Book chapter in The Handbook of Microfinance, Beatriz Armendáriz and Marc Labie, ed.
The Handbook of Microfinance showcases an expansive collection of works from leading academics and field practitioners. In an attempt to understand the enormous gap between the limited number of clients that are currently benefiting from microfinance services, and the huge number of potential clients that are not, the selected contributions in this comprehensive handbook have one common thread: the prevailing mismatch between demand by clients of microfinance institutions and potential clients selecting themselves out for their demand for a wider array of financial products which is not being met. The scope of the book is wide, and explores successes and failures, main challenges and debates, methodologies for impact evaluation via random trials, leading trends in Asia versus Latin America, main efforts in Africa, the importance of value chains in Central America, ethical and gender issues, savings, microinsurance, governance, commercialization trends and the potential advantages and disadvantages of it. This exhaustive Handbook also features main lessons from informal finance and 19th-century credit cooperatives addressing the above-mentioned mismatch.