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Is microcredit targeted to poor people? Evidences from a Cambodian microfinance institution

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  • Alberto Lanzavecchia

    ()
    (University of Padova)

Abstract

This study extends research on the social performance of microfinance institutions. The research methodology is based on Grameen Progress out of Poverty IndexTM (PPITM) for Cambodia applied to a sample of borrowers randomly extracted from a Cambodian microfinance institutionÕs loan portfolio. Dataset has been directly collected through in-house interviews. Main questions discussed here are: (1) Is microcredit targeted to poor people? (2) Has the poverty rate of the sample changed in last six months? and (3) What percentage of male vs. female clients is poor? We found an average poverty likelihood of about 8.1%, estimated at the day of the interview, steady over a period of six months and not statistically different between male and female borrowers. This evidence might be related to business geographical location or targeting. Actually, PPI too much relies on asset ownership rather than on cash flows and saving capacity. Despite the general wisdom microcredit is targeted to the Òpoorest among the poor peopleÓ, this is utterly consistent with a sound and safe (micro)banking activity, aimed at sustainable results. Here comes a call for a triple bottom line performance evaluation on microfinance institutions: economic, social and environmental effects of their activities.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" in its series "Marco Fanno" Working Papers with number 0149.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0149

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Keywords: microcredit; social performance; poverty index; case study; Cambodia.;

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  1. Vassili Prokopenko & Paul Holden, 2001. "Financial Development and Poverty Alleviation," IMF Working Papers 01/160, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Rajdeep Sengupta & Craig P. Aubuchon, 2008. "The microfinance revolution: an overview," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 9-30.
  3. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
  4. Berhane, Guush & Gardebroek, Cornelis, 2009. "Does microfinance reduce rural poverty? Evidence based on household panel data from northern Ethiopia," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China, International Association of Agricultural Economists 51472, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  5. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
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