Although microcredit programmes have long been considered efficient development tools, many forms of debt-induced distress have emerged in their wake. This has brought to light the problem of over-indebtedness, a topic which has been previously underexplored in the literature.
This new book, from a group of leading scholars, explores the manifestations, scale, and economic and social implications of household over-indebtedness in areas conventionally considered as financially excluded. The book approaches debt not only as a financial transaction, but also as a form of social bond, and offers a socioeconomic analysis of over-indebtedness.
The volume puts forward a broad definition of over-indebtedness, highlighting its situational and semantic complexity and diversity. It provides a close analysis of local conceptions of debt and over-indebtedness, highlighting frameworks of calculation and the constant renegotiation of their boundaries. On top of this, it looks far beyond microcredit to examine all the financial practices that individuals juggle. The volume argues that over-indebtedness has more to do with social inequalities than financial illiteracy, and should therefore be understood in the light of global trends of financialization. It also reveals the ambiguity of "financial inclusion" policies, and in many respects questions the actions of new credit providers.
This book will be valuable reading for students, researchers and policy makers interested in microfinance and development issues.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Isabelle Guérin, Solène Morvant-Roux and Magdalena Villarreal 2. Household Over-Indebtedness in Northern and Southern Countries: A macro-perspective Jean-Michel Servet and Hadrien Saiag 3. Indebted Mexicans in the Californian Mortgage Crisis Magdalena Villarreal 4. Debt, Over-Indebtedness and Wellbeing: An exploration Susan Johnson 5. Why Do the Poor Pay More for Their Credit? A French case study Hélène Ducourant 6. Debt, Credit and Contractual Synchrony in a South-Indian Market Town Barbara Harriss-White 7. The Social Meaning of Over-Indebtedness and Creditworthiness in the Context of Poor Rural South Indian Households (Tamil Nadu) Isabelle Guérin, Marc Roesch, G. Venkatasubramanian and K. S. Santosh Kumar 8. Protection and Over-Indebtedness in Rural South India: The case of labour migrants of Andhra Pradesh Picherit David 9. International Migration and Over-Indebtedness in Rural Mexico Solène Morvant-Roux 10. Multiplying Debt and Dependence: Gender strategies and the social risks of financial inclusion in Western Mexico Francesco Zanotelli 11. Does Juggling Mean Struggling? Insights into the financial practices of rural households in Madagascar Betty Wampfler, Emmanuelle Bouquet and Eliane Ralison 12. The Social Costs of Microfinance and Over-Indebtedness for Women Lourdes Angulo Salazar 13. The Commercialization of Microcredits and Local Consumerism: Examples of over-indebtedness from indigenous Mexico Agata Hummel 14. Mortgaging Used Sari-Skirts, Spear-Heading Resistance: Narratives from the microfinance repayment standoff in a South Indian town, 2008-2010 Nithya Joseph 15. Conclusion Isabelle Guérin, Solène Morvant-Roux and Magdalena Villarreal
Isabelle Guérin is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Research Development/Paris I Sorbonne University (Research Unit "Development and Societies"), Paris, and a research associate at the French Institute of Pondicherry and CERMi.
Solène Morvant-Roux is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Economy, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and Associate Researcher to the Centre for European Research in Microfinance (CERMI).
Magdalena Villarreal is Senior Researcher and Professor at the Centre for Advanced Research and Postgraduate Studies in Social Anthropology, Mexico.