Providing microcredit to the poor has become an important antipoverty scheme in many countries. Microcredit helps the poor become self-employed and thus generates income and reduces poverty. In Bangladesh, these programs reach about five million poor households. But microcredit programs are just one of many ways of reducing poverty. Are these programs cost-effective? This book addresses the question, drawing on the experience of the well-known microcredit programs of Bangladesh's Grameen Bank, the Rural Development-12 project, and the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee. It examines the cost-effectiveness of microcredit programs visÂ -vis other antipoverty programs, such as Food-for-Work. Does the gender of program participants matter? This book uses extensive household survey data to address how the gender of participants affects the impact of microcredit programs.