This course explores the role of microfinance in economic development. It will discuss how poor people in poor countries use financial services such as credit and savings; the history and practice of delivering such services; what is known about their contribution to development; and how stories and statistical studies shape public perceptions of microfinance.
The CGD Task Force on Access to Financial Services proposes 10 principles for financial-sector policymakers—including national authorities, donors, private-sector participants, international financial institutions, and others—on the facilitation, regulation, and direct provision of financial services.
The Impact of Microcredit on the Poor in Bangladesh: Revisiting the Evidence - Working Paper 174 (June 2013 revision)
CGD fellow David Roodman and Jonathan Morduch a landmark evaluation of the impact of microcredit on poor households in Bangladesh. They replicate the study's statistical analysis and put an end to the controversy surrounding it by showing that it fails to rule out reverse causation. A positive association between microcredit and household spending, for example, may merely indicate that richer families borrow more. With these studies in doubt, solid academic evidence that microcredit reduces poverty is even scarcer than previously understood.