nep-mfd New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2019‒03‒18
two papers chosen by
Aastha Pudasainee and Olivier Dagnelie

  1. 20 Years of Research in Microfinance: An Information Management Approach By Begoña Gutiérrez Nieto; Carlos Serrano-Cinca
  2. Female Seclusion from Paid Work: A Social Norm or Cultural Preference? By Mohammad Niaz Asadullah; Zaki Wahhaj

  1. By: Begoña Gutiérrez Nieto; Carlos Serrano-Cinca
    Abstract: In the last 20 years, microfinance has moved from a promise to reality, although with ups and downs. This paper reviews 1,874 papers published from 1997 to 2017 to perform a scientometric analysis of the microfinance field. The literature review is based on bibliometric data: keyword co-occurrence networks and citation networks were exploited for knowledge mapping. Data analysis shows the two research traditions: papers focusing on clients (welfarists) and papers focusing on microfinance entities themselves (institutionalists). Institutionalism, which had little presence in the early research in microfinance, now exhibits great strength. A chronological analysis reveals the evolution of the topics most interesting to researchers: the first stage described the innovations of the microcredit practices and their impact; the second and very expansive stage in which microfinance institutions’ peculiarities were analyzed; and nowadays the sector is mature but with negative aspects arising, such as mission drift. The keywords analysis discovers emerging research topics, shows the use of sophisticated techniques, and recognizes an emerging trend of the sector: achieving financial inclusion.
    Keywords: Microfinance; Microcredit; Literature review; Scientometrics; Welfarism; Institutionalism
    JEL: B21 C83
    Date: 2019–03–05
  2. By: Mohammad Niaz Asadullah; Zaki Wahhaj
    Abstract: We propose and empirically test a theory of female paid work participation in a setting with traditional norms of female seclusion. Theoretically, we distinguish between innate preferences for female seclusion – potentially transmitted from parents to children – and a practice of female seclusion due to social pressure for adhering to these norms. Using a purposefully designed survey on female work in Bangladesh, we use information on purdah practice at the level of individuals, households, and communities to construct measures of individual preference and community pressure for female seclusion. Using past purdah practice within an individual’s parental home and at the level of the sub-district as instruments, we provide causal estimates of the effect of individual preferences and social pressure for female seclusion on female paid work participation. Our instrumental variable estimates indicate that individual purdah preferences have no effect, but the social prevalence of purdah has a strong negative effect on female paid work participation. We provide robustness checks to show that the results are not being driven by other potential determinants of purdah practice in Bangladesh, including religiosity within the community, rising female enrolment in religious schools, growth of microfinance, and norm transmission through migrant links to religiously conservative countries.
    Keywords: labour force participation; culture; social norms; gender; Bangladesh
    Date: 2019–02

This nep-mfd issue is ©2019 by Aastha Pudasainee and Olivier Dagnelie. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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