Erin Beck: Development or Debt? The Long-term Effects of Microcredit for Guatemalan Women



April 17, 2014
3:30 pmto5:00 pm

Erb Memorial Union
Walnut Room

Erin-Beck-Poster_WEBCLLAS Faculty / Collaborative Grantee Presentation

by Erin Beck, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Since its introduction in Latin America in the 1970s, microcredit quickly became a powerful force across the region. Today microcredit accounts for 45 percent of all lending in Latin America, reaching 18 million people, the vast majority of them poor women. And yet, there is surprisingly little systematic information about microcredit’s long-term economic and social effects. Instead, most microfinance institutions (MFIs) look at their repayment rates to evaluate their success and often lack the resources or will to keep track of their beneficiaries after they have left the organization, inhibiting their ability to determine their long-term effects. As a corrective, Erin Beck partnered with Fundación Namaste Guatemaya (Namaste) to study the long-term effects of a microcredit “plus” approach, with generous support from the Center of Latino/a and Latin American Studies’ (CLLAS) Seed Grant for Faculty and Collaborative Research.

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