Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Improving access to microcredit in Benin: are the poor and women benefiting?

Djossou, Gbètoton Nadège Adèle and Monwanou, Djohodo Ines and Novignon, Jacob (2016): Improving access to microcredit in Benin: are the poor and women benefiting?

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Abstract

In February 2007, the Government of Benin set up a Microcredit Program to support the Poor (MPP). The main objective of this programme was to alleviate household poverty and particularly women through easy access to microcredit to start their own microenterprises. The objective of this paper was to assess the impact of the MPP on poverty and women empowerment in Benin. Our empirical strategy relies on comparing socioeconomic outcomes (poverty and gender inequality index) of individual with access to MPP and those without. Using data from the Beninese Household Survey (EMICoV: Enquête Modulaire Intégrée sur les Conditions de vie des Ménages) conducted by the National Institute of Statistics in 2011, we estimate the average treatment effect of the MPP using Propensity Score Matching (PSM). To measure poverty and gender inequality, we construct a composite indicator using various dimensions of wellbeing (e.g. Education, health, assets etc.). In general, the results showed a positive and significant impact of MPP on poverty. Women empowerment in health care access and assets ownership were positively impacted by MPP access. The results encourage further expansion of the MPP and to ensure effective as well as efficient implementation of the programme.

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