Since the inception of the first microcredit intervention by Dr. Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh in 1976 through the Grameen Bank, this practice has received a growing interest from the development community as well as from academic researchers. To this day, even though microfinance projects have blossomed and grown fast all over the world for the past 15 years, empirical evaluations of such practices have produced rather mixed results and the viability of microfinance as a tool to fight poverty has yet to be unequivocally ascertained. It is believed that lending to the destitute is a way to empower them not only economically, but also socially and politically. Furthermore, one could expect some indirect effects to stem from program beneficiaries to non-beneficiaries. This area of research in the field of microfinance impact evaluation remains mostly unexplored, and the existence of such effects could change the way to look at and to implement microfinance interventions. Careful data-driven investigation will be undertaken, along with the development of a theoretical framework aiming at unravelling the implications of the introduction of microfinance for non-borrowers in a community, very likely through its impacting existing informal financial institutions and social networks.
Start date:October 2013
Research Topic:Microfinance interventions in developing countries
Research Supervisor:Dr. Tapas Mishra, Dr. Reza Arabsheibani
Supervising school:Ysgol Rheolaeth, Prifysgol Abertawe
Primary funding source:ESRC Studentship