The Crises of Microcredit

Edited by Isabelle Guérin, Marc Labie and Jean-Michel Servet


An important volume that examines the highly contested subject of microcredit, showing how its increasing inefficiency and sub-prime nature has resulted in multiple crises.
Microcredit programmes, long considered efficient development tools, now face unprecedented crises in a number of countries. Is this the end of microcredit or rather an essential step in its expansion? Should we stop microcredit altogether or rethink the way it is implemented?

Drawing on extensive empirical research conducted in various parts of the world - from Morocco to Senegal to India - this important volume examines the whole chain of microcredit to provide the answers to these questions. In doing so, the authors highlight the diversity of crises, both in intensity and in nature, while also shedding light on a diversity of causes, be it microcredit organizations unprepared for massive growth, saturated local economies or greedy investors and shareholders attracted by profits. Crucially, the authors demonstrate that microcredit is not a monolithic project, and the crises should also be analysed in the light of national histories and policies.

An original and necessary intervention in what has become one of the most contentious topics within the development world.

Author Bio

Isabelle Guérin is a socioeconomist and senior research fellow at the Institute of Research for Development/Centre d’études en sciences sociales sur les mondes américains africains et asiatiques (Cessma), and an associate researcher at both the French Institute of Pondicherry (India) and the Centre for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi, Belgium).

Marc Labie is full professor at the Warocqué School of Business and Economics of the University of Mons (UMONS). He is also a co-founder and co-director of the Centre for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi), an excellence centre based in Mons and Brussels, Belgium. In 2011, he co-edited The Handbook of Microfinance with Professor Beatriz Armendariz.

Jean-Michel Servet is professor emeritus at Lyon University, and currently professor in development studies at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part I. Supply
    • 1. Microcredit Crises and Unsustainable Growth: A Management Perspective - Bert D'Espallier, Marc Labie and Philippe Louis
    • 2. Estimating Levels of Credit Market Saturation - Emmanuelle Javoy and Daniel Rozas
    • 3. Microcredit Crises and the Absorption Capacity of Local Economies - Isabelle Guérin and Jean-Michel Servet
  • Part II. Demand
    • 4. Is the Demand for Microcredit in Rural Tamil Nadu Sustainable? - Isabelle Guérin, Cyril Fouillet, Santosh Kumar, Marc Roesch and G. Venkatasubramanian
    • 5. How Good Repayment Performances Can Harm Borrowers: Evidence from the Dominican Republic - Morvant-Roux Solènem, Joana Afonso, Davide Forcella and Isabelle Guérin
    • 6. The Social Credibility of Microcredit in Morocco after the Default Crisis - Morvant-Roux Solène and Marc Roesch
  • Part III. Environment
    • 7. Malaise in the Senegalese Microfinance Landscape - Eveline Baumann, Abdoulaye Fall and Cécile Godfroid
    • 8. No Pago, A Social Movement Against Microcredit Institutions in Nicaragua - Jean-Michel Servet
    • 9. When Microfinance Collapses: Development and Politics in Andhra Pradesh - David Picherit
  • Conclusion


'A collection of concise, highly readable essays that explain how and why this activity has gone so wrong in varying social, political and cultural contexts.'
Financial Times

‘Valuable, if not essential, reading for both aficionados of financial inclusion and its critics.’
Journal of International Development

'In this finely structured, well-written, comparativist book, a set of distinguished scholars with rich field experience dissect the many micro-credit crises worldwide to provide better practice for the future. Add this to your shelves, read and recommend to students and practitioners!'
Barbara Harriss-White, Wolfson College, University of Oxford

'A deeply informed, intelligent examination of microcredit. A once universally celebrated concept, the contributors point instead to a market-driven Hobbesian world of hyper-competition, with the poor made worse off than ever. An important and convincing read for anyone still seduced by the myths of microcredit.'
Milford Bateman, author of Why Doesn't Microfinance Work?

'The contributors' real-world expertise results in a hard-headed but balanced assessment of the pitfalls and promise of microcredit. Recommended.'


Publication Date: 15 October 2015
224 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783603749
Hardback: 9781783603756
eBook ePub: 9781783603770
eBook PDF: 9781783603763
eBook Kindle: 9781783603787

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