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The authors' theoretical model shows that when poverty and patriarchy constraint women to badly paid wage-work, credit can help them move into better paying self-employment. Income and substitution effects may also mean less housework. These linkages are investigated with reference to a credit programme in rural India. Poor women here are heavily involved in badly paid agricultural work. In this paper, lending to women can help divert at least part of their market time from wage-work to self employment. Overall, the results indicate that credit does not help women, but helps their husbands spend more time in self-employment.
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