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Women's participation in rural credit programmes in Bangladesh and their demand for formal health care: is there a positive impact? 1

Author

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  • Priya Nanda

    (Center for Health and Gender Equity, Takoma Park, MD, USA)

Abstract

Within the overall aim of poverty alleviation, development efforts have included credit and self-employment programmes. In Bangladesh, the major beneficiaries of such group-based credit programmes are rural women who use the loans to initiate small informal income-generating activities. This paper explores the benefits of women's participation in credit programmes on their own health seeking. Using data from a sample of 1798 households from rural Bangladesh, conducted in 1991-1992 through repeated random sampling of 87 districts covered by Grameen Bank, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB), this paper addresses the question: does women's participation in credit programmes significantly affect their use of formal health care? A non-unitary household preference model is suggested to test the hypothesis that women's empowerment through participation in these programmes results in greater control of resources for their own demand for formal health care. The analysis controls for endogeneity due to self-selection and other unobserved village level factors through the use of a weighted two stage instrumental variable approach with village level fixed effects. The findings indicate a positive impact of women's participation in credit programmes on their demand for formal health care. The policy simulations on the results of this study highlight the importance of credit programmes as a health intervention in addition to being a mechanism for women's economic empowerment. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Priya Nanda, 1999. "Women's participation in rural credit programmes in Bangladesh and their demand for formal health care: is there a positive impact? 1," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(5), pages 415-428.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:8:y:1999:i:5:p:415-428
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1050(199908)8:5<415::AID-HEC450>3.0.CO;2-L
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Godoy, Ricardo A. & Patel, Ankur & Reyes-García, Victoria & Seyfried, Craig Jr. & Leonard, William R. & McDade, Thomas & Tanner, Susan & Vadez, Vincent, 2006. "Nutritional status and spousal empowerment among native Amazonians," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 1517-1530, September.
    2. B. Savitha & Kiran K. B., 2015. "Microhealth insurance and the risk coping strategies for the management of illness in Karnataka: a case study," International Journal of Health Planning and Management, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 145-163, April.
    3. Maldonado, Jorge Higinio & Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio & Romero, Vivianne, 2003. "The Influence Of Microfinance On The Education Decisions Of Rural Households: Evidence From Bolivia," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22067, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Maldonado, Jorge H. & González-Vega, Claudio, 2008. "Impact of Microfinance on Schooling: Evidence from Poor Rural Households in Bolivia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2440-2455, November.
    5. Masud Ahmed, Syed & Chowdhury, Mushtaque & Bhuiya, Abbas, 2001. "Micro-Credit and Emotional Well-Being: Experience of Poor Rural Women from Matlab, Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1957-1966, November.
    6. Noray, Savannah & Janzen, Sarah A., 2017. "Household Migration and Expenditure Decisions," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258539, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Jutting, Johannes Paul, 2002. "The Impact Of Health Insurance On The Access To Health Care And Financial Protection In Rural Areas Of Developing Countries: Case Study Senegal," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19641, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    8. Sajjad Zohir & Imran Matin, 2004. "Wider impacts of microfinance institutions: issues and concepts," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 301-330.
    9. Kondo, Naoki & Minai, Junko & Imai, Hisashi & Yamagata, Zentaro, 2007. "Engagement in a cohesive group and higher-level functional capacity in older adults in Japan: A case of the Mujin," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(11), pages 2311-2323, June.

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