Tue, 7 June 2011
Since its beginnings in the 1970s with the founding of the Grameen Bank, microcredit has been praised as a powerful tool for reducing global poverty. By putting small loans into the hands of the poor, microcredit has allowed entrepreneurs world-wide to establish and expand their businesses, delivering sustainable income to those who need it most. The last decade brought an explosion in the number of micro-lenders and borrowers around the world. The number of customers served by microfinance institutions now surpasses 100 million, most of them women. This growth has helped scores of impoverished communities, but the recent commercialization of several large lenders, and the scarcity of quantitative analysis on the lasting impacts of microcredit has drawn scrutiny. Please join Dr. Dean Karlan, Yale University behavioral economist and co-author of the new book More Than Good Intentions (with Jacob Appel) for a review of what recent research has shown about the effectiveness of microcredit and other financial services for the poor. Dr. Karlan will be joined by Christopher Dunford and Sean Foote for a dialogue on the state of the microfinance world today and what it might mean for the future of poverty alleviation.