5 Great Books About Microfinance and How the Poor Use Money

> Posted by Yvonne Chen
Editor’s note: This is one of the CFI blog’s all-time most popular posts. We thought we’d put it front and center once more, in order to make it more visible to new readers who might be stocking their bookshelves.
Looking for a new book to read? The Browser’s recent interview with microfinance expert Stuart Rutherford gives us his top five on the subject of “The Poor and Their Money”:

  1. The Economics of Microfinance by Jonathan Morduch and Beatriz Armendáriz
  2. Mainstreaming Microfinance: How Lending Began, Grew, and Came of Age in Bolivia by Elisabeth Rhyne
  3. Women at the Centre: Grameen Bank Borrowers After One Decade by Helen Todd
  4. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  5. Small, Short and Unsecured: Informal Rural Finance in India by F J A (Fritz) Bouman

Known for his expertise in understanding how the poor manage their money, Rutherford has himself published some of today’s go-to references on this topic, including The Poor and their Money and Portfolios of the Poor.  The five books listed above were chosen by him not only for their impact on his work, but also for their ability to place the client at the center of our conceptualization of microfinance. This is important because as Rutherford himself explains, “microfinance has to find a way to adapt itself to the enormous complexity found in the lives of poor people, and not the other way around.”
Order your own copy of Elisabeth Rhyne’s Mainstreaming Microfinance: How Lending Began Grew and Came of Age in Bolivia today.  
Have you read?
 ‘More Than Good Intentions’ by Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel – Book Review by Guy Stuart
‘Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working & How There is a Better Way for Africa’ by Dambisa Moyo – Book Review by Kanika Metre

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