Can Microfinance Work?
How to Improve Its Ethical Balance and Effectiveness
Reviews and Awards
"A challenging and penetrating study of microfinance, with lessons to be learned for everyone who cares about ethical standards, not just in microfinance but in the wider banking sector." - Colette Bowe, Chair of the UKs Banking Standards Board
"Sherratts book is a rarity: penetrating philosophical analysis informed by an insiders knowledge of the subject matter. Her experience working in the financial sector, combined with her skills as a philosopher, have enabled Sherratt to produce an original, thought-provoking, and balanced investigation of microfinancing." - Allen E. Buchanan, James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy, Duke University
"This book is a must-read for those interested in supporting poor populations in developing world to help themselves. Microfinance was initially sold to the world as the magic bullet, but years of research have highlighted the flaws in the model and its impact on poor people. Lesley Sherratt asks the right questions: how can we make microfinance work, not just based on a sales pitch, but using a careful evidence-based and ethical assessment on its potential, practice, and consequences." - Stefan Dercon, Professor of Economic Policy, University of Oxford and Chief Economist, DFID
"Can Microfinance work? offers a salutary lesson, not only for those who may still believe that microfinance is a panacea against poverty, but for all of us who are liable to be swept up in a wave of enthusiasm for an untested idea about which an attractive story can be told. As Sherratt demonstrates in this excellent and concise book, we should not jump on a bandwagon without both good evidence and good ethical analysis of the direction in which it is heading." - Peter Singer, author The Most Good You Can Do and Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University
"This book exemplifies how philosophical tools can be put to work in examining pertinent issues in development policy. Sherratt presents an unflinching picture of the practice, to date, of microfinance for development, and she carefully lays out both the evidential and ethical considerations that ought to bear on the on-going assessment and reform of this industry. This is a thoroughly engaging and important book." - Katie Steele, Associate Professor of Philosophy, LSE