• book

From the Publisher

Nearly forty percent of humanity lives on an average of two dollars a day or less. If you've never had to survive on an income so small, it is hard to imagine. How would you put food on the table, afford a home, and educate your children? How would you handle emergencies and old age? Every day, more than a billion people around the world must answer these questions. Portfolios of the Poor is the first book to systematically explain how the poor find solutions to their everyday financial problems.

The authors conducted year-long interviews with impoverished villagers and slum dwellers in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa--records that track penny by penny how specific households manage their money. The stories of these families are often surprising and inspiring. Most poor households do not live hand to mouth, spending what they earn in a desperate bid to keep afloat. Instead, they employ financial tools, many linked to informal networks and family ties. They push money into savings for reserves, squeeze money out of creditors whenever possible, run sophisticated savings clubs, and use microfinancing wherever available. Their experiences reveal new methods to fight poverty and ways to envision the next generation of banks for the "bottom billion."

Indispensable for those in development studies, economics, and microfinance, Portfolios of the Poor will appeal to anyone interested in knowing more about poverty and what can be done about it.

Published: Princeton University Press on
ISBN: 9781400829965
List price: $28.95
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Portfolios of the Poor by Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch...
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.

Related Articles

4 min read

The Business Of Humanity

BILLIONS OF PEOPLE in the world are shut out. They have no membership in the financial institutions of life that allow those in richer nations to save, invest, borrow, build, and trade freely. Tens of millions of people, a huge share of them children, have been left stateless by war and poverty; many more live lives of subsistence in remote or rural regions of the world. As transformative as the Internet, mobile payment systems, and microlending have been in bringing many of the “unbanked” into the global economy and in lifting standards of living, too many people still have little or no acces
3 min read

A Utopian Idea Whose Time May Finally Have Arrived

SOMETIMES, ALL IT REALLY TAKES to change the course of history is a bit of dusting. That’s happened recently as economists and policymakers began seriously re-examining the 500-year-old concept of a basic-income guarantee. The most debated version, known as universal basic income (UBI), is simple enough: the government would pay every adult citizen a salary, regardless of wealth, employment income or if they worked at all. Doing so, theory goes, might solve a host of endemic economic problems, from poverty to chronic joblessness, that are only likely to worsen in the coming century. The kerne
2 min read

How Did A Jam Queen From Ghana Get To Be A Google Doodle?

A dollar. That's all Esther Afua Ocloo needed to kickstart Ghana's first food processing factory in 1942. She was a college student. And she was broke. So she used the money, a gift from her aunt, to buy some oranges, sugar, firewood and jam jars. She produced 12 pots of marmalade. And Nkulenu Industries was born. She sold the jam to her classmates, then the school, then the country, then the world. Ocloo, the star of today's Google Doodle, was more than a jam star. She also became a pioneer in the field of microfinance — lending a small amount of money to women with a dream like she once had.