Southeast Asia’s Credit Revolution describes and explains the rise of microfinance – the provision of credit and other financial services for the poor – in Southeast Asia, over the past four decades the most consistently successful region of the developing world. In recent years microfinance has come to be seen as a key weapon in the battle against global poverty, generating more enthusiasm and optimism than any other development strategy.
Southeast Asia has a special place in the history of microfinance. Historically, Southeast Asian societies and economies were perceived as almost uniquely debt-ridden and credit-constrained. In the twentieth century, however, the region was in the forefront of the modern microfinance revolution. This book asks what factors have made it possible for formal microfinance institutions to replace moneylenders and other traditional credit providers.
Bringing together economists, sociologists, anthropologists and historians, the book covers seven Southeast Asian countries. The topic is explored from cultural and institutional as well as economic perspectives, and policy-relevant lessons are offered for the design of successful microfinance institutions. Focusing on recent developments while putting them in historical context, this will be an important text for scholars and students of economic history, finance, institutional economics, and Asian Studies.
1. Introduction: from moneylenders to microfinance in Southeast Asia Aditya Goenka and David Henley 2. Rural credit market imperfections and the role of microfinance Aditya Goenka 3. Old and new worlds of microfinance in Europe and Asia Hans-Dieter Seibel 4. Credit provision among Vietnamese small businesses Stephen J. Appold and Nguyen Quy Thanh 5. Pawnshops in Singapore: traditional microfinance in a modern society Selina Ching Chan and David T. Owyong 6. The Indonesian People's Credit Banks (BPR) Dirk Steinwand 7. Breaking down the barriers to microfinance: the Philippine case Benjamin R. Quiñones, Jr. 8. Economic theory meets evidence in rural Thailand: lessons for group lending Christian R. Ahlin 9. The effects of microcredit on the Orang Asli of Malaysia Angeline L. Ames and Todd T. Ames 10. Farmers in debt: the case of rainfed upland farmers in Northeast Thailand Sharon B. Singzon and Ganesh P. Shivakoti 11. Microfinance in Indonesia: evolution and revolution, 1900-2000 David Henley 12. Microfinance in Burma Sean Turnell
"This work is a great antidote to the hype that has tended to surround microfinance, especially among students, as a panacea for poverty. It restores the historical record of the role that voluntary, informal, and state-promoted institutions played in microfinance in the region as long ago as the 19th century and is firmly grounded in the reality, both positive and negative, that empirical research reveals. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Students at all levels, faculty, and professionals." - J. H. Cobbe, CHOICE (May 2010)