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Microfinance and Household Poverty Reduction: New Evidence from India

  • Imai, Katsushi S.
  • Arun, Thankom
  • Annim, Samuel Kobina

Summary The objective of the present study is to examine whether household access to microfinance reduces poverty. Using national household data from India, treatment effects model is employed to estimate the poverty-reducing effects of Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) loans for productive purposes, such as investment in agriculture or non-farm businesses on household poverty levels. These models take into account the endogenous binary treatment effects and sample selection bias associated with access to MFIs. Despite some limitations, such as those arising from potential unobservable important determinants of access to MFIs, significant positive effect of MFI productive loans on multidimensional welfare indicator has been confirmed. The significance of "treatment effects" coefficients has been verified by both Tobit and Propensity Score Matching (PSM) models. In addition, we found that loans for productive purposes were more important for poverty reduction in rural than in urban areas. However in urban areas, simple access to MFIs has larger average poverty-reducing effects than the access to loans from MFIs for productive purposes. This leads to exploring service delivery opportunities that provide an additional avenue to monitor the usage of loans to enhance the outreach.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 1760-1774

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:12:p:1760-1774
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Adams, Alayne M. & Evans, Timothy G. & Mohammed, Rafi & Farnsworth, Jennifer, 1997. "Socioeconomic stratification by wealth ranking: Is it valid?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1165-1172, July.
  2. Katsushi Imai & Thankom Arun, 2008. "Does Microfinance Reduce Poverty in India?," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0814, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  3. Basu, Priya & Srivastava, Pradeep, 2005. "Scaling-up microfinance for India's rural poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3646, The World Bank.
  4. Suresh Sundaresan (ed.), 2008. "Microfinance," Books, Edward Elgar, number 13148.
  5. Weiss, John & Montgomery, Heather, 2004. "Great expectations: microfinance and poverty reduction in Asia and Latin America," MPRA Paper 33142, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1984. "Tobit models: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 3-61.
  7. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  8. P. Mosley, 2001. "Microfinance and Poverty in Bolivia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 101-132.
  9. Cull, Robert & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Morduch, Jonathan, 2008. "Microfinance meets the market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4630, The World Bank.
  10. Shahidur R. Khandker, 2005. "Microfinance and Poverty: Evidence Using Panel Data from Bangladesh," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 263-286.
  11. Angus Deaton & Valerie Kozel, 2005. "Data and Dogma: The Great Indian Poverty Debate," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 177-199.
  12. Menno Pradhan & Martin Ravallion, 2000. "Measuring Poverty Using Qualitative Perceptions Of Consumption Adequacy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 462-471, August.
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