ISBN: 978 984 506 395 1

Cover Type: Hardcover

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Enhancing Women's Capabilities: Does Microfinance Help?

Publisher(s): The University Press Limited (UPL)   

First Published: February 2023 No. of Pages: 250 Weight (kg): 0.5


UPL Showroom Price: 800.00 BDT

Price: $40.00

Women are both the target and the “agency” for the microfinance interventions; yet, curiously, most research on microfinance focuses on the household-level impact, and not on the well-being of the women themselves within the household. This book is an important contribution to fill this gap. Rich in both analytical rigour and the quality of empirical evidence, the book ingeniously applies
Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach, as well as the bargaining model of intra-household behaviour, to explore the microfinance impact on female well-being and empowerment.-e impact is happily found to be a positive one, albeit within the cultural boundaries of a tradition-bound patriarchal society.
— Wahiduddin Mahmud
Former Professor of Economics
University of Dhaka and
the co-author of The Theory and Practice of Microcredit
(Routledge, Taylor and Francis)

In this important contribution, Lutfun Osmani focuses on the development and use of women’s capabilities in advancing an economy and the underlying society. She investigates the central role of human capabilities, and with that concentration, proceeds to examine the particular role of finance in general and microfinance in particular. The links Osmani brings out have evident practical relevance. In exploring these connections, Lutfun Osmani makes extensive use of evidential information and solidly establishes a practical – and hugely fruitful – line of approach. This is certainly a constructive route to development.
— Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate

Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard UniversityThe practitioners of microfinance have felt all along, based on their field experience, that access to credit can empower poor women and improve their well-being in a way few other interventions can.
Lutfun Osmani has provided a robust confirmation of this view through a superb combination of theoretical and empirical research. Her rigorous econometric analysis is based on data obtained from an innovative questionnaire she developed to tread carefully to try to avoid the risk of cliche answers provided by the project and control group women. It is a well written and well-organized book and an important contribution to the literature of microfinance. I recommend the book to all academics and practitioners.

— Muhammad Yunus
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2006
Founder of Grameen Bank



Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Women in Bangladesh: Dimensions of Gender Discrimination
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The Legal Status of Women
2.3 Women’s Access to Productive Resources: Land and Credit
2.4 Women and Education
2.5 Women’s Involvement in the Economy
2.6 Relative Deprivation of Women in Food, Nutrition, and Health

2.7 Concluding Observations  

Chapter 3 The Rural Credit Market in Bangladesh: The Role of Grameen Bank
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The Rural Credit Market of Bangladesh
3.3 Grameen Bank
3.4 Concluding Remarks
Chapter 4 Credit and Women’s Relative Well-Being: The Theoretical Framework
4.1 Credit, Income-earning, and Women’s Well-being
4.2 The Traditional Approach: The Unitary Model
4.3 Becker’s Approach: The Altruistic Model
4.4 The Transaction Cost Model
4.5 The Collective Approach
4.6 Evaluation of Alternative Models
4.7 The Chosen Framework: A Modified Bargaining Approach
4.8 Summary
Chapter 5 Research Methodology, Survey Design and
Preliminary Results
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Research Methodology: The Basic Principle
5.3 Survey Design and the Sampling Procedure
5.4 The Questionnaire
5.5 Some Background Information
5.6 Construction of Impact Variables and a Preliminary Comparison of Project and Control Households
Chapter 6 The Model and the Estimation Procedure
6.1 Introduction
6.2 The Model
6.3 Identification of the Model
6.4 The Estimation Procedure
Chapter 7 The Impact of Microcredit on Women’s Capability: Estimation Results
7.1 Introduction
7.2 The Impact of Credit on Women’s Relative Well-Being
7.3 Test of the Mediating Role of Women’s Bargaining Power: The Causal Mechanism
7.4 Summary of Findings 194
Chapter 8 Summary and Concluding Observations



This book features in: Academic and Reference Books Economics and Finance

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