Date of Award

5-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Lahiri, Sajal

Abstract

Providing viable sources of credit is fast becoming an important research topic for governments and NGOs as a means of eliminating poverty. Microcredit is one of the alternative methods that have been introduced as opposed to the conventional lending systems which often exclude the poor. Microcredit has the potential to reduce poverty through social (improvement in health, education and women empowerment) and economic means (increase in employment, income and consumption). Although there are several investigations into the economic effect that Microcredit can have, mostly in the areas of consumption and increase in income, the social effects however, were not given much consideration. In this research the social effect of Microcredit on the education of children between the ages of 7-11 in Malawi was assessed in order to study the difference in school hours between non-members and members of Microcredit institutions. Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression was used in this analysis. The results indicate a negative relationship between children of Microcredit members and average hours spent in school. We find that consistently, throughout all regressions the number of school hours was less for members of credit programs.

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