Microcredit: Fulfilling or Belying the Universalist Morality of Globalizing Markets?
Posted: 18 Jun 2002
Microcredit is a widely practiced, widely revered technique of international development. It aims to increase incomes of the poor by giving them access to capital which can be used to create small businesses or other productive economic activity. Microcredit, despite its partly market approach to the capital needs of the poor, has a deeply ambivalent relationship with global capital and globalizing markets. It is an open question whether microcredit is an activity aimed at extending global markets by drawing the world's poor into them, or whether instead it seeks to be a mechanism creating faux markets which compensate the poor for their exclusion from world markets. Microcredit is both an extension of, and remedy for, the logic of global markets.
Keywords: Microcredit, globalization, global markets, microfinance, global capital, nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations, international development, poverty, world people, women and poverty, NGO
JEL Classification: I3, L3, N8, O1, O2, P1, Z1
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