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Does Microfinance Reduce Poverty in Bangladesh? New Evidence from Household Panel Data

  • Katsushi S. Imai
  • MD. Shafiul Azam

The study examines whether loans from microfinance institutions (MFI) reduce poverty in Bangladesh drawing upon the nationally representative household panel with four rounds from 1997 to 2004. The effects of general microfinance loans and loans for productive purposes on income, food consumption and women's Body Mass Index are estimated. Overall effects of MFI loans on income and food consumption were positive and the purpose of the loan is important in predicting which household welfare indicator is improved. Alternative estimation methods confirm a positive impact of MFI loans on food consumption growth, which supports the poverty reducing effects of microfinance in Bangladesh.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00220388.2012.661853
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 48 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 633-653

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:48:y:2012:i:5:p:633-653
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  1. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Katsushi Imai & Thankom Arun & Samuel Kobina Annim, 2010. "Microfinance and Household Poverty Reduction: New evidence from India," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1008, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  3. Dehejia, Rajeev, 2005. "Practical propensity score matching: a reply to Smith and Todd," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 355-364.
  4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  5. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  6. Khandker, Shahidur R., 2003. "Microfinance and poverty - evidence using panel data from Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2945, The World Bank.
  7. Roodman, David & Morduch, Jonathan, 2013. "The Impact of Microcredit on the Poor in Bangladesh: Revisiting the Evidence," CEI Working Paper Series 2013-02, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  8. Christian Ahlin & Robert Townsend, 2002. "Using Repayment Data to Test Across Models of Joint Liability Lending," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0227, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  9. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  10. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
  11. repec:pri:rpdevs:morduch_microfinance_poor is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
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