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Title: Essays on microfinance and poverty dynamics
Author: Gillaizeau, Marc V.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 5145
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2017
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Microfinance celebrates 40 years of existence with an ever wider popularity in the community of development practitioners. It is one of the cornerstones of the newly designed Sustainable Development Goals. But popularity does not mean success. To this day, the actual empirical evidence on the welfare impacts of microfinance programs are mixed. Using panel data from Bangladesh, this thesis seeks to address three major gaps in the literature. Impact evaluation studies typically focus on mean population outcomes. Chapter 2 makes use of quantile regression techniques in order to investigate potential distributional impacts of microfinance programs. There is compelling evidence that if microfinance benefits borrowers, the impacts are not the same for everyone. Such impact heterogeneity can have important welfare consequences. Chapter 3 investigates whether spillover effects from microfinance programs exist, which could benefit the community as a whole on top of direct beneficiaries. Afterproviding a new set of direct impact estimates that corroborate previous findings, estimations suggest there are potentially consumption gains to non-borrowers who live in villages where microfinance is accessible. A linear social interactions model succeeds in characterising spillover effects on consumption and on boys schooling as stemming from peer endogenous effects. Chapter 4 looks into the benefits of microfinance in helping the poor deal with vulnerability, another dimension of welfare that relates to the ability to insure against risks. A measure of vulnerability as expected poverty is constructed from cross-sections of data directly. After seven years went by between the surveys borrowers, who were by far worse off than non borrowers in their ability to face idiosyncratic shocks, do at least as well as non-borrowers. Empirical evidence suggests that households who borrowed are less likely to be considered as vulnerable.
Supervisor: Mishra, Tapas K. ; Avino, Davide E. ; Cook, Steven Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral