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Bangladesh’s Achievement in Poverty Reduction: The Role of Microfinance Revisited

Listed author(s):
  • Khandker, Shahidur R
  • Samad, Hussain A

Using long panel survey data collected three times between the years 1991/92 and 2010/11, this paper examines the role of microfinance in poverty reduction in rural Bangladesh. More specifically, in assessing the impact of microfinance on poverty, this paper makes a distinction between the effects of current participation in microfinance programs and those of past participation, and between the effects of continuous participation in microfinance programs and those of irregular participation. Findings suggest that there is a greater decrease in poverty levels for participants in microfinance programs than for non-participants, and for female participants more than for male participants. Additionally, continuous borrowers fare better than irregular borrowers. Overall, microfinance participation, which is found to be cost-effective for borrowers, has contributed to about one-seventh of the total reduction in moderate poverty and one-eleventh of the total reduction in extreme poverty in rural Bangladesh. Finally, this paper recommends the expansion of microfinance funded growth-oriented activities in the non-farm sector, in particular manufacturing and processing activities, so as to reap larger benefits from microfinance.

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Paper provided by JICA Research Institute in its series Working Papers with number 114.

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Date of creation: 19 Feb 2016
Handle: RePEc:jic:wpaper:114
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  1. Asadul Islam, 2011. "Medium- and Long-Term Participation in Microcredit: An Evaluation Using a New Panel Dataset from Bangladesh," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(3), pages 843-862.
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  6. Das, J.W.M. & van Soest, A.H.O. & Toepoel, V., 2011. "Nonparametric tests of panel conditioning and attrition bias in panel surveys," Other publications TiSEM 76b0a827-e4b6-403d-8465-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  7. Matthieu Chemin, 2008. "The Benefits and Costs of Microfinance: Evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 463-484, April.
  8. Craig McIntosh, 2008. "Estimating Treatment Effects from Spatial Policy Experiments: An Application to Ugandan Microfinance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 15-28, February.
  9. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Cynthia Kinnan, 2015. "The Miracle of Microfinance? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 22-53, January.
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  11. Islam, Asadul & Maitra, Pushkar, 2012. "Health shocks and consumption smoothing in rural households: Does microcredit have a role to play?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 232-243.
  12. Hossain, Mahabub, 1988. "Credit for alleviation of rural poverty: the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh," Research reports 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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  15. Kevane, Michael & Wydick, Bruce, 2001. "Microenterprise Lending to Female Entrepreneurs: Sacrificing Economic Growth for Poverty Alleviation?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1225-1236, July.
  16. David Roodman & Jonathan Morduch, 2014. "The Impact of Microcredit on the Poor in Bangladesh: Revisiting the Evidence," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(4), pages 583-604, April.
  17. Islam, Asadul & Nguyen, Chau & Smyth, Russell, 2015. "Does microfinance change informal lending in village economies? Evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 141-156.
  18. Mark Pin & Shahidur Khandker & Signe-Mary Mckernan & M. Latif, 1999. "Credit programs for the poor and reproductive behavior in low-income countries: Are the reported causal relationships the result of heterogeneity bias?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(1), pages 1-21, February.
  19. Pitt, Mark M. & Khandker, Shahidur R., 2012. "Replicating replication : due diligence in Roodman and Morduch's replication of Pitt and Khandker (1998)," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6273, The World Bank.
  20. Marcel Das & Vera Toepoel & Arthur van Soest, 2011. "Nonparametric Tests of Panel Conditioning and Attrition Bias in Panel Surveys," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 40(1), pages 32-56, February.
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