In Robert W. Kolb (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society 2nd Edition. Sage Publications (forthcoming)

Eric Palmer
Allegheny College
This entry focuses upon the current state of microlending activity, and particularly for-profit activity, with ethical analysis of such lending, particularly as it pertains to prospects for poverty alleviation and development for the global poor. Several specific events have lately altered the characteristics of microlending and the general assessments of its prospects: most notably the collapse of the for-profit microfinance market in Andhra Pradesh late in 2010 and research previously pursued within the same state of India that would greatly reduce our estimation of the promise of microcredit for poverty alleviation. This brief piece of writing indicates, but can hardly serve to argue fully, two conclusions. First, that current views of microlending, for better or worse, will tend to promote economic exclusion of the poorest. Second, because the advantages and disadvantages of microlending for poverty alleviation and for women's empowerment have a great deal to do with the specific circumstances of lending, unpromising results found in some circumstances may be taken with a grain of salt. (Pre-review draft July 2016, for Robert W. Kolb, ed. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society: 2nd edition. Sage Publications. 2017. Corrected copies may be obtained from the author following publication, March 2017.)
Keywords Microfinance  Microlending  Microcredit  Andhra Pradesh  Abdul Lateef Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL)
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