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Effect of employment guarantee on access to credit: Evidence from rural India


  • Saraswat, Deepak


Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is the largest and most ambitious public works program for poverty alleviation, adopted by Government of India since independence. It was implemented in year 2006, starting with the first phase of 200 most backward districts in India. Two more consecutive phases were implemented to cover all rural regions in India but, even after almost 6 years of its implementation, it has not been adequately analyzed for its effect on various development indicators. This paper aims to study, whether participating in a typical employment guarantee program like MGNREGA, increases access to financial services and in particular, credit. Results provide evidence that, MGNREGA has been successful in self-selecting rural poor into participation and households participating longer in the program have been able to borrow more from formal sources. This paper also provides evidence that, increase in productivity of economic activities for participants, due to work in MGNREGA acts as a link between longer participation and increased access to formal credit.

Suggested Citation

  • Saraswat, Deepak, 2011. "Effect of employment guarantee on access to credit: Evidence from rural India," MPRA Paper 34671, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 Nov 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:34671

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Transfer Benefits from Public-Works Employment: Evidence for Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1346-1369, November.
    2. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1993. "Credit Market Constraints, Consumption Smoothing, and the Accumulation of Durable Production Assets in Low-Income Countries: Investment in Bullocks in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 223-244, April.
    3. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters,in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1986. "Access to Capital and Agrarian Production Organisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 482-498, June.
    5. Dercon, Stefan, 1998. "Wealth, risk and activity choice: cattle in Western Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-42, February.
    6. Milo Bianchi, 2010. "Credit constraints, entrepreneurial talent, and economic development," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 93-104, January.
    7. Conning, Jonathan & Udry, Christopher, 2007. "Rural Financial Markets in Developing Countries," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
    8. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1989. "Credit as insurance in agrarian economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 37-53, July.
    9. Carlo del Ninno & Kalanidhi Subbarao & Annamaria Milazzo, 2009. "How to Make Public Works Work : A Review of the Experiences," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11718, The World Bank.
    10. Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 103-114, Summer.
    11. Barrett , Christopher B & Carter , Michael R & Ikegami , Munenobu, 2008. "Poverty traps and social protection," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 42752, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bell, Clive & Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop, 2015. "Income Guarantees and Borrowing in Risky Environments: Evidence from India's Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme," IZA Discussion Papers 9357, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    MGNREGA; Access to Credit;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • C0 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General
    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • C87 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Econometric Software
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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