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Economic and social impacts of self-help groups in India

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  • Deininger, Klaus
  • Liu, Yanyan

Abstract

Although there has been considerable recent interest in micro-credit programs, rigorous evidence on the impacts of forming self-help groups to mobilize savings and foster social empowerment at the local level is virtually non-existent, despite a large number of programs following this pattern. The authors use a large household survey to assess the economic and social impacts of the formation of self-help groups in India. They find positive impacts on empowerment and nutritional intake in program areas overall and heterogeneity of impacts between members of pre-existing and newly formed groups, as well as non-participants. Female social and economic empowerment in program areas increased irrespective of participation status, suggesting positive externalities. Nutritional benefit was more pronounced for new participants than for members of pre-existing groups. Evidence of higher consumption - but not income or asset formation - by participants suggests that at the time of the survey, the program's main economic impact had been through consumption smoothing and diversification of income sources rather than exploitation of new income sources. Evaluation of such programs in ways that allow heterogeneity of program impact can yield highly policy-relevant insights.

Suggested Citation

  • Deininger, Klaus & Liu, Yanyan, 2009. "Economic and social impacts of self-help groups in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4884, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4884
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    Cited by:

    1. De Hoop, Thomas & Van Kempen, Luuk & Linssen, Rik & Van Eerdewijk, Anouka, 2010. "Women's Autonomy and Subjective Well-Being in India: How Village Norms Shape the Impact of Self-Help Groups," MPRA Paper 25921, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Datta, Upamanyu, 2015. "Socio-Economic Impacts of JEEViKA: A Large-Scale Self-Help Group Project in Bihar, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 1-18.
    3. Mariana Infante-Villarroel, 2015. "Social Protection Delivery through Community-Driven Development Platforms," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22327, The World Bank.
    4. Vecci, Joseph & Zelinsky, Tomas, 2017. "A Spatial Analysis of Foreign Aid and Civil Society," Working Papers in Economics 688, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Access to Finance; Housing&Human Habitats; Social Accountability; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis;

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