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Effect of Microfinance on Vulnerability, Poverty and Risk in Low Income Households

Author

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  • Bali Swain, Ranjula

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Floro, Maria

    () (Department of Economics)

Abstract

Uncertainty and unpredictability faced by low-income households increase their vulnerability making poverty even more unbearable. India¡¦s National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)-initiated Self-Help Group (SHG) program, which is currently the largest and fastest growing microfinance program in the developing world, has been aggressively promoted as a way of combating poverty. This paper investigates whether or not SHG participation results in reducing poverty and vulnerability. A theoretical framework is developed to examine the mechanisms through which the pecuniary and non-pecuniary effects of the SHG program on the beneficiaries¡¦ earnings and empowerment, influence their households¡¦ ability to manage risk. Going beyond the traditional poverty estimates, we use a vulnerability measure which quantifies the welfare loss associated with poverty as well as different types of risks like aggregate and idiosyncratic risks. Applying this measure to an Indian panel survey data for 2000 and 200ƒ£, we find that SHG members have lower vulnerability as compared to a group of non-SHG (control) members. Furthermore, we find that the poverty contributes to about 80 percent of the vulnerability faced by the household followed by aggregate risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Bali Swain, Ranjula & Floro, Maria, 2007. "Effect of Microfinance on Vulnerability, Poverty and Risk in Low Income Households," Working Paper Series 2007:31, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2007_031
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. A. Sandmo, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 353-360.
    3. Robert M. Townsend, 1995. "Consumption Insurance: An Evaluation of Risk-Bearing Systems in Low-Income Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 83-102, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amit Kundu, 2011. "Effectiveness of Microfinance Under SGSY Scheme to Reduce Poverty and Vulnerability of Rural Households: A Natural Experiment," The IUP Journal of Financial Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(3), pages 40-55, September.
    2. Ukpe, Offiong Uma & Nweze, Noble Jackson & Arene, Chukwuemeka John, 0. "Food Insecurity Vulnerability Status Of Farm Households In Niger- Delta, Nigeria," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 4.
    3. Bali Swain, Ranjula & Floro, Maria, 2010. "Reducing Vulnerability through Microfinance: Evidence from Indian Self Help Group Program," Working Paper Series 2010:23, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    4. Abdul Ghafar Ismail & Bayu Taufiq Possumah, 2014. "Poverty and social security in Islam," Chapters,in: Handbook on Islam and Economic Life, chapter 22, pages iii-iii Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Evans Jadotte, 2010. "Vulnerability to Poverty: A Microeconometric Approach and Application to the Republic of Haiti," Working Papers wpdea1004, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    6. Stefan Eriksson & Jonas Lagerström, 2012. "The Labor Market Consequences of Gender Differences in Job Search," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 303-327, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Microfinance; Vulnerability; Poverty; Risk Coping;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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