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Non-linearities in returns to participation in Grameen Bank programs

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  • Nidhiya Menon

Abstract

This paper studies the benefits of participation in micro-finance programs, where benefits are measured in terms of the ability to smooth the effect of seasonal shocks that cause consumption fluctuations. It is shown that although membership in these programs is an effective instrument in combating inter-seasonal consumption differences, there is a threshold level of length of participation beyond which benefits begin to diminish. Returns from membership are modelled using an Euler equation approach. Fixed effects non-linear least squares estimation of parameters using data from 24 villages of the Grameen Bank suggests that returns to participation, as measured by the ability to smooth seasonal shocks, begin to decline after approximately two years of membership. This implies that membership alone no longer has a mitigating marginal effect on seasonal shocks to per capita consumption after four years of participation. Such patterns suggest that the ability to smooth consumption as a function of length of membership, need not accrue indefinitely in a linear fashion.

Suggested Citation

  • Nidhiya Menon, 2006. "Non-linearities in returns to participation in Grameen Bank programs," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 1379-1400.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:42:y:2006:i:8:p:1379-1400
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380600930705
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. M. M. Pitt & S. R. Khandker, 2002. "Credit Programmes for the Poor and Seasonality in Rural Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 1-24.
    2. J. Copestake & S. Bhalotra & S. Johnson, 2001. "Assessing the Impact of Microcredit: A Zambian Case Study," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 81-100.
    3. Foster, Andrew D, 1995. "Prices, Credit Markets and Child Growth in Low-Income Rural Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 551-570, May.
    4. Shahidur Khandker & Hussain Samad & Zahed Khan, 1998. "Income and employment effects of micro-credit programmes: Village-level evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 96-124.
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    Cited by:

    1. Orso, Cristina, 2011. "Microcredit and poverty. An overview of the principal statistical methods used to measure the program net impacts," POLIS Working Papers 154, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    2. Maren Duvendack & Richard Palmer-Jones, 2012. "High Noon for Microfinance Impact Evaluations: Re-investigating the Evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(12), pages 1864-1880, December.
    3. Paul, Bénédique & Garrabé, Michel, 2011. "Le capital institutionnel dans l'analyse du développement : Prolongement théorique et premier test empirique
      [Institutional Capital in Economic Development Analysis: Theoretical Continuation and Fi
      ," MPRA Paper 39016, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Hisaki KONO & Kazushi TAKAHASHI, 2010. "Microfinance Revolution: Its Effects, Innovations, And Challenges," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 48(1), pages 15-73.
    5. Duvendack, Maren & Palmer-Jones, Richard, 2011. "The microfinance of reproduction and the reproduction of microfinance: understanding the connections between microfinance, empowerment, contraception and fertility in Bangladesh in the 1990s," MPRA Paper 32384, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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