Due Diligence: An Impertinent Inquiry into Microfinance

December 13, 2011

“David Roodman has been the most consistent and articulate analyst of microcredit in recent years.”
—Muhammad Yunus, founder, Grameen Bank

The idea that small loans can help poor families build businesses and exit poverty has blossomed into a global movement. The concept has captured the public imagination, drawn in billions of dollars, reached millions of customers, and garnered a Nobel Prize. Radical in its suggestion that the poor are creditworthy and conservative in its insistence on individual accountability, the idea has expanded beyond credit into savings, insurance, and money transfers, earning the name microfinance. But is it the boon so many think it is?

Readers of David Roodman's Microfinance Open Book Blog will immediately recognize his thorough, straightforward, and trenchant analysis. Due Diligence, written entirely in public with input from readers, probes the truth about microfinance to guide governments, foundations, investors, and private citizens who support financial services for poor people. In particular, it explains the need to deemphasize microcredit in favor of other financial services for the poor.

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“Microfinance has more than its fair share of myths, both positive and negative. It’s a field in desperate need of cool, rational, and evidence-based analysis, and David Roodman has proved that he is singularly capable of providing it.”
—Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist and Adapt

“Due Diligence is the microfinance book that grown-ups have been waiting for, as complex and fascinating as its subject. Roodman brushes away the slogans and the oversimplified dogmas to uncover microfinance’s long history and multifarious present. And best of all, it’s a pleasure to read.”
—Felix Salmon, Reuters


Due Diligence is available for purchase in paperback, Kindle, and EPUB versions.

Due Diligence: An Impertinent Inquiry into Microfinance can be ordered through Hopkins Fulfillment Service, P.O. Box 50370, Baltimore MD 21211-4370. Tel: 1-800-537-5487. 6 X 9, 365 pp. paper, 978-1-933286-48-8, $24.95. For review or desk copies, please email publications@­

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