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The Implications of a Growing Microfinance Market in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Ana Pantelić

Abstract

In 2009, researchers from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania published a list of the top 30 most important innovations over the last 30 years. On that list, which included items like the Internet, mobile phones and HIV anti-retroviral drugs, microfinance was ranked as number 17 (Wharton, 2009). What is it that makes microfinance so innovative that it deserves a spot on this and other lists similar to it? Does microfinance really live up to its hype as an effective tool for poverty alleviation? What can we learn about microfinance by examining its use and evolution in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)? This chapter examines these questions and more, by considering the good, the bad and the ugly of a growing microfinance market in LAC, noting the social benefits of increased access to microloans and other financial services, the obstacles and challenges that accompanied this expansion, and the controversy of commercialization.

Keywords

Europe Income Pyramid Argentina Peru 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Ana Pantelić 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Pantelić

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