I acknowledge valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper from Erin Hamilton, Nicolette Manglos and two anonymous referees. I thank Leng Kimteang, Duth Kimsru, Van Endear and Ney Someta for their research support and useful feedback. This study was supported by dissertation fellowships from the American Association of University Women and P.E.O. International.
Borrowing Across Borders: Migration and Microcredit in Rural Cambodia
Article first published online: 15 JAN 2014
© 2014 International Institute of Social Studies
Development and Change
Volume 45, Issue 2, pages 284–307, March 2014
How to Cite
Bylander, M. (2014), Borrowing Across Borders: Migration and Microcredit in Rural Cambodia. Development and Change, 45: 284–307. doi: 10.1111/dech.12080
- Issue published online: 27 FEB 2014
- Article first published online: 15 JAN 2014
This article explores an unexpected and overlooked consequence of the expansion of microcredit: how it interacts with migration patterns. Drawing on qualitative research in northwest Cambodia, this study explores the uses, meanings and implications of ‘migra-loans’ — microcredit loans that are used in tandem with household strategies of international migration. Using microcredit in combination with migration allows households to immediately meet consumption goals and utilize the credit being actively promoted by microfinance institutions, while also retreating from insecure and less profitable local livelihood strategies. These strategies problematize expectations about the developmental potential of microcredit, and highlight the importance of local context in framing rural livelihood choices.