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AFRO-NETS> New Publication: Do Microfinance Programs Help Families?


  • Subject: AFRO-NETS> New Publication: Do Microfinance Programs Help Families?
  • From: Claudio Schuftan <aviva@netnam.vn>
  • Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 03:59:40 -0500 (EST)




New Publication: Do Microfinance Programs Help Families?
--------------------------------------------------------

Do Microfinance Programs Help Families Insure Consumption Against
Illness?

By Paul Gertler, U.C. Berkeley and NBER
David I. Levine, U.C. Berkeley
Enrico Moretti, Department of Economics, UCLA
Institute for Development Research, Boston, (2002)

Available online as PDF file [25p.] at:
http://www.bu.edu/econ/ied/seminars/pdf/levine9-30-02Microfinance.pdf

Abstract:
Families in developing countries face enormous financial risks from
major illness both in terms of the cost of medical care and the loss
in income associated with reduced labour supply and productivity. Au-
thors tested whether access to microfinancial savings and lending in-
stitutions helps Indonesian families smooth consumption after de-
clines in adult health. In general, results support the importance of
these institutions in helping families to self-insure consumption
against health shocks.

The paper concludes that governments should promote microfinance and
microsavings programmes in addition to traditional tools such as sub-
sidies, mandates, or direct government provision of health insurance
and disability insurance.

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