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Ireland's peculiar microfinance revolution, c. 1836-1845

Eoin McLaughlin () and Rowena Pecchenino

No 19-01, eabh Papers from The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH)

Abstract: In the decade before the famine, Ireland experienced a boom in Microfinance Institutions (MFIs). This paper analyses the motivations of MFI proponents and practitioners, and finds evidence linking the boom in MFIs with the introduction of the poor law in 1838. Many contemporary writers saw microfinance as a complex tax avoidance/reduction scheme that could lessen the burden on rate payers by helping the poor help themselves. The link between MFIs and the poor law is confirmed by an econometric analysis of MFIs at the level of the poor law union.

Keywords: microfinance; inequality; development; Ireland (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G21 H75 I38 N23 N33 N83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-mfd
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