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David Roodman's Microfinance Open Book Blog


No chapter draft looked more archaic in my rewriting pass than that of chapter 8. When I wrote it a year ago, India was on "everyone's watch list." It's come off those lists now.

So I added Andhra Pradesh to the review of recent crises. The new version (.docx and .pdf) further develops the ecological metaphor in the first version in the attempt to articulate when creative destruction is more creative than destructive. Before, I distinguished between growth and development. Growth, in credit for example, can be developmental, but this is not automatic. Now I also develop the idea that a species or a firm most enriches the system of which it is part when it connects to other actors in diverse ways. MFIs are more developmental when they take capital from diverse sources (more or less motivated by profit) and when they connect to clients with multiple services---savings as well as credit. One inspiration for me was Beth Rhyne's analysis of what went wrong in Andhra Pradesh. Older text about the multiple roles of the conventional financial system is integrated here.

I also updated all the figures and tables, except Table 2, which I am still working on. I reorganized a bit. And I dropped what I now feel was some gratuitous negativity: harping on the point that microfinance does not play the same transformational role as conventional finance because its clients are rarely Schumpeterian heroes of creative destruction.

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