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The impact of microfinance on poverty and income inequality in developing countries

Yogeeswari Subramaniam, Tajul Ariffin Masron (), Mastura A. Wahab and Md Aslam Mia

Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, 2021, vol. 35, issue 1, 36-48

Abstract: Economic growth in developing countries provides an opportunity to accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, in reality, the number of people living in extreme poverty remains unacceptably high. Utilising the experiences of 34 developing countries for the period 2009 to 2016, the role of microfinance on poverty in these countries is examined. The results imply that the degree to which the existing forms of microfinance effectively reduce extreme poverty is less workable in developing countries, particularly when the hardcore poor are likely being deprived of receiving access to microfinance. It is suggested that governments may need to revise the structure and strategy of microfinance to be more hardcore poor oriented. The hardcore poor have needs beyond pure monetary assistance. More hand‐holding types of assistance are needed as most are also poor in respect of literacy, assets, and skills.

Date: 2021
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