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Socially Disadvantaged Groups and Microfinance in India

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  • Jean-Marie Baland

    ()
    (Center for Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur)

  • Rohini Somanathan
  • Lore Vandewalle

    ()
    (Center for Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur)

Abstract

In this paper we provide an empirical analysis of the performance of microfinance groups, known as Self-Help groups, based on an original census we carried out in a poor area of Northern India. We examine whether traditionally disadvantaged villagers, such as members of lower castes or landless farmers, are less likely to have access to groups. We also analyze their performance in terms of access to bank loans, which is an important benefit of the groups. We nd evidence of the attrition process being selective against lower castes: they have a lower probability of becoming a permanent member of a group. The net effects in terms of their expected access to a bank loan remain however relatively limited. By contrast, even though landless farmers are more likely to fail or leave the groups, they tend to bene t disproportionately. In expected terms, they receive more than two times the amounts of bank loans given to farmers owning more than one acre. Overall, the program therefore has positive and important distributional implications.

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File URL: http://www.fundp.ac.be/eco/economie/recherche/wpseries/wp/1117.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Namur, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1117.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nam:wpaper:1117

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  1. Rajiv Sethi & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "Inequality and Segregation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1296-1321, December.
  2. Olga Alonso-Villar & Coral del Río, 2008. "Local versus overall segregation measures," Working Papers 0802, Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Economía Aplicada.
  3. Fryer, Roland & Echenique, Federico, 2007. "A Measure of Segregation Based on Social Interactions," Scholarly Articles 2958220, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Rohini Somanathan, 2008. "The Demand for Disadvantage," Working papers 169, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  5. DeanS. Karlan, 2007. "Social connections and group banking," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F52-F84, 02.
  6. Isha Dewan & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "Poverty targeting in public programs: A comparison of alternative nonparametric methods," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-16, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  7. Bell, Clive, 1990. "Interactions between Institutional and Informal Credit Agencies in Rural India," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 297-327, September.
  8. Mario Cleves & William W. Gould & Roberto G. Gutierrez & Yulia Marchenko, 2010. "An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number saus3, April.
  9. Jean-Marie Baland & Rohini Somanathan & Lore Vandewalle, 2007. "Microfinance Lifespans: A Study of Attrition and Exclusion in Self-Help Groups in India," India Policy Forum, Global Economy and Development Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(1), pages 159-210.
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