Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Health Econ. 1999 Aug;8(5):415-28.

Women's participation in rural credit programmes in Bangladesh and their demand for formal health care: is there a positive impact?

Author information

  • 1Center for Health and Gender Equity, Takoma Park, MD 20912, USA.


Within the overall aim of poverty alleviation, development efforts have included credit and self-employment programmes. In Bangladesh, the major beneficiaries of such group-based credit programmes are rural women who use the loans to initiate small informal income-generating activities. This paper explores the benefits of women's participation in credit programmes on their own health seeking. Using data from a sample of 1798 households from rural Bangladesh, conducted in 1991-1992 through repeated random sampling of 87 districts covered by Grameen Bank, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB), this paper addresses the question: does women's participation in credit programmes significantly affect their use of formal health care? A non-unitary household preference model is suggested to test the hypothesis that women's empowerment through participation in these programmes results in greater control of resources for their own demand for formal health care. The analysis controls for endogeneity due to self-selection and other unobserved village level factors through the use of a weighted two stage instrumental variable approach with village level fixed effects. The findings indicate a positive impact of women's participation in credit programmes on their demand for formal health care. The policy simulations on the results of this study highlight the importance of credit programmes as a health intervention in addition to being a mechanism for women's economic empowerment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk