Poverty Reduction or the Financialization of Poverty?

Published on 1 May 2017

Is microfinance really all about resolving poverty, or are there perhaps other strategic goals at play? This chapter discusses the evidence around the poverty impact of microfinance and the broader political economy of microfinance.

We cannot understand these without also understanding wider structural shifts associated with neoliberalism, financialization, and globalization in the world economy. Microfinance represents a dynamic process in which the financial needs of the poor are transformed into a subprime asset class that can be freely traded, securitized, derivatized, and otherwise egregiously in order to generate sometimes spectacular returns for the providers.


Philip Mader

Research Fellow


Philip Mader

Research Fellow

Publication details

Duvendack, M. and Mader, P.
Bateman, M. and Maclean, K.


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