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Aspects of outreach: a framework for discussion of the social benefits of microfinance

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  • Mark Schreiner

    (Washington University, St. Louis MO, USA)

Abstract

Wide agreement about the goal of microfinance-to improve the welfare of the poor-has not led to wide agreement about how best to achieve that goal. To aid discussion, I propose a framework for outreach-the social benefits of microfinance-in terms of six aspects: worth, cost, depth, breadth, length, and scope. The framework encompasses both the poverty approach to microfinance and the self-sustainability approach. The poverty approach assumes that great depth of outreach can compensate for narrow breadth, short length, and limited scope. The self-sustainability approach assumes that wide breadth, long length, and ample scope can compensate for shallow depth. I show how to use the framework for BancoSol of Bolivia. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Schreiner, 2002. "Aspects of outreach: a framework for discussion of the social benefits of microfinance," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 591-603.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:14:y:2002:i:5:p:591-603
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.908
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio & Meyer, Richard L. & Navajas, Sergio & Schreiner, Mark & Rodriguez-Meza, Jorge & Monje, Guillermo F., 1996. "Microfinance Market Niches And Client Profiles In Bolivia," Economics and Sociology Occasional Papers - ESO Series 28332, Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
    2. repec:pri:rpdevs:morduch_microfinance_poor is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Navajas, Sergio & Schreiner, Mark & Meyer, Richard L. & Gonzalez-vega, Claudio & Rodriguez-meza, Jorge, 2000. "Microcredit and the Poorest of the Poor: Theory and Evidence from Bolivia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 333-346, February.
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    7. Jonathan Morduch, 1998. "Does Microfinance Really Help the Poor? New Evidence from Flagship Programs in Bangladesh," Working Papers 198, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    8. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-368, June.
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    10. Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio & Schreiner, Mark & Meyer, Richard L. & Rodriguez-Meza, Jorge & Navajas, Sergio, 1996. "Bancosol: The Challenge Of Growth For Microfinance Organizations," Economics and Sociology Occasional Papers - ESO Series 28333, Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy

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