Women and microcredit in rural agrarian households of Uganda: Match or mismatch between lender and borrower?77-88Views:268
The alignment of microfinance programs with the context and expectations of the recipients is critical for ensuring clients’ satisfaction and desired program outcomes. This study sought to investigate the extent to which the objectives and design of the BRAC microfinance program match the expectations, context and characteristics of female borrowers in a rural agrarian setting in Uganda. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to obtain socio-demographic, personality and microenterprise (ME) characteristics of existing borrowers, incoming borrowers and non-borrowers and to obtain information about the microcredit program. We found that BRAC uses a modified Grameen group-lending model to provide small, high-interest rate production loans and follows a rigorous loan processing and recovery procedure. BRAC clients are mainly poor subsistence farmers who derive income from diverse farming and non-farm activities. The major objective to borrow is to meet lump-sum monetary needs usually for school fees and for investment in informal small non-farm businesses. Many borrowers use diverse sources of funds to meet repayment obligations. Defaulting on loans is quite low. The stress caused by weekly loan repayment and resolution of lump-sum cash needs were identified as reasons for women to stop borrowing. The limited loan amounts, the diversions of loans to non-production activities, the stages of the businesses and the weekly recovery program without a grace period may limit the contribution of these loans to ME expansion and increase in income.
A note on the measurement of the relationship between happiness and GDP127-129Views:307
This research note compares the results of the measurement of the relationship between happiness and GDP in the EU based upon unweighted data with the results based upon weighted data. The data are weighted in order to correct for the different sizes of the populations in the EU countries concerned. The result of the weighing is an even stronger relationship between happiness and GDP per capita than in the case with unweighted data.
Composite indicators and sustainable development of regional agriculture applied to the Stavropol Territory in Russia81-88Views:194
The aim of this paper is to understand and evaluate agricultural sustainability in the Stavropol Territory by means of a composite indicator. In particular, the paper applies principal component analyses to calculate a composite sustainability index by integration of selected economic, social and environmental indicators. The results demonstrate the utility of analyzing several indicators in conjunction. The results also may indicate which variables influence development of regional agriculture. This information is important in order to design agricultural support policy and to implement an increase the sustainability of the agriculture sector.
JEL Code: O13, Q11
The assessment of intellectual capital in Polish regions101-105Views:151
In a knowledge-based economy intangible assets are indispensable to achieve competitive advantages. Resources like intellectual capital are perceived as crucial factors especially for regional growth. Intellectual capital is comprehended as a multidimensional concept, defined and explained in many various ways, depending on the context and further application. The purposes of this article is to consider the role and importance of the intellectual capital for regional development and competitiveness and to try to use it for an estimation of regional advance progress. On the basis of literature review the article provides a framework to analyse the intellectual capital and its main components. The central attention of the paper focuses on the evaluation of the intellectual capital in Polish regions and its influence on regional performance. The paper surveys the empirical examination of 16 Polish regions in terms of intellectual capital and simultaneously assesses the level of intellectual capital in rural areas. The article provides the insight into the role and value of the intellectual capital in Polish regions.
The competitiveness of rural areas in the Republic of Tatarstan89-96Views:108
This paper analyses the main factors influencing the regional competitiveness of rural areas in the Tatarstan Republic. Firstly, 19 variables related to the socio-economic situation in the Tatarstan Republic were analysed, these having been taken from the Statistics Committee of the Tatarstan Republic. Principal component analysis (PCA) was then used to determine the weights of 10 indicators that have an effect on the level of regional competitiveness. Factor weights are used as weights in the summation of the standardised scores of variables that have an impact on competitiveness. The major factors influencing the level of regional competitiveness are the level of economically active population, investment in housing and the level of education. The following results were obtained: one of the 44 regions is very highly competitive and two are highly competitive; two of 44 regions have a medium level of competitiveness and 39 regions have a low level of competitiveness.