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Credit where credit's due: The enabling effects of empowerment in Indian microfinance

Credit where credit's due: The enabling effects of empowerment in Indian microfinance

Saha, Bibhas and Sangwan, Navjot (2019) Credit where credit's due: The enabling effects of empowerment in Indian microfinance. World Development, 122. pp. 537-551. ISSN 0305-750X (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.06.009)

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Abstract

We utilise primary data collected from a North Indian village to examine the impact of women’s empowerment on their creditworthiness, as measured by their total annual loan amounts. Our key explanatory variable – an empowerment index – has been constructed using four factors – economic, social, interpersonal and political. We find that more empowered women received greater cumulative loans. We have instrumented empowerment by the sex of the borrower’s first child being male. It seems that in the male-dominated environment of North India, the ‘luck’ of giving birth to first child as a son helps a woman seize opportunities for empowerment. These village-level findings regarding empowerment are consistent with the results we obtain for the whole of North India using a separate and national dataset. We also show that for the rest of India, it is education and not empowerment, that is a more important determinant of loan volumes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: women’s empowerment, microfinance, instrumental variable, India, Asia, principal component analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2020 11:32
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 1
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/26984

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