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The Microfinance Promise in Financial Inclusion and Welfare of the Poor: Evidence from Karnataka, India

  • Naveen K Shetty

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    (Institute for Social and Economic Change)

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    Microcredit is a recent addition to India’s poverty-alleviation strategy. Of late, there has been a paradigm shift from microcredit to microfinance. This study examines the promise of microfinance in the inclusion of poor, who have been left outside the gamut of formal financial markets for a long period of time. The study also examines the impact of microfinance-plus services on the household economy of the members. This paper uses primary data on household participants of microfinance programme in the state of Karnataka. We find that a majority of the sample households in the pre-microfinance programme were vulnerable to both access the financial and non-financial services. In the post-microfinance intervention, a large number of the member households are able to access the microfinance-plus services and it has enhanced the income, employment, assets, household expenditure, housing condition and empowerment of the poor. Policy recommendation includes delivery of microfinance-plus services to the marginalized and vulnerable poor at a minimum cost will have wider impact on the socio-economic well-being of the poor.

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    Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore in its series Working Papers with number 205 Keyword : Banking, Microfinance, Financial Inclusion, Poverty Reduction, Karnataka.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:sch:wpaper:205
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    1. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
    2. Hossain, Mahabub, 1988. "Credit for alleviation of rural poverty: the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh," Research reports 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. 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.
    4. Hashemi, Syed M. & Schuler, Sidney Ruth & Riley, Ann P., 1996. "Rural credit programs and women's empowerment in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 635-653, April.
    5. Navajas, Sergio & Schreiner, Mark & Meyer, Richard L. & Gonzalez-vega, Claudio & Rodriguez-meza, Jorge, 2000. "Microcredit and the Poorest of the Poor: Theory and Evidence from Bolivia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 333-346, February.
    6. Naveen K Shetty, 2008. "Microfinance for Micro Enterprise Development: An Inquiry for a New Paradigm," The IUP Journal of Financial Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(1), pages 88-98, March.
    7. Signe-Mary McKernan, 2002. "The Impact Of Microcredit Programs On Self-Employment Profits: Do Noncredit Program Aspects Matter?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 93-115, February.
    8. Zeller, Manfred & Sharma, Manohar, 1998. "Rural finance and poverty alleviation," Food policy reports 8, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Diagne, Aliou & Zeller, Manfred, 2001. "Access to credit and its impact on welfare in Malawi:," Research reports 116, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Hulme, David, 2000. "Impact Assessment Methodologies for Microfinance: Theory, Experience and Better Practice," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 79-98, January.
    11. Priya Basu, 2006. "Improving Access to Finance for India's Rural Poor," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6927.
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