Milford Bateman

Milford Bateman
Juraj Dobrila University of Pula · Department of Tourism and Economics

phd

About

130
Publications
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Introduction
Milford Bateman is a Visiting Professor of Economics at the Department of Tourism and Economics, Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Croatia: Adjunct Professor at St Mary's University in Halifax, Canada; Honorary Research Associate, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; and Associate Researcher, FINDE, Fluminense Federal University (UFF), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Milford's main research interests are local economic development, local financial institutions, and cooperatives.
Additional affiliations
September 2006 - present
Juraj Dobrila University of Pula
Position
  • Visiting Professor of Economics
February 2000 - February 2001
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Position
  • Consultant
September 1991 - January 2000
University of Wolverhampton
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (130)
Presentation
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Short talk on two issues in financial innovation that I have found problematic.
Technical Report
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This report is part of a larger research project funded by UK Research and Innovation's Global Challenges Research Fund entitled 'Depleted by Debt? Focusing a gendered lens on climate resilience, credit and nutrition in Cambodia and South India'. This Cambodia-focused report shows how microfinance loans are leading to an over-indebtedness emergency...
Presentation
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Workshop presentation on the perils created in the Global South by the dominance of the investor-driven fintech model with suggestions for an alternative fintech model
Article
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Financial technology, or ‘fintech’, is a widely celebrated recent innovation. In this article we explore how it's seductive narrative is a fundamentally flawed and inaccurate portrayal of the emerging reality. While it is clear that fintech offers a major opportunity to improve the lives of the poor if done right, and it has had some important init...
Presentation
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Objectives: To introduce the issue of fintech (financial technology) To explain its origin and key relevance to financialised capitalism To show that different models of fintech exist and have different impacts Lecture structure:
Presentation
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Revised presentation looking at the problems and perils of what we call 'investor-driven fintech'
Presentation
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With the global microcredit model seen even by its one-time advocates as not having successfully addressed global poverty, yet with many once highly profitable microcredit institutions now demanding and receiving large financial bail-outs in order to continue in operation throughout the COVID-19 crisis, this amounts to a clear case of 'throwing goo...
Presentation
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Examines the fintech revolution and asks who really benefits. Also provides a sketch of an alternative fintech model from Brazil.
Conference Paper
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Basic fintech financial services (credit, payments, savings, remittances)are described as among the most important innovations in recent history with the potential to dramatically improve the lives of the global poor. Our analysis of the recent developments and trends suggests otherwise: that, as it has been configured, the 'investor-driven' fintec...
Presentation
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Invited presentation looking into the links between land titling and its use as collateral in order to leverage microcredit in Cambodia.
Presentation
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Web talk delivered at UFF at a major conference on the Basic Income model. I looked at the role of fintech and pointed out how many institutions use fintech well, and that the Basic Income model shoudl be run through community-based fintech as in the increasingly successful model deployed in the city of Marica quite close to Rio de Janeiro.
Article
One of the decisive but often overlooked factors in the creation of the East Asian ‘economic miracle’ was the part played by a variety of heterodox sub-national state, community and cooperatively owned and controlled financial systems, institutions and lending models. Beginning with Japan after 1945, local financial systems were (re)constructed acr...
Chapter
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Neoliberals tend to argue that fintech provides a fantastic market-driven 'win-win' outcome: it will greatly benefit the global poor while investors will also be justly rewarded for their innovation. Really? The evidence is that it will for sure benefit investors. But there is very little real evidence, in fact only abstract econometric models, myt...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has hit at a time when microfinance is at its historical peak, with an estimated 139 million microfinance customers globally. Cambodia’s microfinance sector is one of the fastest growing, and like others in the Global South has moved from offering entrepreneurial capital to everyday liquidity, and even disaster relief. In this...
Chapter
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In the light of the now widely accepted failure of the microcredit model to address global poverty, the current demands by the for-profit global microcredit industry to be bailed out by governments and the international development community in order to survive the covid19 pandemic appear to be a textbook case of 'throwing good money after bad'. Th...
Article
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In this invited paper produced for the Singapore-based ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute as part of its Perspectives series, I briefly explore the serious problems the bloated microcredit sector has created in Cambodia, just as it has created everywhere else in the Global South. Moreover, if microcredit does not 'work', as seems clear enough from the evi...
Presentation
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Invited seminar focusing on the implications of the COVID-19 crisis for the operation of the global microfinance industry with Cambodia used as an illustration. It is argued that community-owned and controlled finacial institutions have a far better historical record of promoting poverty reduction and sustainable local economic development and so a...
Conference Paper
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The poverty reduction and developmental role of land titles has been a contested issue since the concept was popularised in the early 2000s by Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto and the World Bank. Among other things, land titles were held to provide vital local economic development impetus because they could be used as collateral in order to incr...
Article
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I was recently sent a very interesting paper that evaluates a major cash transfer program in Kenya. Even though it was prepared by a number of influential mainstream economists, it seemed to me to inadvertently highlight several of the key flaws in mainstream microeconomic policies, while also pointing to a major role for a Keynesian demand managem...
Article
Full-text available
The poverty reduction and developmental role of land titles has been a contested issue since the concept was popularised in the early 2000s by Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto and the World Bank. Among other things, land titles were held to provide vital local economic development impetus because they could be used as collateral in order to incr...
Presentation
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I consider experiences from past instances where local economic development (LED) policy has been promoted and where the Cuban government can learn much about success and about failure.
Presentation
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I consider experiences from past instances where local economic development (LED) policy has been promoted and where the Cuban government can learn much about success and about failure.
Presentation
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This presentation was a quick review of the financial sector reforms imposed on South East Europe (SEE) and the wider Eastern Europe since 1990 and assessing their effectiveness as development policy. These financial sector reforms were imposed in spite of much positive experience from Europe and East Asia, several examples of which are provided. I...
Presentation
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Invited talk to academics, practitioners and policy advisors on how the microcredit model had disadvantaged the global poor. I was also asked to discuss the work of the recent Nobel Economics Prize winners, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, with regard to microcredit.
Presentation
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Keynote presentation on the issue of fintech and whether it is going to be as positive for the global poor as many advocates and neoclassical economists think it will.
Conference Paper
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Given the accelerating global popularity of the social enterprise concept as a response to the growing failings of neoliberal capitalism, there are increasing calls for deeper analysis of some of the leading social enterprises. One of the highest profile examples of a social enterprise is the microcredit institution AMK based in Cambodia. Using dat...
Article
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Short invited blog post for the excellent Africa is a Country blog.
Article
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A recent article on the "average impact of microcredit" by Dr. Rachel Meager (LSE) has received much praise over the past few weeks. Maren Duvendack and I are not so sure it truthfully represents the reality, but misrepresents key issues.
Chapter
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The local neoliberal financial model has shown itself to have significantly under-performed, especially in the form of commercial microcredit. Economic history shows that there are, however, many previous 'developmental' local financial models that have performed very well indeed. 'Developmental' local financial models have very successfully promot...
Article
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A blog posting that asks if 'digital mining' as perfected by Kenya's iconic M-Pesa money transfer platform is not simply a new seductive form of resource extractivism that will drain Africa's of its wealth under cover of 'helping Africa's poor through financial inclusion'. It was published in The Elephant on June 11th, 2019 and can be accessed at :...
Article
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Financial technology, or simply ‘fin-tech’, is increasingly seen as one of the key tools to facilitate poverty reduction and local economic development. One article in particular by Tavneet Suri and William Jack published in the leading publication Science has played a hugely influential role in promoting the fin-tech model in the global South usin...
Article
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This short article briefly explains the wider negative impacts and deleterious trends that the ubiquitousness of microcredit has created for the poor in Cambodia.
Article
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The end of apartheid in South Africa in the early 1990s did not see the envisaged end to the exploitation of the black South African population, but instead saw simply a shift from state-backed exploitation to market-driven exploitation. This trajectory is especially germane to the country’s microcredit industry, which has spectacularly and wilfull...
Presentation
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Presentation summarising the negative impacts arising from the microcredit model in Cambodia.
Conference Paper
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This paper describes how many countries in East Asia established a successful local financial system in the post-war years, starting with Japan. Later on, however, these countries agreed, or were forced, to abandon this ‘winning formula’ for financing sustainable local economic development and expanding the collective freedoms and security of the p...
Chapter
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The aim of this chapter is to briefly reflect upon the significant divergence that now exists between the theories of microcredit first promoted by Muhammad Yunus, the universally acknowledged ‘father of microcredit’, and the actual reality encountered on a daily-lived basis by the vast majority of the global poor. In particular, Yunus' misundersta...
Poster
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Formal launch of our new book including discussion with the three editors and Q&A.
Conference Paper
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The so-called 'fin-tech revolution' represents one of the most important recent developments in the banking and financial services sectors, possibly, some say, as important as the industrial revolution itself. This is especially the case with regard to the Global South, where the fin-tech industry is said to possess the potential to make an histori...
Presentation
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I look at the burgeoning fin-tech industry and the World Bank and others' claims that it is a brilliant way to address global poverty. I particularly look at M-Pesa in Kenya, which many hold out as the 'best practice' example of how fin-tech will assist the poor, as well as some other examples in Africa. I find the claims made for the fin-tech indu...
Article
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This short article was written to give my explanation for why the $US150 million acquisition of AMK by the Taiwan-based Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank (SCSB) has received almost zero media coverage. Claimed by many to be one of the world's leading microcredit institutions, AMK's purchase by the aggressive for-profit SCSB trashes many of the u...
Presentation
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Financial inclusion is the international development community's new miracle cure for poverty, unemployment and social exclusion, and a major selling exercise has been underway for several years now to convince governments and development agencies in the Global South that only by greatly extending financial inclusion will they resolve these importa...
Article
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My post on the Andhra Pradesh microcredit crisis in 2010 and how high-profile US-based Ivy League economists continue to misrepresent and falsify important historical details in the service of failed neoliberal financial theory and concepts.
Presentation
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The financial structures in Latin America, including in Brazil, have changed drastically since 1980 as Washington Consensus institutions, notably the World Bank, insisted that market-driven financial intermediation replace all forms of developmental-driven finance. The results of more private sector financial intermediation have been catastrophic,...
Presentation
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The presentation summarises the historical evidence that an effective ’developmental state’ is the central reason why some countries and regions develop and others do not. It then argues that the local ’bottom-up’ version of the developmental state - the ’local developmental state’ - accounts for much of the success registered by the traditional ’t...
Presentation
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It presents some ideas as to the likely role of digitalised microcredit based on current trends and developments, and concludes that it is likely to prove to be an adverse factor in the lives of the global poor unless urgent action its taken to ensure that the value released is progressively distributed and is not simply appropriated by the major f...
Conference Paper
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This paper looks at the important role that local finance and effective financial intermediation can play in facilitating sustainable local economic development. It argues that the recent era of neoliberal 'financialization' has impacted very negatively on local economies and that a more developmental local financial structure is urgently required...
Presentation
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Invited public lecture in European Microfinance week
Conference Paper
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After having banned all discussion of the ‘developmental state’ concept during the high period of global neoliberalism (1980-2008), the Great Recession that began in 2008 forced the international development community to begin to urgently reassess the concept in order to deal with the mounting economic, social and political crises (see Crespi, Fern...
Article
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In this fourth virtual issue of Development and Change, edited by Milford Bateman, the object of enquiry is the global microcredit model, a development policy and intervention that has experienced a spectacular roller coaster ride from global hero to zero in a little over thirty years. The microcredit model essentially operationalized the core Haye...
Research
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This is a review of my 2010 book 'Why Doesn't Microfinance Work? The Destructive Rise of Local Neoliberalism' by Claus-Peter Zeitinger that used to be posted on the Zed Books website, but was then deleted recently when they created an entirely new website. It is an important validation of my 2010 book coming from one of the most influential figures...
Conference Paper
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The microcredit model was introduced into Cambodia in the 1990s and it was expected to make a major contribution to rebuilding and developing the country in the aftermath of a bitter civil war. Thanks to various commercialising (or ‘neoliberalising’) reforms introduced in the early 2000s, in the form of a new for-profit business model and a deregul...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The microcredit model was introduced into Cambodia in the 1990s and it was expected to make a major contribution to rebuilding and developing the country in the aftermath of a bitter civil war. Thanks to various commercialising (or ‘neoliberalising’) reforms introduced in the early 2000s, in the form of a new for-profit business model and a deregul...
Presentation
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The calls for radical change in the face of the mounting economic and social failures of neoliberal capitalism have been fought back by a new development sponsored by business and political elites - the so-called ’social enterprise’ crated by social entrepreneurs. This presentation challenges the social enterprise/social entrepreneurship model and...
Book
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Microfinance began as the disbursement of tiny loans to the poor, which they could use to undertake informal income-generating activities. It went on to become one of the most popular international development policies of all time and a mainstay of local development and antipoverty programs across the Global South. The contributors to this multidis...
Article
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The international donor community arrived in post-apartheid South Africa in the early 1990s to restructure the economy along neoliberal lines. One of the most important of the interventions it promoted was microcredit, which was widely seen as one of the principal self-help solutions to the exceptionally high levels of unemployment and poverty that...
Article
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Introduction This special issue of the Journal of Cooperative Organization and Management is dedicated to the role played by cooperatives and cooperative expansion in regional and local economic development. The volume is a follow-up from the 2014 ICA Research conference in Pula, Croatia, highlighting some of the rich discussions in the academia an...
Article
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This article examines the Local Economic Development Agency (LEDA) «new paradigm» model of institutional support for local economic development (LED), a model of led that emerged in the 1990’s as the neoliberal political project began its global ascendancy. The paper draws upon rich primary data from Latin America to demonstrate that the LEDA model...
Article
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1 " (Ideas) that have proved themselves wrong and dangerous, (.) are very hard to kill. Even after the evidence seems to have killed them, they keep on coming back " . John Quiggin -author of " Zombie economics: How dead ideas still walk among us " (2010:1)
Article
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This paper looks at the microcredit model made famous by Dr. Muhammad Yunus and explains the key reasons why it has failed as a poverty reduction and local development instrument. It also briefly analyses some of the reactions to this failure by the microcredit industry and why many microcredit supporters nevertheless still stand behind the model i...
Article
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Este artículo argumenta que el modelo de microfinanzas que llegó a América Latina en los años 1970 ha probado ser, al igual que en otros lados del mundo, una intervención de política pública casi totalmente destructiva. El argumento central es que el modelo de microfinanzas es responsable de consolidar e impulsar continuamente la adversa trayectori...
Article
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Over the course of the last decade or so, the concept of social capital - social and solidarity relationships, norms of reciprocity, trust-based interactions, and the set of civil society institutions and associations that underpin efficient collective action - has spectacularly burst on to the local economic and social development scene. Much of t...
Article
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The authors argue that the Mondragon cooperative complex in northern Spain serves as a valuable model for other regions to emulate in order to promote both economic democracy and sustainable development. The institutional vehicles deployed are radical and yet effective.
Presentation
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Invited lecture at the Economics Faculty of the University of Havana, Cuba, meant to stimulate discussion of alternatives to central planning and free market capitalism.
Article
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This article argues that the microfinance model that arrived in Latin America in the 1970s has proven, as elsewhere around the world, to be an almost wholly destructive economic and social policy intervention. Centrally, I argue that the microfinance model is responsible for embedding and giving continued impetus to an adverse ‘anti-development’ tr...
Article
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With global neoliberal capitalism coming within a hair’s breadth of entirely collapsing in late 2008, and with many resigned to the fact that there is a lot more deprivation, pain and humiliation to come, the search for a far more stable, equitable,dignified, environmentally sustainable and democratic/participative economic model is now more urgent...
Article
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Microcredit emerged in the 1970s as a mechanism whereby virtually all poor individuals could supposedly escape their poverty through self-help and individual entrepreneurship. Crucially, neoliberal policy-makers found the microcredit concept ideologically compelling, and the international development community soon began to provide massive support...
Article
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Academic analyses and impact evaluation studies produced by the international development community almost all conclude that the microfinance model has made an important net contribution to the economic and social recovery of post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter Bosnia). However, as we now are finding is also the case in many other countries,...
Article
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The contemporary model of microfinance has its roots in a small local experiment in Bangladesh in the early 1970s undertaken by Dr Muhammad Yunus, the US-educated Bangladeshi economist and future 2006 Nobel Peace Prize co-recipient. Yunus’s idea of supporting tiny informal microenterprises and self- employment as the solution to widespread poverty...

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Projects (6)
Project
Facing growing crises of agricultural productivity and taking primary responsibility for the nutritional wellbeing of their households, women are targeted as credit borrowers globally. Credit provisioning therefore speaks to the push for 'resilience' against climate disasters. But how do we ensure that small-scale credit as a tool for 'climate resilience' does not come at the cost of women's emotional and bodily depletion through processes of household nutrition provisioning? This is the key concern motivating this two-year multidisciplinary project which is set within the political economy contexts of Cambodia and Tamil Nadu, India.
Project
With the new Constitution signed off in early 2019, the new Cuban leadership has committed itself to a new model of development, a 'bottom-up' development model that is based on local governments promoting SMEs, especially all forms of cooperative. This form of 'local developmental statism' is actually a well-tried and successful model of development, as evidenced by northern Italy, the Basque region, Germany, China and other countries.