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20 Years of Research in Microfinance: An Information Management Approach

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  • Begoña Gutiérrez Nieto
  • Carlos Serrano-Cinca

Abstract

In the last 20 years, microfinance has moved from a promise to reality, although with ups and downs. This paper reviews 1,874 papers published from 1997 to 2017 to perform a scientometric analysis of the microfinance field. The literature review is based on bibliometric data: keyword co-occurrence networks and citation networks were exploited for knowledge mapping. Data analysis shows the two research traditions: papers focusing on clients (welfarists) and papers focusing on microfinance entities themselves (institutionalists). Institutionalism, which had little presence in the early research in microfinance, now exhibits great strength. A chronological analysis reveals the evolution of the topics most interesting to researchers: the first stage described the innovations of the microcredit practices and their impact; the second and very expansive stage in which microfinance institutions’ peculiarities were analyzed; and nowadays the sector is mature but with negative aspects arising, such as mission drift. The keywords analysis discovers emerging research topics, shows the use of sophisticated techniques, and recognizes an emerging trend of the sector: achieving financial inclusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Begoña Gutiérrez Nieto & Carlos Serrano-Cinca, 2019. "20 Years of Research in Microfinance: An Information Management Approach," Working Papers CEB 19-005, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/285083
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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Zaby, 2019. "Science Mapping of the Global Knowledge Base on Microfinance: Influential Authors and Documents, 1989–2019," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(14), pages 1-21, July.

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    Keywords

    Microfinance; Microcredit; Literature review; Scientometrics; Welfarism; Institutionalism;

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods

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