Essays on microfinance: financial and social impacts in rural Bangladesh Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Saad, Syed Towhid
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics
  • Rural credit programs in developing countries are designed to help the poorest of the poor by providing collateral-free loans at a low cost. In order to properly measure the efficacy of these programs, one needs to examine not only the pecuniary benefits of the programs but also the non-pecuniary benefits. The micro-loans are mandated for income-generating purpose such as investing in a micro-enterprise. To elaborate, one way that credit programs can benefit the poor is by providing them opportunities to increase their income. Another way that these programs benefit is by empowering women. The credit programs tend to target poor women, thereby providing them with income-generating opportunities that they otherwise lack. A woman's potential contribution to the household income may increase her intra-household bargaining power and empower her. This may have far-reaching consequences in terms of household investment in children's health and education, as well as a woman's wellbeing. In the following thesis, I present two papers that investigate the two different effects of credit programs. The first chapter examines the effect of borrowing from credit and non-credit programs on self-employment profits. The second chapter examines the effect of men's and women's self-employment profits on woman's intra-household bargaining power and how it differs with the gender of the primary borrower. The self-employment activities that are considered were primarily funded by the credit programs or by non-credit sources such as commercial banks and moneylenders.
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  • Akin, John S.
  • Open access

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