Does Microcredit Reach the Poor and Vulnerable? Evidence from Northern Bangladesh
AbstractSubsidized loans have a history of being diverted to the rich. Yet recently microcredit programs, such as the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, have become popular among donors and governments as a way to channel funds to the poor. This paper uses a unique panel dataset from two Bangladeshi villages to test if the modern microcredit movement is different from its predecessors. Poverty is measured by levels of consumption. Vulnerability is measured as fluctuations in consumption associated with inefficient risk sharing. We find that subsidized credit is largely successful at reaching the poor and vulnerable. The probability that a microcredit member is below the poverty line is substantially higher than that of a randomly picked household in both villages. In the village where female headed households were found to be vulnerable, nearly half of the female headed households belonged to microcredit programs yet only a quarter of male headed households were microcredit members. While restricting loans to the landless is not effective in reaching the poor and vulnerable, targeting female headed households is.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for International Development at Harvard University in its series CID Working Papers with number 28.
Date of creation: Oct 1999
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID). 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
Web page: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- Amin, S. & Rai, A.S. & Topa, G., 2000. "Does Microcredit Reach the Poor and Vulnerable? Evidence from Nothern Bangladesh," Papers 28, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1997.
"Are the poor less well-insured? Evidence on vulnerability to income risk in rural China,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1863, The World Bank.
- Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Are the poor less well insured? Evidence on vulnerability to income risk in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 61-81, February.
- Townsend, Robert M, 1994.
"Risk and Insurance in Village India,"
Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-91, May.
- Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Townsend, R.M., 1991. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-3, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Navajas, Sergio & Schreiner, Mark & Meyer, Richard L. & Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio & Rodriguez-Meza, Jorge, 1998.
"Microcredit And The Poorest Of The Poor: Theory And Evidence From Bolivia,"
Economics and Sociology Occasional Papers
28334, Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
- 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.
- Anderson, Gordon, 1996. "Nonparametric Tests of Stochastic Dominance in Income Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1183-93, September.
- Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
- 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.
- Martin Ravallion & Gaurav Datt, 1995. "Is Targeting Through a Work Requirement Efficient? Some Evidence for Rural India," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-41, Monash University, Department of Economics.
- Jonathan Morduch, 1998. "Does Microfinance Really Help the Poor? New Evidence from Flagship Programs in Bangladesh," Working Papers 198, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Quentin Wodon, 1997. "Food energy intake and cost of basic needs: Measuring poverty in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 66-101.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.