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Does Microfinance Reduce Poverty among the Poorest? A Macro Quantile Regression Approach

Maricruz Lacalle†Calderon, Manuel Perez†Trujillo and Isabel Neira

The Developing Economies, 2018, vol. 56, issue 1, 51-65

Abstract: The goal of this paper is to provide empirical evidence to determine whether microfinance, measured through a country's gross loan portfolio per capita, has a heterogeneous effect on poverty reduction among countries with different levels of poverty. We have used a panel†data quantile regression with a data set for 57 countries for the years 2005, 2008, and 2011 to estimate the distributional impacts of microcredits on two poverty indices. Results reveal not only that microfinance significantly reduces the incidence and depth of poverty, but also that this effect differs across the different poverty levels (quantiles). The effect of microcredit on poverty reduction is slightly larger among countries where the incidence and depth of poverty are the highest, suggesting that microcredit reaches and benefits even the poorest individuals.

Date: 2018
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