New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2010‒03‒06
two papers chosen by
Aastha Pudasainee and Olivier Dagnelie

  1. Self Help Groups and empowerment of women: Self-selection or actual benefits? By Husain, Zakir; Mukherjee, Diganta; Dutta, Mousumi
  2. Are women economically more empowered in Left-run municipalities? A study of Self Help Groups in West Bengal, India By Husain, Zakir; Mukherjee, Diganta; Dutta, Mousumi

  1. By: Husain, Zakir; Mukherjee, Diganta; Dutta, Mousumi
    Abstract: Evidence on success of SHGs in empowering females is mixed. In particular, researchers argue that such schemes often attract women who are already active in the public domain (referred to as ‘self-selection’), so that those who are most in need of assistance remain excluded. Simultaneously, the fact that a majority of the SHG members are already empowered leads to exaggerated estimates of the effects of the program (called ‘program effects’). This paper attempts to test the significance of the program effect of SHGs by comparing empowerment levels of newly inducted and older members of SHGs. The paper is based on a survey conducted in six municipalities in West Bengal, India.
    Keywords: Empowerment; Self Help Groups; Non-parametric tests; Self-selection effect; India; Asia
    JEL: O15 C25
    Date: 2010–02–18
  2. By: Husain, Zakir; Mukherjee, Diganta; Dutta, Mousumi
    Abstract: Who controls the income earned by Self Help Group (SHG) members from group activities – they, or their husbands? The answer indicates the level of economic empowerment attained by SHG members. This paper examines whether identity of person controlling this income depends upon the political party ruling the municipality where the SHG is situated. Two parties are considered – the Left Front, a coalition comprising of Leftist parties, and the Indian National Congress. This paper is based on a field study of 240 SHG members in six municipalities in West Bengal, a major state in India.
    Keywords: Self Help Groups; Political structures; India
    JEL: P13 D79 P16
    Date: 2010–02–18

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