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Socially Disadvantaged Groups and Microfinance in India

Author

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  • Jean-Marie Baland

    () (Center for Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur)

  • Rohini Somanathan
  • Lore Vandewalle

    () (Center for Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur)

Abstract

In this paper we provide an empirical analysis of the performance of microfinance groups, known as Self-Help groups, based on an original census we carried out in a poor area of Northern India. We examine whether traditionally disadvantaged villagers, such as members of lower castes or landless farmers, are less likely to have access to groups. We also analyze their performance in terms of access to bank loans, which is an important benefit of the groups. We nd evidence of the attrition process being selective against lower castes: they have a lower probability of becoming a permanent member of a group. The net effects in terms of their expected access to a bank loan remain however relatively limited. By contrast, even though landless farmers are more likely to fail or leave the groups, they tend to bene t disproportionately. In expected terms, they receive more than two times the amounts of bank loans given to farmers owning more than one acre. Overall, the program therefore has positive and important distributional implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Marie Baland & Rohini Somanathan & Lore Vandewalle, 2011. "Socially Disadvantaged Groups and Microfinance in India," Working Papers 1117, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nam:wpaper:1117
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Demont, Timothée, 2016. "Microfinance spillovers: A model of competition in informal credit markets with an application to Indian villages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 21-41.
    2. Vandewalle, Lore, 2017. "The Role of Accountants in Indian Self-Help Groups: A Trade-off between Financial and Non-Financial Benefits," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 177-192.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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