The impact of microcredit on income: the case of Banco Real in Brazil

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This study aims to evaluate the impact of productive microcredit provided by a microfinance institution linked to a commercial bank by examining a sample of 20,628 customers. Academic literature points to the existence of shared specific characteristics amongst successful microcredit programs, including: (a) the use of a solidarity group, also called a joint debtor, (b) strong female participation, (c) a focus on poor regions, and (d) the presence of a loan officer. This article finds that the female variable is associated with increased income for the individual participant. Women began the program with an average sales value less than men, yet their sales grew exponentially at about 10% with each extension of credit.

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