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Microcredit and women's empowerment in Bangladesh: a structural equation model for categorical observed variables

  • Cristina Elisa Orso


    (Dipartimento di Economia, Università Ca' Foscari)

  • Enrico Fabrizi


    (DISCE, Università Cattolica)

This paper employs the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (2004) to explore the relationship between participation in microcredit programs and women's empowerment using a structural equation model with categorical observed variables. A MCMC-based Bayesian approach is adopted for estimation. Along with participation in microcredit, we consider a variety of socio-cultural aspects as potential predictors of empowerment in the Bangladeshi context including men's perceptions about women's status. We conclude that gender community norms are strongly rooted in women's minds regardless of the partners' perceptions of women's status, and microcredit interventions may actually contribute to change gender beliefs and social attitudes.

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Paper provided by Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE) in its series DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali with number dises1396.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie2:dises1396
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  1. Paul Mosley & Linda Mayoux, 1999. "Questioning virtuous spirals: micro-finance and women's empowerment in Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(7), pages 957-984.
  2. Kabeer, Naila, 2001. "Conflicts Over Credit: Re-Evaluating the Empowerment Potential of Loans to Women in Rural Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 63-84, January.
  3. 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.
  4. Beatriz Armendáriz & Jonathan Morduch, 2010. "The Economics of Microfinance, Second Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262014106, December.
  5. Henry Kaiser, 1958. "The varimax criterion for analytic rotation in factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 23(3), pages 187-200, September.
  6. Hanny Cueva Beteta, 2006. "What is missing in measures of Women's Empowerment?," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 221-241.
  7. Eliana La Ferrara & Alberto E. Chong, 2009. "Television and Divorce: Evidence from Brazilian Novelas," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6760, Inter-American Development Bank.
  8. Fiona Steele & Sajeda Amin & Ruchira Naved, 2001. "Savings/credit group formation and change in contraception," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(2), pages 267-282, May.
  9. Sarah Mosedale, 2005. "Assessing women's empowerment: towards a conceptual framework," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 243-257.
  10. Karen Mason & Herbert Smith, 2000. "Husbands’ versus wives’ fertility goals and use of contraception: The influence of gender context in five Asian countries," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(3), pages 299-311, August.
  11. Goetz, Anne Marie & Gupta, Rina Sen, 1996. "Who takes the credit? Gender, power, and control over loan use in rural credit programs in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 45-63, January.
  12. Kalpana Bardhan & Stephan Klasen, 2000. "On UNDP's Revisions to the Gender-Related Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 191-195.
  13. Crespi, Catherine M. & Boscardin, W. John, 2009. "Bayesian model checking for multivariate outcome data," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 53(11), pages 3765-3772, September.
  14. Bali Swain, Ranjula & Wallentin, Fan Yang, 2007. "DOES MICROFINANCE EMPOWER WOMEN? Evidence from Self Help Groups in India," Working Paper Series 2007:24, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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