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A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh

  • Mark Schreiner

    (Washington University in St Louis, USA)

Reports of the success of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh have led to rapid growth in funding for microfinance. But has the Grameen Bank been cost-effective? This article compares output with subsidy for the bank in a present-value framework. For the timeframe 1983-97, subsidy per person-year of membership in Grameen was about $20, and subsidy per dollar-year borrowed was about $0.22. Although the article does not measure consumer surplus for Grameen users, the evidence in the literature suggests that surplus probably exceeds subsidy. The Grameen Bank - if not necessarily other microlenders - was probably a worthwhile social investment. Copyright Overseas Development Institute, 2003.

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Article provided by Overseas Development Institute in its journal Development Policy Review.

Volume (Year): 21 (2003)
Issue (Month): (05)
Pages: 357-382

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Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:21:y:2003:i::p:357-382
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  1. Conning, Jonathan, 1999. "Outreach, sustainability and leverage in monitored and peer-monitored lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 51-77, October.
  2. Bhatt, Nitin & Tang, Shui-Yan, 1998. "The problem of transaction costs in group-based microlending: An institutional perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 623-637, April.
  3. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Guinnane, Timothy W., 1999. "The economics of lending with joint liability: theory and practice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 195-228, October.
  4. Conlin, Michael, 1999. "Peer group micro-lending programs in Canada and the United States," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 249-269, October.
  5. Hashemi, Syed M. & Schuler, Sidney Ruth & Riley, Ann P., 1996. "Rural credit programs and women's empowerment in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 635-653, April.
  6. Hossain, Mahabub, 1988. "Credit for alleviation of rural poverty: the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh," Research reports 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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