Microcredit has emerged as a hugely popular tool all over the developing world for helping poor people to help themselves by engaging in self-employed income-earning activities. By developing innovative ways of providing the poor with access to credit, the ‘microcredit revolution’, as it has come to be called, has seriously challenged many traditional assumptions about both poverty reduction strategies and financial markets. While this has encouraged new theorising about how microcredit works, the evolution of the practice of microcredit has outpaced the development of theory.
This book aims to remedy this imbalance, arguing that a proper understanding of the evolution of practice is essential both for developing theories that are relevant for the real world and for adopting policies that can better realize the full potential of microcredit. Using a rich blend of theoretical and empirical analysis, this book sets out to provide a well-balanced review and synthesis of the existing literature on microcredit/microfinance. It also seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge about microcredit by tracing recent evolution in the practice of microcredit - with special focus on Bangladesh - and by making the case that a proper understanding of this evolution in practice is essential for both relevant theorising and effective policymaking.
1. What is Microcredit? 2. The Theory of Microcredit 3. How the Microcredit Market Works 4. The Impact of Microcredit: Economic Dimensions 5. The Impact of Microcredit: Social Dimensions 6. New Frontiers of Microfinance 7. Future Directions for Theory and Policy