Microcredit and the Poorest of the Poor: Theory and Evidence from Bolivia
Posted: 18 Jul 2001
We construct a theoretical framework that describes the social worth of a microfinance organization in terms of the depth, worth to users, cost to users, breadth, length, and scope of its output. We then analyze evidence of depth of outreach for five microfinance organizations in Bolivia. Most of the poor households reached by the microfinance organizations were near the poverty line - they were the richest of the poor. Group lenders had more depth of outreach than individual lenders. The urban poorest were more likely to be borrowers, but rural borrowers were more likely to be among the poorest.
Keywords: Latin America, Bolivia, microcredit, poverty, outreach, sustainability
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