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Does micro-credit empower women : evidence from Bangladesh

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  • Pitt, Mark M.
  • Khandker, Shahidur R.
  • Cartwright, Jennifer

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of men's and women's participation in group-based micro-credit programs on a large set of qualitative responses to questions that characterize women's autonomy and gender relations within the household. The data come from a special survey carried out in rural Bangladesh in 1998-99. The results are consistent with the view that women's participation in micro-credit programs helps to increase women's empowerment. Credit program participation leads to women taking a greater role in household decisionmaking, having greater access to financial and economic resources, having greater social networks, having greater bargaining power compared with their husbands, and having greater freedom of mobility. Female credit also tended to increase spousal communication in general about family planning and parenting concerns. The effects of male credit on women's empowerment were, at best, neutral, and at worse, decidedly negative. Male credit had a negative effect on several arenas of women's empowerment, including physical mobility, access to savings and economic resources, and power to manage some household transactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Pitt, Mark M. & Khandker, Shahidur R. & Cartwright, Jennifer, 2003. "Does micro-credit empower women : evidence from Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2998, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2998
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Ashraf, Nava & Karlan, Dean & Yin, Wesley, 2010. "Female Empowerment: Impact of a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 333-344, March.
    3. Ambler, Kate & Doss, Cheryl & Kieran, Caitlin & Passarelli, Simone, 2017. "He says, she says: Exploring patterns of spousal agreement in Bangladesh," IFPRI discussion papers 1616, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Padmavathi Koride & Anjula Gurtoo, 2019. "A Comparison of Borrowing and Default Behaviour Between Men and Women," Studies in Microeconomics, , vol. 7(2), pages 189-209, December.
    5. María Noelia Garbero, 2012. "Un análisis de los efectos de las restricciones de liquidez en la acumulación de capital humano: Evidencia para Nicaragua," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0136, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    6. Cho, Yoonyoung & Honorati, Maddalena, 2014. "Entrepreneurship programs in developing countries: A meta regression analysis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 110-130.
    7. Ricardo Bebczuk & Francisco Haimovich, 2007. "MDGs and Microcredit: An Empirical Evaluation for Latin American Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0048, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    8. Masakure, Oliver & Cranfield, John & Henson, Spencer, 2008. "The Financial Performance of Non-farm Microenterprises in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2733-2762, December.
    9. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2010. "Expanding Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 433-464, January.
    10. Ismail, Abdul Ghafar & Mislan Condro, Widiyanto, 2008. "Sustainability of BMT financing for Developing Micro-enterprises," MPRA Paper 13746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Household Decision Making and Savings Impacts: Further Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," Working Papers 939, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    12. Jungmin Lee & Mark L. Pocock, 2007. "Intrahousehold allocation of financial resources: evidence from South Korean individual bank accounts," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 41-58, March.
    13. McKernan, Signe-Mary & Pitt, Mark M. & Moskowitz, David, 2005. "Use of the formal and informal financial sectors : does gender matter? empirical evidence from rural Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3491, The World Bank.
    14. Hammler, Katharina, 2011. "Mikrokredite: Eine kritische empirische Bestandsaufnahme," Briefing Papers 6, Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (ÖFSE) / Austrian Foundation for Development Research.
    15. Ishraq Ahmed & Erick Kitenge, 2022. "Microfinance outreach and aggregate welfare," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(3), pages 652-669, April.
    16. World Bank, 2008. "Harnessing Competitiveness for Stronger Inclusive Growth : Bangladesh Second Investment Climate Assessment," World Bank Publications - Reports 8025, The World Bank Group.
    17. Dr. Ishrat Jahan, 2018. "Promises vs. Realities of Women in Development (WID: Microcredit and Women’s Enterprising Work in Rural Bangladesh," International Journal of World Policy and Development Studies, Academic Research Publishing Group, vol. 4(2), pages 6-19, 04-2018.
    18. M. A. Baqui Khalily, 2004. "Quantitative approach to impact analysis of microfinance programmes in Bangladesh-what have we learned?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 331-353.
    19. Tanu Priya Uteng & Jeff Turner, 2019. "Addressing the Linkages between Gender and Transport in Low- and Middle-Income Countries," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(17), pages 1-34, August.

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