EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Poverty and wellbeing impacts of microfinance: What do we know?

Mathilde Maîtrot and Miguel Niño-Zarazúa ()

No 190, WIDER Working Paper Series from World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER)

Abstract: Over the last 35 years, microfinance has been generally regarded as an effective policy tool in the fight against poverty. Yet, the question of whether access to credit leads to poverty reduction and improved wellbeing remains open. To address this question, we conduct a systematic review of the quantitative literature of microfinance’s impacts in the developing world, and develop a theory of change that links inputs to impacts on several welfare outcomes. Overall, we find that the limited comparability of outcomes and the heterogeneity of microfinance-lending technologies, together with a considerable variation in socio-economic conditions and contexts in which impact studies have been conducted, render the interpretation and generalization of findings intricate. Our results indicate that, at best, microfinance induces short-term dynamism in the financial life of the poor; however, we do not find compelling evidence that this dynamism leads to increases in income, consumption, human capital and assets, and, ultimately, a reduction in poverty

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-fle and nep-mfd
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/Publ ... r/PDF/wp2017-190.pdf

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2017-190

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in WIDER Working Paper Series from World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Mauricio Roa Grisales ().

 
Page updated 2019-11-14
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2017-190