The Costs and Benefits of Microfinance

The Costs and Benefits of Microfinance. Well-functioning financial markets matter, not just for governments or high-powered corporations, but also for ordinary people. From September 2010 through August 2011 twelve research assistants – master students in history, sociology, economics, and law – will investigate the use of microfinance by small entrepreneurs in developing and developed countries both today and in the past.

The Costs and Benefits of Microfinance. Well-functioning financial markets matter, not just for governments or high-powered corporations, but also for ordinary people. From September 2010 through August 2011 twelve research assistants – master students in history, sociology, economics, and law – will investigate the use of microfinance by small entrepreneurs in developing and developed countries both today and in the past. The students will closely collaborate with senior scholars from Utrecht University on the history, theory, and contemporary practices of microcredit and other forms of small-scale finance.

A comparative perspective. Each student will work on microfinance institutions in one particular area and time period, collect and analyse data on microfinance. The results will be compared in order to identify and explain similarities and differences in the organization of financial transactions and its effect on the life and work of small entrepreneurs and their families. The different analytical tools – history, sociology, economics and law – will add to the perspective on the important contemporary phenomenon of microcredit.

Akademieassistenten’ (Academic Assistants) Program. Read more about the purpose of the KNAW Akademieassistentenprogramma at: http://www.knaw.nl/Pages/DEF/27/249.bGFuZz1OTA.html(information in Dutch)

 More information on the project is available in Dutch at:   
Affiliated scholars: Bas van Bavel (history), Oscar Gelderblom (history), Beate Völker (Social Sciences), Michael Milo (Law), Clemens Kool (Economics) and Joost Jonker (History).