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Microfinance and poverty - evidence using panel data from Bangladesh

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  • Khandker, Shahidur R.

Abstract

Micro-finance supports mainly informal activities that often have low market demand. It may be thus hypothesized that the aggregate poverty impact of micro-finance in an economy with low economic growth is modest or nonexistent. The observed borrower-level poverty impact is then a result of income redistribution or short-run income generation. The author addresses these questions using household level panel data from Bangladesh. The findings confirm that micro-finance benefits the poorest and has sustained impact in reducing poverty among program participants. It also has positive spillover impact, reducing poverty at the village level. But the effect is more pronounced in reducing extreme rather than moderate poverty.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2945.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2945

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Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies; Banks&Banking Reform; Financial Intermediation; Payment Systems&Infrastructure; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Environmental Economics&Policies; Banks&Banking Reform; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Financial Intermediation; Poverty Assessment;

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  1. Hossain, Mahabub, 1988. "Credit for alleviation of rural poverty: the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh," Research reports, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Hashemi, Syed M. & Schuler, Sidney Ruth & Riley, Ann P., 1996. "Rural credit programs and women's empowerment in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 635-653, April.
  3. Coleman, Brett E., 1999. "The impact of group lending in Northeast Thailand," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 105-141, October.
  4. Ravallion, Martin & Sen, Binayak, 1994. "When method matters : toward a resolution of the debate about Bangladesh's poverty measures," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1359, The World Bank.
  5. Adams, Dale W & Von Pischke, J. D., 1992. "Microenterprise credit programs: Deja vu," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1463-1470, October.
  6. Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "The role of subsidies in microfinance: evidence from the Grameen Bank," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 229-248, October.
  7. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
  9. Yaron, Jacob, 1994. "What Makes Rural Finance Institutions Successful?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 9(1), pages 49-70, January.
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