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The welfare impact of microcredit on rural households in China

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  • Li, Xia
  • Gan, Christopher
  • Hu, Baiding

Abstract

Microcredit has gained worldwide acceptance in recent years as a flexible mechanism to expand individuals' (especially the poor's) access to financial services, which is considered as an efficient way to achieve poverty reduction and other social development. A large number of empirical studies have been done to examine the welfare effects of microcredit on the borrowers and such effects are well documented in many other countries such as Bangladesh. However, the impacts of microcredit on China rural households' livelihood are not well documented. This paper attempts to empirically evaluate the impact of microcredit on household welfare outcomes such as income and consumption in rural China. The estimation is based on the difference-in-difference approach which is an increasingly popular method of tackling the selection bias issue in assessing the impacts of microcredit. The study uses a two-year panel dataset, including both primary and secondary data collected through a household survey in rural China. Our empirical results favour the wide belief in the literature that joining microcredit programme helps improve households' welfare such as income and consumption. Despite the optimistic findings on how microcredit has changed the rural households' living conditions, our results show that the vast majority of the programme participants are non-poor, which casts some doubts on the social potential (such as poverty reduction) of China's microcredit programmes.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Xia & Gan, Christopher & Hu, Baiding, 2011. "The welfare impact of microcredit on rural households in China," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 404-411, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:4:p:404-411
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    6. Ma, Wanglin & Qiu, Huanguang & Fan, Yubing & Zhou, Xiaoshi, 2020. "The joint effects of ICT adoption and access to credit on household income in China," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304431, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Gori Maia, Alexandre & Eusebio, Gabriela S. & Silveira, Rodrigo L. F., 2016. "Impact of microcredit on small-farm agricultural production: evidence from Brazil," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235682, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Luo, Jay, 2019. "Poverty alleviation research in rural China: Three decades and counting," SocArXiv gmuav, Center for Open Science.
    9. Ian Carrillo, 2013. "The successes and challenges of microfinance," Chapters, in: Gary Paul Green (ed.), Handbook of Rural Development, chapter 11, pages i-ii, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Thanh, Pham Tien & Saito, Katsuhiro & Duong, Pham Bao, 2019. "Impact of microcredit on rural household welfare and economic growth in Vietnam," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 120-139.
    11. Eusébio, Gabriela Dos Santos & Gori-Maia, Alexandre & Silveira, Rodrigo Lanna F., 2017. "Measuring the Farm Level Impact of Rural Credit: A Two-stage Approach," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258551, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Ranjula Bali Swain & Supriya Garikipati, 2019. "Microfinance in the Global South: Examining Evidence on Social Efficacy," Working Papers 201908, University of Liverpool, Department of Economics.
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    15. Sefa K. Awaworyi, 2014. "The Impact of Microfinance Interventions: A Meta-analysis," Monash Economics Working Papers 03-14, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    16. Conrad Murendo & Gamuchirai Murenje & Pepukai Prince Chivenge & Rumbidzai Mtetwa, 2021. "Financial Inclusion, Nutrition and Socio‐Economic Status Among Rural Households in Guruve and Mount Darwin Districts, Zimbabwe," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(1), pages 86-108, January.
    17. Fianto, Bayu Arie & Gan, Christopher & Hu, Baiding & Roudaki, Jamal, 2018. "Equity financing and debt-based financing: Evidence from Islamic microfinance institutions in Indonesia," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 163-172.
    18. Zhao Ding & Awudu Abdulai, 2020. "An Analysis of the Factors Influencing Choice of Microcredit Sources and Impact of Participation on Household Income," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(4), pages 505-525, May.
    19. Jing You, 2016. "Lending to Parents and Insuring Children: Is There a Role for Microcredit in Complementing Health Insurance in Rural China?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(5), pages 543-558, May.
    20. Olga Gorelkina & Ioanna Grypari & Erin Hengel, 2019. "One strike and you’re out! The Master Lever’s effect on senatorial policy-making," Working Papers 201906, University of Liverpool, Department of Economics.
    21. Waqas Umar Latif & Sana Ullah & Wasim Ahmed & Muhammad Umar Sultan & Rana Muhammad Sohail Jafar & Muhammad Tariq & Wang Linping, 2020. "Microcredit and Economic Welfare: Experience of Poor Rural Households from Pakistan," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(6), pages 976-997, August.
    22. Garbero, A. & Songsermsawas, T., 2018. "IFAD RESEARCH SERIES 31 - Impact of modern irrigation on household production and welfare outcomes: evidence from the participatory small-scale irrigation development programme (PASIDP) project in Eth," IFAD Research Series 280080, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
    23. Khac Linh Bui & Thanh Hang Bui, 2022. "Does Rural Credit Mediate Vulnerability Under Idiosyncratic and Covariate Shocks? Empirical Evidence from Vietnam Using a Multilevel Model," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 34(1), pages 172-224, February.
    24. Supriya Garikipati & Rebecca J. Docherty & Penelope A. Phillips-Howard, 2019. "What’s the bleeding problem? Policy and attitudes towards sustainable menstrual hygiene materials in India," Working Papers 201907, University of Liverpool, Department of Economics.
    25. Mathilde Maîtrot & Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, 2017. "Poverty and wellbeing impacts of microfinance: What do we know?," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-190, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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