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Does microfinance empower women?: Evidence from self-help groups in India
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Information Science, Statistics.
2009 (English)In: International review of applied economics, ISSN 0269-2171, E-ISSN 1465-3486, Vol. 23, no 5, 541-556 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Microfinance programmes like the Self Help Bank Linkage Program in India have been increasingly promoted for their positive economic impact and the belief that they empower women. However, only a few studies rigorously examine the link between microfinance and women's empowerment. This article contributes to this discussion by arguing that women's empowerment takes place when women challenge the existing social norms and culture, to effectively improve their well-being. It empirically validates this hypothesis by using quasi-experimental household sample data collected for five states in India for 2000 and 2003. A general model is estimated by employing appropriate techniques to treat the ordinal variables in order to estimate the impact of the Self Help Group (SHG) on women's empowerment for 2000 and 2003. The results strongly demonstrate that on average, there is a significant increase in the empowerment of women in the SHG members group. No such significant change is observed however, for the members of the control group. The elegance of the result lies in the fact that the group of SHG participants show clear evidence of a significant and higher empowerment, while allowing for the possibility that some members might have been more empowered than others.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor&Francis Group , 2009. Vol. 23, no 5, 541-556 p.
Keyword [en]
microfinance; women’s empowerment; Structural Equation model
National Category
Probability Theory and Statistics Economics
Research subject
Statistics; Economics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-131979DOI: 10.1080/02692170903007540OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-131979DiVA: diva2:356372
Available from: 2010-10-13 Created: 2010-10-12 Last updated: 2013-08-06Bibliographically approved

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