In this increasingly intertwined world, with a division between the poor and the rich, stability is of key importance. Aid has therefore become a popular tool to help recipient countries grow their economies and bring stability. Western norms such as democracy, equality and liberalism are distributed via aid in order to bring this stability. Therefore, lots of different kinds of aid have been popular over the last couple of decades, with a wide debate over what works best. Microcredit has been one of such promising forms of aid. The general idea and hopes being that it empowers women, especially economically. However, literature is still uncertain as to what explains the effect of microcredit on Political Empowerment of women. This master thesis seeks to test the explanatory leverage of a new theory concerning the relationship between microcredit and Political Empowerment. The main hypotheses being that microcredit Political Empowerment, with a serial multiple mediation of Economic Empowerment and Social Empowerment. A quantitative cross-sectional non-experimental large N study using an existing dataset with data from a microcredit experiment in the Philippines was used to test this theory. The findings of the full serial model show no significant effect of microcredit on Political Empowerment. Microcredit does increase Economic Empowerment, which, in the serial model decreases Political Empowerment. However, in different models Economic Empowerment does increase Political Empowerment. Economic Empowerment decreases the self-efficacy dimension of Social Empowerment and does not significantly affect the decision-making dimension. The decision-making dimension of Social Empowerment being the only indicator in the serial model to increase Political Empowerment.

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Dr. Pieter Tuytens, Prof.dr. Geske Dijkstra
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Floor de Vries. (2022, June 30). Empowered Girls Vote. Public Administration. Retrieved from