Can Microfinance Work?: How to Improve Its Ethical Balance and Effectiveness by Lesley SherrattCan Microfinance Work?: How to Improve Its Ethical Balance and Effectiveness by Lesley Sherratt

Can Microfinance Work?: How to Improve Its Ethical Balance and Effectiveness

byLesley Sherratt

Hardcover | January 29, 2016

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Microfinance began with the noble aim of alleviating poverty through the extension of small loans to poor borrowers, and has grown to now serve approximately 200,000,000 people - the majority of whom are female. Yet despite claims to the contrary, the practice has not been proven to havesucceeded in either enriching or empowering its borrowers. In a thorough-going ethical assessment of the industry, Can Microfinance Work? examines the central microfinance model and whether or not it is effective, the extent to which the practice creates the conditions for exploitation and coercion to occur, and whether the distribution of the benefits andburdens of microfinance is likely to be an ethical one. Author Lesley Sherratt argues for the establishment of a duty of care in microfinance in recognition of the vulnerability of the client base. She also examines the ethical dilemmas inherent in working in the informal sector, as well asmicrocredit's macro impact on economies. From there, Sherratt draws some wider lessons microfinance can offer anti-poverty developments in general.Challengingly, the book considers how microfinance might be reformed to ensure it is practiced both more ethically and effectively, and in doing so, argues that only a part of the industry may survive in its current form. The bulk could instead bifurcate in to one of two camps, either scaling downto become predominantly savings rather than credit vehicles, probably subsidized; or scaling up to provide credit to small and medium enterprise lending operations. For the rest, it is argued that establishing a non-exploitative interest rate, ending the practice of group liability, and fullyspecifying a duty of care - with, if necessary, regulation developed to enforce these - are microfinance's urgent ethical priorities.
Lesley Sherratt lectures in global business ethics at King's College, London and is a Director of Temple Bar Investment Trust. Her degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics was from Oxford University, and her PhD on the ethics of microfinance from King's College, London. She was formerly CEO and CIO, Ark Asset Management Ltd; Invest...
Title:Can Microfinance Work?: How to Improve Its Ethical Balance and EffectivenessFormat:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.41 × 6.42 × 0.98 inPublished:January 29, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199383197

ISBN - 13:9780199383191

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Table of Contents

I: Empirics1. The Double-Edged Sword: The Microfinance Model and the Moral Hazards Inherent Within It2. Poverty's Panacea or Snake Oil Salesmen: Does Microfinance Work?II: Ethics(i) 'Micro'-Ethics: The Ethics of the Practices of Microfinance3. From Empowerment to Exploitation: MFIs and Their Borrowers4. From Solidarity to Coercion: The Dynamics of the Group5. The Dog Not Barking: A Duty of Care in Microfinance(ii) 'Macro'-Ethics: The Ethics of the Industry of Microfinance6. Silenced Stories: the Distribution of Benefits and Burdens within Microfinance7. Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil: Microfinance and the Informal Economy8. The Macro Impact of MicrofinanceIII: Making Microfinance More Ethical9. Keeping the Good, Eliminating the Bad, Transforming the Ugly: How to Practice Microfinance Ethically10. Wider Lessons: What We Can Learn from Microfinance for anti-poverty development efforts

Editorial Reviews

"This book exemplifies how philosophical tools can be put to work in examining pertinent issues in development policy. Sherratt presents an unflinching picture of the practice, to date, of microfinance for development, and she carefully lays out both the evidential and ethical considerationsthat ought to bear on the on-going assessment and reform of this industry. This is a thoroughly engaging and important book." --Katie Steele, Associate Professor of Philosophy, LSE