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The impact of microcredit on women's empowerment: evidence from China


  • Xia Li
  • Christopher Gan
  • Baiding Hu


The impact of microcredit on women's empowerment remains controversial, as documented in the microfinance literature. While some studies claim that microcredit helps women increase their income earning abilities, leading to greater power to overcome cultural asymmetries, others contend that small loans allocated to women are usually controlled by their spouses, which results in more severe subordination of women and leaves them more vulnerable to the patriarchy system within the household and/or at society level. This paper evaluates the empowerment impact of microcredit on rural women in China. Logistic regression is employed for empirical analysis and data are collected through a rural household survey. The results confirm that microcredit has a significant impact on five dimensions of women's empowerment, ranging from economic security to awareness of social/legal issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Xia Li & Christopher Gan & Baiding Hu, 2011. "The impact of microcredit on women's empowerment: evidence from China," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 239-261.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:9:y:2011:i:3:p:239-261
    DOI: 10.1080/14765284.2011.592352

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Garikipati, Supriya, 2008. "The Impact of Lending to Women on Household Vulnerability and Women's Empowerment: Evidence from India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2620-2642, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jing You & Samuel Annim, 2014. "The Impact of Microcredit on Child Education: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Rural China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(7), pages 926-948, July.
    2. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Korankye Danso, Jeffrey & Appau, Samuelson, 2015. "Microcredit and Poverty Reduction in Bangladesh: Beyond Publication Bias, Does Genuine Effect Exist?," EconStor Preprints 123722, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.

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    microcredit; women's empowerment; rural China;


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