DOES MICROFINANCE EMPOWER WOMEN? Evidence from Self Help Groups in India
AbstractMicrofinance programs like the Self Help Bank Linkage Program in India have been increasingly promoted for their positive economic impact and the belief that they empower women. However, only a few studies rigorously examine the link between microfinance and women’s empowerment. This paper contributes by arguing that women empowerment takes place when women challenge the existing social norms and culture, to effectively improve their well being. It empirically validates this hypothesis by using quasi-experimental household sample data collected for five states in India for 2000 and 2003. A general structural model is estimated by employing appropriate techniques to treat the ordinal variables in order to estimate the impact of the Self Help Group (SHG) on women empowerment for 2000 and 2003. The results strongly demonstrate that on average, there is a significant increase in the women empowerment of the SHG members group. No such significant change is observed however, for the members of the control group. The elegance of the result lies in the fact that the group of SHG participants show clear evidence of a significant and higher empowerment, while allowing for the possibility that some members might have been more empowered than others.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2007:24.
Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 24 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
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Microfinance; Women empowerment; Ordinal variables; General structural model and Robust maximum likelihood estimation.;
Other versions of this item:
- Ranjula Bali Swain & Fan Yang Wallentin, 2009. "Does microfinance empower women? Evidence from self-help groups in India," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 541-556.
- C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-09-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-CWA-2007-09-24 (Central & Western Asia)
- NEP-DEV-2007-09-24 (Development)
- NEP-MFD-2007-09-24 (Microfinance)
- NEP-SOC-2007-09-24 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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