The Impact of Microfinance on Poverty and Income Inequality in Developing Countries

The Impact of Microfinance on Poverty and Income Inequality in Developing Countries

Economic growth in developing countries provides an opportunity to accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially on a slight decline in inequality. However, in reality, the number of people living in extreme poverty remains unacceptably high. Utilising the experiences of 34 developing countries for the period 2009 to 2016, the role of microfinance on poverty in these countries is examined. The results imply that the degree to which the existing forms of microfinance effectively reduce extreme poverty is less workable in developing countries, particularly when the hardcore poor are likely being deprived of receiving access to microfinance. It is suggested that governments may need to revise the structure and strategy of microfinance to be more hardcore poor oriented. The hardcore poor have needs beyond pure monetary assistance. A more hand-holding type of assistances are needed as most are also poor in respect of literacy, assets, and skills.

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Ref: Subramaniam, Y., Masron, T. A., Wahab, M. A., & Mia, M. A. (2021). The Impact of Microfinance on Poverty and Income Inequality in Developing Countries. Asian‐Pacific Economic Literature.