Microcredit: What Can We Learn from the Past?
World Development, Vol. 26, No. 10, October 1998
Posted: 3 Feb 1999
We compare six microcredit organizations of nineteenth-century Europe (credit cooperatives and loan funds) to identify what characteristics were related with successful attainment of the organization's goals. We find that organizations that depended on charity or government for their funding tended not to be sustainable. In contrast, those organizations which relied on depositors for their funding operated at a larger scale and lasted much longer. An examination of the characteristics of these historical institutions is useful because some of them operated over many decades, providing a perspective which is rarely seen in modern, short-lived microcredit banks and programs.
Note: This is a description of the paper, and not the actual abstract.
JEL Classification: N23, O16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation