Synopses & Reviews
Since the 1980s when the microfinance revolution began, much has been accomplished, but the field became more refined in the 1990s as a result of shifts in paradigms, strategies, and development practices. This volume addresses the three policy objectives that now occupy those who wish to use credit as a development tool: financial sustainability of microfinance institutions, outreach to the poor, and welfare impact.
Inevitable tradeoffs exist among these objectives, and the book advances an analytical framework that assists students of and experts in microfinance to identify the tradeoffs and synergies at the institutional level and in the policy environment. The book features a wealth of empirical data and innovative analytical studies, and critically discusses the role of public support for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in light of the social costs and benefits generated by such financial systems.
The book is organized into five parts. The first discusses the demand for and access to financial services by the poor, emphasizing that demand-oriented, pro-poor financial services are crucial in reaching the poor. The second is concerned with two of the criteria used to evaluate MFIs -- outreach and financial sustainability. The third features innovative econometric studies seeking to evaluate the impact of MFIs at the household level. The fourth looks at the role of both public- and private-sector institutions in developing sustainable financial systems. And the fifth summarizes implications for policy and research.
Given the lack of sound, empirical literature on microfinance, this volume is sure to advance knowledge and research methodology in the field.
Table of Contents
Improving the performance of microfinance : financial sustainability, outreach, and impact / Manfred Zeller and Richard L. Meyer -- Access to and demand for financial services by the poor. Access to and demand for and access to financial services by the rural poor : a multicountry synthesis / Manfred Zeller and Manohar Sharma -- Characteristics of household demand for financial services in highly uncertain economies : a review of evidence from Burkina Faso / Geneviáeve Nguyen, Betty Wampfler, Michel Benoit-Cattin, and Kimseyinga Savadogo -- Wealth and rural credit among farmers in Mexico : is market participation consistent with targeting? / Julie Stanton -- Credit constraints and loan demand in rural Bangladesh / Manfred Zeller and Manohar Sharma -- Improving access to land markets : evidence from emerging farmers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa / Michael Lyne and Mark Darroch -- Outreach and financial sustainability of institutions. Outreach and sustainability of member-based rural financial intermediaries / Julia Paxton and Carlos E. Cuevas -- Microcredit and the poorest of the poor : theory and evidence from Bolivia / Sergio Navajas, Mark Schreiner, Richard L. Meyer, Claudio Gonzalez-Vega, and Jorge Rodriguez-Meza -- An operational tool for evaluating the poverty outreach of development policies and projects / Manfred Zeller, Manohar Sharma, Carla Henry, and Câecile Lapenu -- Transaction costs of group and individual lending and rural financial market access : the case of poverty oriented microfinance in Cameroon / Franz Heidhues, Dieudonne Belle-Sossoh, and Gertrud Buchenrieder -- Measuring the impact of microfinance. Impact of microfinance on food security and poverty alleviation : a review and synthesis of empirical evidence / Manohar Sharma and Gertrud Buchenrieder -- Impact of access to credit on maize and tobacco productivity in Malawi / Aliou Diagne -- Explaining poverty : an empirical analysis of the effects of ill health and uncertainty on the savings of rural Pakistani households / Anjini Kochar -- Toward economic sustainability of rural financial systems for the poor : the role of public action and the private sector. The microfinance revolution : implications for the role of the state / Câecile Lapenu -- Recent developments in rural finance markets / Jacob Yaron and McDonald Benjamin -- Credit systems for the rural poor in the economic transition of China : institutions, outreach, and policy options / Zhu Ling, Jiang Zhongyi, and Joachim Von Braun -- Summary and implications for policy and research. Summary and implications for policy and research / Richard L. Meyer and Manfred Zeller.