Reduction," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(4), pages 697-706, February.
  2. Isabelle Agier & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "Credit to Women Entrepreneurs: The Curse of the Trustworthier Sex," Working Papers CEB 11-005, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Maurício José Serpa Barros de Moura & Rodrigo de Losso da Silveira Bueno & Helena Wagner P. Rocha & Patricia Morilha Muritiba & Sérgio Nunes Muritiba, 2011. "An analysis of factors affecting the ethical conduct of microcredit officers," Brazilian Business Review, Fucape Business School, vol. 8(1), pages 1-26, January.
  4. Maria Cecilia C. de Arruda & Luiza Granado, 2013. "Small-Sized Suppliers Entering Large Markets: An Ethical Initiative of the Caras do Brasil Program," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(4), pages 685-696, February.
  5. Joseph Petrick, 2011. "Sustainable Stakeholder Capitalism: A Moral Vision of Responsible Global Financial Risk Management," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 99(1), pages 93-109, February.
  6. Jessica Schicks, 2011. "From a supply gap to a demand gap? The risk and consequences of over-indebting the underbanked," Working Papers CEB 11-046, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Tzu-Kuan Chiu, 2014. "Putting Responsible Finance to Work for Citi Microfinance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 219-234, January.
  8. D'Espallier, Bert & Guérin, Isabelle & Mersland, Roy, 2011. "Women and Repayment in Microfinance: A Global Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 758-772, May.
  9. Arvind Ashta & Marek Hudon, 2009. "To whom should we be fair? Ethical issues in Balancing Stakeholder Interests from Banco Compartamos Case Study," Working Papers CEB 09-036.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Agbodji, Akoete Ega & Batana, Yele Maweki & Ouedraogo, Denis, 2013. "Gender inequality in multidimensional welfare deprivation in west Africa : the case of Burkina Faso and Togo," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6522, The World Bank.

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