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Great expectations: microfinance and poverty reduction in Asia and Latin America

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  • Weiss, John
  • Montgomery, Heather

Abstract

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) are often seen by aid practitioners as a manifestly effective means of improving the position of the poor. Despite this widely held view, detailed research studies have been much more guarded about the impact of MFIs. In particular, several studies have raised doubts about the effectiveness of MFIs in reaching the “core poor”. This paper surveys the evidence from Asia and Latin America and contrasts experiences in the two regions. Studies on the former have been carried out more “rigorously”, but in both regions the evidence that microfinance is reaching the core poor is very limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Weiss, John & Montgomery, Heather, 2004. "Great expectations: microfinance and poverty reduction in Asia and Latin America," MPRA Paper 33142, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33142
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    microfinance; poverty; Asia; Latin America;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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