Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Social Finance$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alex Nicholls, Rob Paton, and Jed Emerson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703761

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703761.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 January 2021



A field in flux

(p.156) 6 Microfinance
Social Finance

Nicholas Sabin

Oxford University Press

Financial access for poor and low-income clients has expanded dramatically over the last four decades. This chapter provides an overview of the microfinance landscape and highlights key debates within the field. The market structure is shifting, with organizations increasingly accessing commercial funding. Some geographic markets have overheated, producing substantial criticism. Recent impact evaluations are raising questions about what microfinance actually can and should attempt to achieve. Even the basic offering is being rethought in terms of products and services that may better suit the needs of the poor. This changing landscape is placed in its historical context, noting key predecessors and how the microfinance movement began and grew to its present form. Contrasting perspectives are structured around three ongoing debates: the critical features of modern microfinance, the appropriate role of commercialization, and the assessment of microfinance’s impact. The chapter concludes with implications for the broader field of social finance.

Keywords:   microfinance, microcredit, commercial funding, market structure, impact assessment, randomized controlled trials, product offering, economic development, poverty alleviation, financial inclusion

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .