NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Taking Stock of the Evidence on Micro-Financial Interventions

Francisco J. Buera, Joseph P. Kaboski, Yongseok Shin

NBER Working Paper No. 22674
Issued in September 2016
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Economic Fluctuations and Growth

We review the empirical evidence on microfinance and asset grants to the ultra poor or microentrepreneurs, and assess our ability to account for this evidence using quantitative theory. Properly executed, these interventions can help segments of the population increase their income and consumption, but neither the empirical micro nor quantitative macro literatures give much reason to believe that such interventions can lead to wide-scale, transformative impacts akin to escaping aggregate poverty traps.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22674

Forthcoming: Taking Stock of the Evidence on Micro-Financial Interventions, Francisco J. Buera, Joseph P. Kaboski, Yongseok Shin. in The Economics of Poverty Traps, Barrett, Carter, and Chavas. 2017

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