Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Impact of Micro-credit on Poverty and Inequality: The Case of the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies

Nguyen, Cuong and Bigman, David and Van den Berg, Marrit and Vu, Thieu (2007): Impact of Micro-credit on Poverty and Inequality: The Case of the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies.

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Abstract

While the provision of subsidized loans through the VBSP forms a cornerstone of Vietnam’s antipoverty policy, little is known on the impact of these preferential loans. In this paper, we use fixed effect regression to estimate the average effect of the program on income and expenditures of participating households, and subsequently assess the impact of the program on poverty and inequality. Our estimates indicate that the VBSP was quite effective. Participation on average seemed to have increased household income and expenditures by about thirty percent of the value of the loan, and an increase in loan size would have a similar effect. Despite that only one third of loans reaches households who are actually poor, our computations indicate that the program decreased the head count of poverty for its participants by almost four percentage points. Similarly, the program decreased the poverty gap index and the poverty-severity index by almost twenty percent. The impact on Vietnam’s inequality was significant but small, which is not surprising because of the yet limited outreach of seven percent of the rural population.

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