Microcredit: What Can We Learn from the Past?

World Development, Vol. 26, No. 10, October 1998

Posted: 3 Feb 1999

See all articles by Aidan Hollis

Aidan Hollis

University of Calgary - Department of Economics

Arthur Sweetman

McMaster University - Department of Economics; McMaster University - Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

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

Hollis, Aidan and Sweetman, Arthur, Microcredit: What Can We Learn from the Past?. World Development, Vol. 26, No. 10, October 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=146428

Aidan Hollis (Contact Author)

University of Calgary - Department of Economics ( email )

2500 University Drive, NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada
403-220-5861 (Phone)
403-220-5262 (Fax)

Arthur Sweetman

McMaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
Canada

McMaster University - Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA) ( email )

1280 Main St. W
Hamilton, ON L8S 4M4
Canada

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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