The microfinance revolution has allowed more than 150 million poor around the world to receive small loans without collateral, build up assets, and buy insurance. This book offers an accessible and engaging analysis of the global expansion of financial markets in poor communities. It introduces readers to the key ideas driving microfinance, integrating theory with empirical data and addressing a range of issues, including savings and insurance, the role of women, impact measurement, and management incentives.
This second edition has been updated throughout to reflect the latest data, with new material on commercialization, credit contracts, savings and insurance, gender, impact measurement, and governance. Appendixes and problem sets cover technical material.
The book is primarily meant for the undergraduate and postgraduate students of economics and public policy. Researchers practitioners in the field will also find the book useful.
“Anyone interested in the science behind microfinance must read this impressive book. It is written with experience in microfinance and a deep understanding of economics.”
—Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2006)
“An extraordinary book, inasmuch as it explains not only the underlying rationale of microfinance but, more broadly, of finance itself.”
—Thomas Easton, Asia Business Editor, The Economist
“It is necessary to use critical economic reasoning to understand why the [microfinance] movement is such a success… This book is a splendid contribution to that goal, and will be a great help to the students, teachers, and practitioners in economics and social sciences.”
—Amartya Sen, Lamont University Professor, Harvard University, Nobel Laureate in Economics (1998)