Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10316/87524
Título: Reciprocidade e Troca Mercantil: contributo para uma análise institucional do Microcrédito
Autor: Almeida, Filipa Maria Paula-Coelho Caldeira Canavarro de Morais Gouvêa de
Orientador: Reis, José
Palavras-chave: microcrédito; institucionalismo; incrustação social da atividade económica; reciprocidade; estado; mercado e terceiro sector; microcredit; institutionalism; social embeddedness of economic activity; reciprocity; state; market and third sector
Data: 7-Jan-2019
Resumo: O microcrédito na sua versão informal tem uma história de séculos, sobretudo nos países desenvolvidos onde, até hoje, constitui uma das poucas oportunidades de as populações mais pobres poderem aumentar os seus rendimentos. Foi sobretudo na sua versão formal popularizada por M. Yunus a partir dos anos 70 do séc. XX que o microcrédito ganhou maior visibilidade, sobretudo porque as instituições de microfinança conseguiram encontrar maneiras inovadoras de abordar o problema da pobreza e exclusão. Entre elas está a concessão de microcrédito com vista ao desenvolvimento de uma iniciativa económica sustentável que permita ao mutuário criar o seu próprio emprego e melhorar as condições de vida do seu agregado. Os sucessos desta abordagem da pobreza e exclusão pelas instituições de microfinança passam, por um lado, por terem uma vocação social de procurar melhorar a situação económica das populações mais vulneráveis, e por outro de o fazer via a inclusão destas no mercado. Procurando viabilizar as iniciativas empresariais através, as instituições que concedem microcrédito desenvolveram práticas de acompanhamento e apoio aos mutuários e seus negócios, para além do seu financiamento, que se traduziram em elevadas taxas de cumprimento o que é um indicador da sustentabilidade destas iniciativas. A verificação de que é possível emprestar aos pobres de forma lucrativa - graças aos mecanismos que as instituições de microcrédito desenvolveram para a selecção de candidaturas, definir modalidades de reembolso, incentivar o seu cumprimento e a boa aplicação dos montantes concedidos – chamou a atenção dos Estados para uma forma alternativa de lidar com os problemas de pobreza, desemprego e marginalização social numa perspectiva mais sustentável e menos assistencialista. Chamou também a atenção do sector privado, que outrora tinha um reduzido interesse em conceder pequenos montantes de crédito a clientes pobres, sem garantias dados os elevados custos de transação e riscos associados, e agora se apercebem que este é um nicho de mercado, não só potencialmente rentável como de uma enorme dimensão dados os milhões de indivíduos que ainda hoje, a nível mundial, não têm acesso a serviços financeiros formais. Mas o microcrédito, enquanto fenómeno social e objecto de estudo, está emerso em controvérsia. No que respeita ao papel do Estado, muitos consideram que afetar fundos públicos para o microcrédito é subsidiar iniciativas que, pela sua reduzida dimensão, terão poucas oportunidades de chegar a um nível de eficiência que lhes permita vingar num mercado competitivo, desviando os apoios públicos de outras iniciativas de desenvolvimento social ou do apoio às PME que também enfrentam problemas de financiamento. No que respeita ao sector privado, que está cada vez mais presente no sector na forma de instituições de microfinança de estatuto lucrativo ou linhas/programas de microcrédito de bancos ou instituições financeiras comerciais convencionais, as crescentes especulação, concorrência, e assunção de riscos com vista a aumentar a rendibilidade, favorecendo sobretudo os interesses dos investidores em detrimento dos clientes pobres, foi alvo de grandes críticas, sobretudo aquando das crises de sobre-endividamento e das consequências económicas e sociais daí resultantes que vieram questionar a vocação original do microcrédito de libertar os mais desfavorecidos de situações e dependência, pobreza, e marginalização social. É nosso entender que o microcrédito tem virtudes como defeitos, que não existe uma resposta única à questão: qual o efectivo impacto do microcrédito? e também dificilmente haverá um modelo único de microcrédito virtuoso, aplicável a todos contextos geográficos, sociais, legais, económicos ou institucionais. O que retemos da análise do microcrédito é que, como outros fenómenos que facilmente se classificam de natureza económica ou financeira, o microcrédito é antes de tudo um fenómeno social, afetado nas diversas modalidades, suas forças e fraquezas, e nos seus impactos pelas características do contexto social mais amplo em que se insere. A Economia clássica, mas também a teoria social, centraram excessivamente a análise da sociedade a partir do mercado, desde a industrialização e o surgimento da economia capitalista do século XIX. Como sustenta Polanyi, em vez de se perceber as relações económicas no seu contexto social, tomou-se o mercado como principal mecanismo de regulação da vida social. Em nosso entender existem hoje, como no passado, formas de organização económica em que as categorias de agente racional ou maximização do lucro não se aplicam, e que demonstram que há uma pluralidade de formas de actividade económica que escapam às categorias (neo)clássicas, e não se resumem ao que muitos definem como economias comunitárias de tipo pré-industrial, o que em si é já uma definição redutora das mesmas. Assim, fomos procurar, não só em perspectivas económicas não-ortodoxas, especialmente as correntes institucionalistas, como na nova Sociologia Económica, mas também Antropologia, Biologia e Psicologia evolutivas, sustentação para pensar os fenómenos económicos de uma forma mais pluralista e abrangente, na diversidade e complexidade que eles se manifestam na prática. Tal levou-nos a considerar questionáveis os pressupostos da visão mainstream do que é o homem enquanto agente económico e de como a vida económica se organiza confinada ao mercado; consideramos que, como sustentam vários autores, não existem razões para tomar o homem apenas como sujeito racional, calculista e maximizador do seu benefício no mercado ou que este último tenha a capacidade de se autor-regular e tender sempre para o equilíbrio. Não só as crises financeiras que se tornam económicas e sociais e atingem dimensões globais revelam as limitações do mecanismo de mercado na afetação de recursos escassos em favor da satisfação das necessidades dos indivíduos, como existe base teórica para sustentar que a vida económica não é necessariamente um contexto de competição feroz por recursos escassos, mas que o homem tem uma propensão para a partilha e cooperação. Essa capacidade de cooperar este por trás do sucesso evolutivo de colectividades humanas como não-humanas, pelo que rejeitamos a ideia de um homo-economicus calculista e hedonista e caracterizamos formas de organização económica em que noções como acção solidária, bem comum, confiança, altruísmo, coresponsabilidade e reciprocidade são aspectos sociais, institucionais e, portanto, normativos a que as relações económicas estão sujeitas. Não encontramos estes laços de altruísmo e reciprocidade apenas nas comunidades rurais tradicionais, mas em outros tipos de iniciativa económica local em que se destaca a capacidade da sociedade civil ultrapassar falhas de Estado e de mercado e se organizar, não face ideologias políticas ou imperativos de rendibilidade, mas aos interesses dos membros do que chamamos comunidade, no sentido relacional do termo. É aqui que julgamos residir a virtude do microcrédito formal original, enquanto iniciativas, antes de tudo, com uma missão social capazes de beneficiar os mutuários abrangidos e contribuir para o desenvolvimento local, ou seja, sobretudo quanto protagonizado por instituições do terceiro sector ou inseridos em intervenções mais holísticas visando a melhoria da situação global das populações mais desfavorecidas atendendo às várias dimensões da pobreza e exclusão social, bem como às diferentes necessidades a que importa dar resposta em cada contexto específico. De certa forma, as iniciativas de microcrédito sustentáveis no plano económico e social, poderão ter que ser eficientes no plano financeiro - para atrair o investimento do sector privado que lhes permita aumentar a escala das suas operações para responder ao propósito social de servir aqueles que ainda não têm acesso a crédito e se encontram em situações de precaridade ou exploração; poderão também necessitar do apoio e supervisão por parte de instituições políticas nacionais e internacionais que lhes reconheçam o mérito de encontrar uma forma viável de combater a pobreza. Porém, a nosso ver, para além de Estado e mercado, e de relações de redistribuição ou troca mercantil, deveremos vê-las como relações de reciprocidade ou iniciativas de cariz solidário e natureza local, em que a qualidade das relações que se estabelece entre membros de grupos de empréstimo e entre mutuários e intermediários ou instituições de microfinança pode fazer a diferença entre o sucesso e o fracasso das iniciativas de microcrédito. Por último, procurar perceber todos os factores que contribuem para o sucesso ou fracasso do microcrédito para credores e mutuários leva-nos a considerar que existe uma variedade de actores que intervêm no microcrédito, com missões institucionais e, consequentemente, actuações distintas que explicam a variedade dos resultados da concessão de microcrédito. Não existirá, senão na sua definição formal, um microcrédito, mas várias formas de microcréditos em contextos políticos, demográficos, económicos e geográficos distintos. Porque é do carácter das relações sociais que se estabelecem, de representações sociais e aspectos normativos que condicionam a acção no plano do microcrédito que se trata, entendemos que perceber as diferentes lógicas que animam os autores envolvidos - sobretudo olhando ao papel de Estado, mercado e terceiro sector, e as consequências das suas acções - implica a nosso ver, não só o enquadramento social do microcrédito, mas a sua análise institucional que nos propusemos realizar neste trabalho. ABSTRACT Microcredit in its informal version has a history of centuries, especially in developed countries where, to date, it is one of the few opportunities for the poor to increase their incomes. It was mainly in its formal version popularized by M. Yunus from the 1970s onwards. XX that microcredit gained greater visibility, especially as microfinance institutions were able to find innovative ways to address the problem of poverty and exclusion. Among them is the granting of microcredit in order to develop a sustainable economic initiative that allows the borrower to create his own job and improve the living conditions of his household. The successes of this approach to poverty and exclusion by microfinance institutions are, on the one hand, having a social vocation to seek to improve the economic situation of the most vulnerable populations, and on the other to do so by including them in the market. In order to make business initiatives viable, microfinance institutions have developed follow-up and support practices for borrowers and their businesses, in addition to their financing, which have resulted in high compliance rates, which is an indicator of the sustainability of these initiatives. The fact that the poor are able to make a profit for themselves - thanks to the mechanisms that microcredit institutions have developed for the selection of applications, to set up reimbursement modalities, to encourage compliance with them and to ensure the proper application of the amounts granted - has drawn the attention of the Member States for an alternative way of dealing with the problems of poverty, unemployment and social marginalization in a more sustainable and less assistentialist perspective. It also drew the attention of the private sector, which once had little interest in granting small amounts of credit to poor clients without guarantees given the high transaction costs and associated risks, and now realize that this is a niche market not only potentially profitable and of enormous size given the millions of individuals who still today do not have access to formal financial services worldwide. But microcredit, as a social phenomenon and object of study, is emerging in controversy. Concerning the role of the State, many consider that to allocate public funds to microcredit is to subsidize initiatives that, because of their small size, will have little opportunity to reach a level of efficiency that will avenge them in a competitive market, diverting public support from other social development initiatives or support to SMEs which also face funding problems. With regard to the private sector, which is increasingly present in the sector in the form of profitable microfinance institutions or microcredit lines / programs of conventional commercial banks or financial institutions, growing speculation, competition, and risk taking increased profitability, favoring mainly the interests of investors to the detriment of poor customers, was criticized, especially in the wake of the crises of over-indebtedness and the resulting economic and social consequences that have challenged the original vocation of microcredit to free disadvantaged situations and dependence, poverty, and social marginalization. It is our understanding that microcredit has its virtues as defects, that there is no single answer to the question: what is the real impact of microcredit? and there is hardly a single model of virtuous microcredit, applicable to all geographic, social, legal, economic or institutional contexts. What we retain from the analysis of microcredit is that, like other phenomena that are easily classified as economic or financial, microcredit is first and foremost a social phenomenon, affected in the various modalities, its xii strengths and weaknesses, and its impacts by the characteristics of the social context in which it is inserted.Classical economics, but also social theory, has over-centered the analysis of society from the marketplace, from the industrialization and the emergence of the capitalist economy of the nineteenth century. As Polanyi maintains, instead of perceiving economic relations in their social context, the market was taken as the main mechanism of regulation of social life. In our view there are, as in the past, forms of economic organization in which the categories of rational agent or maximization of profit do not apply and which demonstrate that there are a plurality of forms of economic activity that escape the (neo) classic categories, and are not limited to what many define as pre-industrial community economies, which in itself is already a reductive definition of them. Thus, we have sought not only in non-Orthodox economic perspectives, especially institutionalist currents, but also in the new Economic Sociology, but also in evolutionary Anthropology, Biology and Psychology, support for thinking about economic phenomena in a more pluralistic and comprehensive way, in diversity complexity they manifest in practice. This has led us to consider the presuppositions of the mainstream view of man as an economic agent and of how economic life is organized confined to the market; we consider that, as several authors maintain, there are no reasons to take man only as a rational, calculating and maximizing subject of his benefit in the market or that the latter has the ability to regulate and always tend to balance. Not only financial crises that become economic and social and reach global dimensions reveal the limitations of the market mechanism in the allocation of scarce resources to the satisfaction of the needs of individuals, as there is a theoretical basis for sustaining that economic life is not necessarily a context of fierce competition for scarce resources, but that man has a penchant for sharing and cooperation. This ability to cooperate behind the evolutionary success of human collectivities as non-human, so we reject the idea of a calculating and hedonistic homo-economicus and characterize forms of economic organization in which notions such as solidarity, common good, trust, altruism, co-responsibility and reciprocity are social, institutional, and therefore normative aspects to which economic relations are subject. We do not find these ties of altruism and reciprocity only in traditional rural communities, but in other types of local economic initiative in which civil society's ability to overcome state and market failures and organize, not against political ideologies or imperatives of profitability, but to the interests of the members of what we call community, in the relational sense of the term. It is here that we believe that the virtue of the original formal microcredit resides, as initiatives, first and foremost, with a social mission capable of benefiting the borrowers involved and contributing to local development, that is to say, especially as carried out by third sector institutions or more holistic interventions aimed at improving the overall situation of the most disadvantaged populations, taking into account the various dimensions of poverty and social exclusion, as well as the different needs that need to be addressed in each specific context. Socially and economically sustainable microcredit initiatives may need to be financially efficient to attract private sector investment that allows them to scale up their operations to meet the social purpose of serving those who do not yet have access to and are in precarious or exploitative situations; they may also need the support and supervision of national and international political institutions that recognize the merits of finding a viable way to fight poverty. However, in our view, in addition to state and market, and relations of redistribution or mercantile exchange, we should see them as relations of reciprocity or initiatives of solidarity and local nature, in which the quality of relations established xiii between members lending groups and between borrowers and intermediaries or microfinance institutions can make a difference between the success and failure of microcredit initiatives. Finally, seeking to understand all the factors that contribute to the success or failure of microcredit for creditors and borrowers leads us to consider that there are a variety of actors involved in microcredit, with institutional missions and, consequently, distinct actions that explain the variety of the results of the microcredit concession. There will be, in its formal definition, only microcredit, but various forms of microcredit in distinct political, demographic, economic and geographical contexts. Because it is the character of the social relations that are established, of social representations and normative aspects that condition the action in the microcredit that is treated, we understand that to perceive the different logics that animate the authors involved - mainly looking at the role of State, market and third sector, and the consequences of its actions - implies in our view, not only the social framework of microcredit, but its institutional analysis that we propose to carry out in this work.
Microcredit in its informal version has a history of centuries, especially in developed countries where, to date, it is one of the few opportunities for the poor to increase their incomes. It was mainly in its formal version popularized by M. Yunus from the 1970s onwards. XX that microcredit gained greater visibility, especially as microfinance institutions were able to find innovative ways to address the problem of poverty and exclusion. Among them is the granting of microcredit in order to develop a sustainable economic initiative that allows the borrower to create his own job and improve the living conditions of his household. The successes of this approach to poverty and exclusion by microfinance institutions are, on the one hand, having a social vocation to seek to improve the economic situation of the most vulnerable populations, and on the other to do so by including them in the market. In order to make business initiatives viable, microfinance institutions have developed follow-up and support practices for borrowers and their businesses, in addition to their financing, which have resulted in high compliance rates, which is an indicator of the sustainability of these initiatives. The fact that the poor are able to make a profit for themselves - thanks to the mechanisms that microcredit institutions have developed for the selection of applications, to set up reimbursement modalities, to encourage compliance with them and to ensure the proper application of the amounts granted - has drawn the attention of the Member States for an alternative way of dealing with the problems of poverty, unemployment and social marginalization in a more sustainable and less assistentialist perspective. It also drew the attention of the private sector, which once had little interest in granting small amounts of credit to poor clients without guarantees given the high transaction costs and associated risks, and now realize that this is a niche market not only potentially profitable and of enormous size given the millions of individuals who still today do not have access to formal financial services worldwide. But microcredit, as a social phenomenon and object of study, is emerging in controversy. Concerning the role of the State, many consider that to allocate public funds to microcredit is to subsidize initiatives that, because of their small size, will have little opportunity to reach a level of efficiency that will avenge them in a competitive market, diverting public support from other social development initiatives or support to SMEs which also face funding problems. With regard to the private sector, which is increasingly present in the sector in the form of profitable microfinance institutions or microcredit lines / programs of conventional commercial banks or financial institutions, growing speculation, competition, and risk taking increased profitability, favoring mainly the interests of investors to the detriment of poor customers, was criticized, especially in the wake of the crises of over-indebtedness and the resulting economic and social consequences that have challenged the original vocation of microcredit to free disadvantaged situations and dependence, poverty, and social marginalization. It is our understanding that microcredit has its virtues as defects, that there is no single answer to the question: what is the real impact of microcredit? and there is hardly a single model of virtuous microcredit, applicable to all geographic, social, legal, economic or institutional contexts. What we retain from the analysis of microcredit is that, like other phenomena that are easily classified as economic or financial, microcredit is first and foremost a social phenomenon, affected in the various modalities, its xii strengths and weaknesses, and its impacts by the characteristics of the social context in which it is inserted.Classical economics, but also social theory, has over-centered the analysis of society from the marketplace, from the industrialization and the emergence of the capitalist economy of the nineteenth century. As Polanyi maintains, instead of perceiving economic relations in their social context, the market was taken as the main mechanism of regulation of social life. In our view there are, as in the past, forms of economic organization in which the categories of rational agent or maximization of profit do not apply and which demonstrate that there are a plurality of forms of economic activity that escape the (neo) classic categories, and are not limited to what many define as pre-industrial community economies, which in itself is already a reductive definition of them. Thus, we have sought not only in non-Orthodox economic perspectives, especially institutionalist currents, but also in the new Economic Sociology, but also in evolutionary Anthropology, Biology and Psychology, support for thinking about economic phenomena in a more pluralistic and comprehensive way, in diversity complexity they manifest in practice. This has led us to consider the presuppositions of the mainstream view of man as an economic agent and of how economic life is organized confined to the market; we consider that, as several authors maintain, there are no reasons to take man only as a rational, calculating and maximizing subject of his benefit in the market or that the latter has the ability to regulate and always tend to balance. Not only financial crises that become economic and social and reach global dimensions reveal the limitations of the market mechanism in the allocation of scarce resources to the satisfaction of the needs of individuals, as there is a theoretical basis for sustaining that economic life is not necessarily a context of fierce competition for scarce resources, but that man has a penchant for sharing and cooperation. This ability to cooperate behind the evolutionary success of human collectivities as non-human, so we reject the idea of a calculating and hedonistic homo-economicus and characterize forms of economic organization in which notions such as solidarity, common good, trust, altruism, co-responsibility and reciprocity are social, institutional, and therefore normative aspects to which economic relations are subject. We do not find these ties of altruism and reciprocity only in traditional rural communities, but in other types of local economic initiative in which civil society's ability to overcome state and market failures and organize, not against political ideologies or imperatives of profitability, but to the interests of the members of what we call community, in the relational sense of the term. It is here that we believe that the virtue of the original formal microcredit resides, as initiatives, first and foremost, with a social mission capable of benefiting the borrowers involved and contributing to local development, that is to say, especially as carried out by third sector institutions or more holistic interventions aimed at improving the overall situation of the most disadvantaged populations, taking into account the various dimensions of poverty and social exclusion, as well as the different needs that need to be addressed in each specific context. Socially and economically sustainable microcredit initiatives may need to be financially efficient to attract private sector investment that allows them to scale up their operations to meet the social purpose of serving those who do not yet have access to and are in precarious or exploitative situations; they may also need the support and supervision of national and international political institutions that recognize the merits of finding a viable way to fight poverty. However, in our view, in addition to state and market, and relations of redistribution or mercantile exchange, we should see them as relations of reciprocity or initiatives of solidarity and local nature, in which the quality of relations established xiii between members lending groups and between borrowers and intermediaries or microfinance institutions can make a difference between the success and failure of microcredit initiatives. Finally, seeking to understand all the factors that contribute to the success or failure of microcredit for creditors and borrowers leads us to consider that there are a variety of actors involved in microcredit, with institutional missions and, consequently, distinct actions that explain the variety of the results of the microcredit concession. There will be, in its formal definition, only microcredit, but various forms of microcredit in distinct political, demographic, economic and geographical contexts. Because it is the character of the social relations that are established, of social representations and normative aspects that condition the action in the microcredit that is treated, we understand that to perceive the different logics that animate the authors involved - mainly looking at the role of State, market and third sector, and the consequences of its actions - implies in our view, not only the social framework of microcredit, but its institutional analysis that we propose to carry out in this work.
Descrição: Tese de Doutoramento em Governação, Conhecimento e Inovação, apresentada à Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10316/87524
Direitos: openAccess
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