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Fighting poverty with microcredit: experience in Bangladesh.

Abstract

Based on extensive survey data from Bangladesh, the book demonstrates that microcredit programmes are an effective policy instrument for reducing poverty among poor people with the skills to become self-employed. It also shows that such programmes are more cost-effective than some other types of anti-poverty programmes. Microcredit programmes were found to be particularly important for Bangladeshi women, many of whom are restricted by social custom from seeking wage employment. For all three of the microcredit programmes studied, the impact on household consumption was twice as great when the borrowers were women. The three projects studied are: the Grameen Bank, the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), and RD12. The eight chapters examine: poverty alleviation and microcredit programmes; the evolution of microcredit programmes in Bangladesh; socioeconomic impacts of microcredit programmes; growth potential of activities financed through microcredit; institutional and financial viability of microcredit programmes; microcredit programmes and rural financial markets; cost-effectiveness of alternative poverty alleviation programmes; and conclusions focusing on what has been learnt.

 

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