Can micro-credit bring development?
We examine the long-run effects of micro-credit on development in an occupational choice model similar to Banerjee and Newman (JPE, 1993). Micro-credit is modeled as a pure improvement in the credit market that opens up self-employment options to some agents who otherwise could only work for wages or subsist. Micro-credit can either raise or lower long-run GDP, since it can lower use of both subsistence and full-scale industrial technologies. It typically lowers long-run inequality and poverty, by making subsistence payoffs less widespread. Thus, an equity-efficiency tradeoff may be involved in the promotion of micro-credit. However, in a worst case scenario, micro-credit has purely negative long-run effects. The key to micro-credit's long-run effects is found to be the "graduation rate", defined as the rate at which the self-employed build up enough wealth to start full-scale firms. We distinguish between two avenues for graduation: "winner" graduation (of those who earn above-average returns in self-employment) and "saver" graduation (due to gradual accumulation of average returns in self-employment). Long-run development is not attainable via micro-credit if "winner" graduation is the sole avenue for graduation. In contrast, if the saving rate and self-employment returns of the average micro-borrower are jointly high enough, then micro-credit can bring an economy from stagnation to full development through "saver" graduation. Thus the lasting effects of micro-credit may partially depend on simultaneous facilitation of micro-saving. Eventual graduation of the average borrower, rather than indefinite retention, should be the goal of micro-banks if micro-credit is to be a stepping stone to broad-based development rather than at best an anti-poverty tool.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Timothy Besley & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1994.
"Thy Neighbor's Keeper: The Design of a Credit Cooperative with Theory and a Test,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 491-515.
- Guinnane, T. & Banerjee, A. & Besley, T., 1993. "Thy Neighbor's Keeper: the Design of a Credit Cooperative with Theory and a Test," Papers 705, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
- Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2000. "Screening by the Company You Keep: Joint Liability Lending and the Peer Selection Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 601-31, July.
- Martin Valdivia & Dean Karlan, 2006.
"Teaching Entrepreneurship: Impact of Business Training on Microfinance Clients and Institutions,"
941, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Dean Karlan & Martin Valdivia, 2011. "Teaching Entrepreneurship: Impact of Business Training on Microfinance Clients and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 510-527, May.
- Dean Karlan & Martin Valdivia, 2006. "Teaching entrepreneurship: Impact of business training on microfinance clients and institutions," Natural Field Experiments 00282, The Field Experiments Website.
- Dean Karlan & Martin Valdivia, 2007. "Teaching Entrepreneurship: Impact of Business Training on Microfinance Clients and Institutions," Working Papers 107, Center for Global Development.
- Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Krishna B. Kumar, 2004.
"Evaluating Explanations for Stagnation,"
Development and Comp Systems
- Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993.
"Occupational Choice and the Process of Development,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Wydick, Bruce, 1999. "Can Social Cohesion Be Harnessed to Repair Market Failures? Evidence from Group Lending in Guatemala," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 463-75, July.
- Christian Ahlin & Robert Townsend, 2003.
"Selection into and across Credit Contracts: Theory and Field Research,"
Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers
0323, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- Ahlin, Christian & Townsend, Robert M., 2007. "Selection into and across credit contracts: Theory and field research," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 665-698, February.
- Ghatak, M. & Guinnane, T.W., 1998.
"The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice,"
791, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- 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.
- Maitreesh Ghatak & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1998. "The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice," Discussion Papers 98-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Maitreesh Ghatak & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1998. "The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice," Working Papers 791, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Peer Monitoring and Credit Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 351-66, September.
- Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986.
"The Pure Theory of Country Risk,"
NBER Working Papers
1894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1986. "The pure theory of country risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 481-513, June.
- Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Chapters, in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 391-435 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kiminori Matsuyama, 2006.
"The 2005 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture: Emergent Class Structure,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 327-360, 05.
- Kiminori Matsuyama, 2005. "The 2005 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture: Emergent Class Structure," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-383, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
- Kiminori Matsuyama, 2007. "Credit Traps and Credit Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 503-516, March.
- DeanS. Karlan, 2007.
"Social connections and group banking,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F52-F84, 02.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1998. "Information, the Dual Economy, and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(4), pages 631-653.
- Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
- Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995.
"Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
- Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1991. "Group Lending, Repayment Incentives And Social Collateral," Papers 152, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- 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.
- Ashok S. Rai & Tomas Sjöström, 2004. "Is Grameen Lending Efficient? Repayment Incentives and Insurance in Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 217-234.
- Robert M. Townsend & Jacob Yaron, 2001. "The credit risk-contingency system of an Asian development bank," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 31-48.
- Beatriz Armendáriz de Aghion & Jonathan Morduch, 2000. "Microfinance Beyond Group Lending," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(2), pages 401-420, July.
- Rosenthal, Robert W., 1991. "On the incentives associated with sovereign debt," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 167-176, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:86:y:2008:i:1:p:1-21. See general 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.