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Dynamic effects of microcredit in Bangladesh

  • Khandker, Shahidur R.
  • Samad, Hussain A.

This paper uses long panel survey data spanning over 20 years to examine the dynamics of microcredit programs in Bangladesh. With the phenomenal growth of microfinance institutions representing 30 million members with over $2 billion of annual disbursement over the past two decades, it is important to understand the dynamics of microcredit expansion and its induced impact on household welfare. A dynamic panel model is used to address a number of issues, such as whether credit effects are declining over time, whether market saturation and village diseconomies are taking place, and whether multiple program membership, which is rising as a consequence of microcredit expansion, is harming or benefiting the borrowers. The paper's results confirm that microcredit programs have continued to benefit the poor by raising household welfare. The beneficial effects have also remained higher for female than male borrowers. There are diseconomies of scale caused by higher levels of village-level borrowing, especially for male members. Multiple program membership is also growing with competition from microfinance institutions, but this has rather helped raise assets and net worth more than it has contributed to indebtedness.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6821.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2014
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6821
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  1. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David & Woodruff, Christopher, 2007. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2934, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Islam, Asadul, 2010. "Medium and Long-Term Participation in Microcredit: An Evaluation Using a New Panel Dataset from Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 24950, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. James P. Ziliak & Thomas J. Kniesner, 1998. "The Importance of Sample Attrition in Life Cycle Labor Supply Estimation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 507-530.
  4. Khandker, Shahidur R. & Faruqee, Rashid & Samad, Hussain A., 2013. "Are microcredit borrowers in Bangladesh over-indebted ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6574, The World Bank.
  5. Das, J.W.M. & van Soest, A.H.O. & Toepoel, V., 2011. "Nonparametric tests of panel conditioning and attrition bias in panel surveys," Other publications TiSEM 76b0a827-e4b6-403d-8465-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  6. Shahidur R. Khandker & Hussain A. Samad, 2014. "Are Microcredit Participants in Bangladesh Trapped in Poverty and Debt?," Working Papers 24, Institute of Microfinance (InM).
  7. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Are there dynamic gains from a poor-area development program?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 65-85, January.
  8. Khandker, Shahidur R., 2003. "Microfinance and poverty - evidence using panel data from Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2945, The World Bank.
  9. Kevane, Michael & Wydick, Bruce, 2001. "Microenterprise Lending to Female Entrepreneurs: Sacrificing Economic Growth for Poverty Alleviation?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1225-1236, July.
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