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Microfinance as a Poverty Reduction Tool—A Critical Assessment

Anis Chowdhury

Working Papers from United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs

Abstract: This paper attempts to provide a critical appraisal of the debate on the effectiveness of microfinance as a universal poverty reduction tool. It argues that while microfinance has developed some innovative management and business strategies, its impact on poverty reduction remains in doubt. Microfinance, however, certainly plays an important role in providing safety-net and consumption smoothening. The borrowers of microfinance possibly also benefit from learning-by-doing and from self-esteem. However, for any significant dent on poverty, the focus of public policy should be on growth-oriented and equity-enhancing programs, such as broad-based productive employment creation.

Keywords: microfinance; poverty; employment; growth (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E24 G21 O16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 15 pages
Date: 2009-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev and nep-mfd
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (17)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:une:wpaper:89

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