CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

An anniversary is often a way to look backward and refer to what has been achieved. But it can also be a good time for developing a vision of what the future could/should be. This is the perspective we chose for this dialogue. Building on what the past has taught us, Jonathan Morduch, one of the most respected academics in the field of microfinance and financial inclusion, gives us his perception of what the future of this field could be and how it could contribute to make a better world.ML: Mondes en développement is, roughly speaking, 50 years old. Before we begin discussing microfinance, let’s step back. Which elements during the past five decades of international development are most important for understanding microfinance?
JM: First, bon anniversaire to Mondes en développement! The 50 years and 200 issues of the journal are a great accomplishment. Congratulations. Those 200 issues also open a window through which to see shifting debates and understandings—both for microfinance and for international development. François Perroux’s Issue number 1, which launched in 1973, is striking. Looking back, 1973 was a pivotal year for international development – and it was important too for microfinance. Issue number 1 was arranged around the theme of “unequal development,” and two essays were contributed by Gunnar Myrdal, the Swedish economist and 1974 Nobel laureate. His first essay was on a “more realistic” theory of development, and his second was on “the world poverty problem…


In this dialogue, Jonathan Morduch is interviewed by Marc Labie to identify the challenges that microfinance and financial inclusion policies must face. Over the last fifty years, microfinance has sometimes been overestimated and sometimes underestimated. What has been learned over that period shows that being too simplistic is often inconclusive. Financial inclusion policies and practices have a role to play in order to help poor households facing the challenges of daily life. Reviewing the experience of the microfinance industry, this dialogue tries to pinpoint the key issues to keep in mind for such an objective.
JEL Codes: G23, O16, O17

  • microfinance
  • financial inclusion
  • international development
Marc Labie
Université de Mons, Centre Européen de Recherche en Microfinance – CERMi (UMONS & ULB). Marc.
Jonathan Morduch
New York University (NYU).
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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