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Great expectations: microfinance and poverty reduction in Asia and Latin America

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  • Weiss, John
  • Montgomery, Heather

Abstract

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) are often seen by aid practitioners as a manifestly effective means of improving the position of the poor. Despite this widely held view, detailed research studies have been much more guarded about the impact of MFIs. In particular, several studies have raised doubts about the effectiveness of MFIs in reaching the “core poor”. This paper surveys the evidence from Asia and Latin America and contrasts experiences in the two regions. Studies on the former have been carried out more “rigorously”, but in both regions the evidence that microfinance is reaching the core poor is very limited.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33142.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33142

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Keywords: microfinance; poverty; Asia; Latin America;

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  1. Paul Gertler & David I. Levine & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Do Microfinance Programs Help Families Insure Consumption Against Illness?," Development and Comp Systems 0303004, EconWPA.
  2. Navajas, Sergio & Schreiner, Mark & Meyer, Richard L. & Gonzalez-vega, Claudio & Rodriguez-meza, Jorge, 2000. "Microcredit and the Poorest of the Poor: Theory and Evidence from Bolivia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 333-346, February.
  3. Park, Albert & Ren, Changqing, 2001. "Microfinance with Chinese Characteristics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 39-62, January.
  4. Lapenu, Cécile & Zeller, Manfred, 2001. "Distribution, growth, and performance of microfinance institutions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America," FCND discussion papers 114, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker & Omar Haider Chowdhury & Daniel L. Millimet, 1998. "Credit Programs for the Poor and the Nutritional Status of Children in Rural Bangladesh," Working Papers 98-4, Brown University, Department of Economics, revised 16 Jan 1998.
  6. Joseph P. Kaboski & Robert M. Townsend, 2005. "Policies and Impact: An Analysis of Village-Level Microfinance Institutions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-50, 03.
  7. Amin, Sajeda & Rai, Ashok S. & Topa, Giorgio, 2003. "Does microcredit reach the poor and vulnerable? Evidence from northern Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 59-82, February.
  8. 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, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
  9. Mark Schreiner, 2001. "A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh," Development and Comp Systems 0109007, EconWPA.
  10. P. Mosley, 2001. "Microfinance and Poverty in Bolivia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 101-132.
  11. Coleman, Brett E., 1999. "The impact of group lending in Northeast Thailand," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 105-141, October.
  12. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker & Omar Haider Chowdhury & Daniel L. Millimet, 2003. "Credit Programs for the Poor And the Health Status of Children in Rural Bangladesh," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 87-118, February.
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