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Six Randomized Evaluations of Microcredit: Introduction and Further Steps

June 2015

Abhijit Banerjee, Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman


This study analyses six randomized trials that assess the impacts of granting microcredit to borrowers in six poorer countries. Essentially, the results find some support that microcredit loans increase business activity, freedom of occupational and consumption choice, and female decision making. The studies do not find evidence of a reduction in poverty, or significant increases in standards of living.

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Policy Implications

Microcredit loan policies may have benefits depending on the aim of the policy. In terms of poverty alleviation and increases living standards, such a policy may fall short. However, if the policy goal is increasing occupational choice, consumption choice, or female empowerment, such a policy may prove fruitful.

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