Attempting the Production of Public Goods Through Microfinance: The Case of Water and Sanitation

19 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2011

See all articles by Philip Mader

Philip Mader

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

Date Written: March 1, 2011

Abstract

This paper evaluates the attempt to create public goods via microfinance loans. Microfinance loans in the production of goods with public goods characteristics signify an emergent micro-privatisation. As a case study, the production of water and sanitation resources via microfinance loans is examined in India and Vietnam. It is found that microfinance projects for water and sanitation, which are based on individualism and a cost-recovery paradigm, ignore important collective action aspects and underlying distributional problems. Given its questionable effectiveness in other areas, the public goods iteration of microfinance leads not only to insufficient provision for the poor, but also may alienate these citizens from publicly accountable modes of governance and their human right to water.

Keywords: microfinance, water, sanitation, public goods, development, cost-recovery, human right to water

JEL Classification: O22, O19

Suggested Citation

Mader, Philip, Attempting the Production of Public Goods Through Microfinance: The Case of Water and Sanitation (March 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1809819 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1809819

Philip Mader (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies ( email )

Paulstr. 3
50676 Koln
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
172
Abstract Views
1,059
rank
174,076
PlumX Metrics