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2012/2013  KAN-CM_SU85  Microfinance and Development (Intensive)

English Title
Microfinance and Development (Intensive)

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Course period Summer
6 week course (3 weeks of classes, 3 weeks of exam). NOTE: The course schedule is at the moment ONLY available at www.cbs.dk
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Faculty - Ron Severson, University of Oregon
    Patricia Plackett - Department of Operations Management
Main Category of the Course
  • Finance
Last updated on 23-04-2012
Learning objectives
Students who complete this course will:
  • Understand the history of microfinance and analyze its relations to theories of development
  • Apply knowledge of the field to a variety of economic and cultural contexts
  • Evaluate relations among intended outcomes and program designs
  • Understand and respond to critiques of microfinance
  • Identify current trends, significant research questions, and new directions for the field
  • Understand relations among methods of research, claims about the impact of microfinance, and program development
  • Design a relevant research project that would contribute significantly to understanding and innovation in the field of microfinance
Students need to have proficiency in English and strong interests in poverty alleviation, social/ ethical business practices, and development economics
Microfinance and Development
Project/Home assignment, 15 pages:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below
Mandatory Feedback Assignment: Pre-qualification to write the final paper will be determined by successful completion of a required and acceptable (but not graded) two-page research proposal.  All final papers and 2-page research proposals will be completed by students as individuals.

Students may use all course materials and notes as well as all other available research materials and sources to write their 2-page qualification proposal and their 15-page course research paper.
Course content
Course content, structure, and teaching:
This course introduces students to the history, theory, and practice of microfinance.  Historical dimensions trace the rise of microfinance within informal economies and in the work of Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank. Theoretical dimensions consider microfinance as both an extension of and a critique of liberal economic thought as applied to financial markets. 
Practical dimensions focus on variations in particular contexts for development, program design, program outcomes/measurements, critiques of some microfinance practices, consumer protection policies, and innovations in the field. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on articulating research projects and program innovations relevant for using microfinance to alleviate poverty and achieve other financial, social, and environmental goals. 
Teaching methods
This course will be taught as an intensive seminar involving lecture, discussion, dialogue, and individual research projects.
As microfinance is still an emerging industry in terms of research and practice, course instruction will be based on a “community of learners” approach emphasizing critical inquiry, creative problem solving, and the development of collective intelligence through dialogue
Expected literature
Course readings and literature:
Yunus, Muhammad.  Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle against World Poverty.PublicAffairs, 2003
Collins, Morduch, Rutherford, and Ruthven. Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day. Princeton and Oxford, 2009.
Armendariz, Beatriz and Jonathan Morduch.  The Economics of Microfinance.  MIT Press, 2005
(Note: Some of these will be divided among groups to distribute the amount of reading)
Sengupta, Rajdeep and Craig P. Aubuchon.  “The Microfinance Revolution: An Overview.”  Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, January/February, 2008.
Banerjee, Abhijit V. and Esther Duflo. “The Economic Lives of the Poor.”Oxford University Press and Community Development Journal, 2008
Rutherford, Stuart.  “The Poor and Their Money: An Essay about Financial Services for the Poor.” Institute of Development Policy and Management, Manchester University, 1999.
Ward, Carol, “Framing development: Community and NGO perspectives in Mali.”  Oxford   University Press and Community Development Journal. 2008
Lewis. W. Arthur, “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labor.” The Manchester School, 1954.
Karnani, Aneel.  “Employment, Not Microcredit, is the Solution.” Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 2008.
Barman, Deepak.  “Role of Microfinance Interventions in Financial Inclusion: A Comparative Study of Microfinance Models.”  The Journal of Business Perspective, 2009.
Karim, Lamia.  “Demystifying Micro-Credit: The Grameen Bank, NGOs, and Neoliberalism in Bangladesh.”  Cultural Dynamics, 2008.
Shakya, Yogendra and Katharine Rankin.  “The Politics of Subversion in Development Practice: An Exploration of Microfinance in Nepal and Vietnam.” Journal of Development Studies, 2008.
Thaler, Richard.  “Anomalies: Savings, Fungibility, and Mental Accounts.”  Journal of Economic Perspectives, 1990.
Mersland, Roy, Bert D’Espallier, and Isabelle Guerin.  “Women and Repayment in Microfinance: A Global Analysis.”  World Development, 2011 
Karlan, Dean, Nava Ashraf, and Wesley Yin.  “Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines.”  The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2006. 
Laibson, David.  “Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting.”  Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1997.
Abink, Klaus, et. al.  “Interest Rates in Group Lending: A Behavioural Investigation.”  Pacific Economic Review 11: 2 (2006)
Copestake, James.  “Mainstreaming Microfinance: Social Performance Management or Mission Drift?”  World Development. Vol. 35, No. 10, 2007
Cull, Robert. “Microfinance Meets the Market.” Journal of Economic Perspectives. 2009.
Ahmed, Syed Masud.  “Capability Development among the Ultra-poor in Bangladesh: A Case Study.”  Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition, 2009.
Gutiérrez-Nieto, Begoña.  “Factors Explaining the Rating of Microfinance Institutions.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 2007.
Mendoza, Ronald and Nina Thelen. “Innovations to Make Markets More Inclusive for the Poor.” Development Policy Review, 2008.
Porter, Doug.  “The Third Way and the Third World: Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion in the Rise of ‘Inclusive’ Liberalism.’”  Review of International Political Economy, May 2004:
Hudon, Marek and Daniel Traca.  “On the Efficiency Effects of Subsidies in Microfinance:  An Empirical Inquiry.” World Development, 2011
Lensink, Robert and Niels Hermes.  “Microfinance:  It’s Impact, Outreach, and Sustainability.”  World Development, 2011
Groenewald, Jan and Kojo Spio.  “Rural Financial Markets: An Overview.”  Agrekon, 1997
Gugerty, Mary Kay.  “You Can’t Save Alone.” University of Washington, 2005
Kempf, Sara, Bruce Wydick, and Harmony Hayes.  “Social Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Credit Access: Evidence from Rural Guatemala.” World Development, 2011
Maes, Jan.  “Linkages between CARE’s VSLAs with Financial Institutions in Rwanda.” CARE, 2007
Donahue, Jill, David James-Wilson, and Evelyn Stark. “Microfinance, Youth, and Conflict: Central Uganda Case Study.” USAID, 2006
Squazzoni, Flaminio.  “Local economic development initiatives from the bottom-up: the role of community development corporations.” Oxford University Press and Community Development Journal. 2008
Heinemann, Tom.  Caught in Micro Debt. NRK1, November 30, 2010
Mosher, Holly.  Bonsai People: The Vision of Muhammad Yunus.  Filmmaker for a Change. 2011.
Last updated on 23-04-2012