Overview of rural finance: conceptual issues. Role of financial services in economic development. Relationship between financial development and economic growth. Economic theory underlying rural financial markets: market and government failure, imperfect information, transaction costs, agency theory, and pecking order theory. Supply of and demand for financial services in rural areas: theory and measurement issues. Estimating credit demand, supply and constraints. Institutions involved in the provision of rural financial services and innovations in rural finance. Assessing performance of institutions providing rural financial services.