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Microfinance and Female Empowerment

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Author Info

  • Sylvain Dessy
  • Jacques Ewoudou

Abstract

In the informal economy of developing countries, female entrepreneurs face a comparative disadvantage for operating high-productivity activities, owing to the prevalence of patriarchal forms of business regulations. Yet, for microfinance institutions (MFIs) to succeed in enhancing female empowerment, increased access to credit must enable female entrepreneurs to tap into the range of high-productivity activities. So when the costs of legality are too high in developing countries, and the informal economy becomes the only affordable venue for operating a business venture, this paper shows that access to microfinancee services becomes only necessary, but not sufficient for female empowerment. Based upon a game-theoretic model of activity choices by ex ante homogeneous women, we argue that conditioning well-trained women's access to credit to the adoption of high-productivity activities may enable MFIs to induce the emergence of networks of female entrepreneurs large enough to mitigate patriarchal practices that raise the costs of operating such activities in the informal economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0603.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0603

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Keywords: Microfinance; female entrepreneurship; supermodular games;

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References

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  1. Goetz, Anne Marie & Gupta, Rina Sen, 1996. "Who takes the credit? Gender, power, and control over loan use in rural credit programs in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 45-63, January.
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  7. Kaushik Basu, 2006. "Gender and Say: a Model of Household Behaviour with Endogenously Determined Balance of Power," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 558-580, 04.
  8. Anderson, Siwan & Eswaran, Mukesh, 2009. "What determines female autonomy? Evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 179-191, November.
  9. Echenique, Federico & Edlin, Aaron, 2004. "Mixed equilibria are unstable in games of strategic complements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 61-79, September.
  10. AMIR, Rabah, 2003. "Supermodularity and complementarity in economics: an elementary survey," CORE Discussion Papers 2003104, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Siwan Anderson, 2000. "The Economics of Roscas and Intra-Household Resource Allocation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1323, Econometric Society.
  12. Fortin, Bernard & Marceau, Nicolas & Savard, Luc, 1997. "Taxation, wage controls and the informal sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 293-312, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Aggarwal, Raj & Goodell, John, 2013. "Lending to women in microfinance: influence of social trust and national culture Lending to women in microfinance: influence of social trust and national culture," Working Paper 1317, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

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