The purpose of this thesis is to address if microfinance institutions MFIs facilitate poverty reduction in Bangladesh. The research begins with an overview of the historical, institutional, and political underpinnings of poverty in Bangladesh and then surveys quantitative findings to determine the extent to which the rural poors income can be augmented. Resources furnishing this analysis include panel data drawn from MFI borrowers in randomly selected villages that have branches serviced by Grameen Bank, Association for Social Advancement ASA, and Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee BRAC. In addition, by addressing development indicators, microcredits non-economic outcomesor spillover effectsare also measured, including literacy and infant mortality. In order to address MFIs more difficult-to-measure spillover effects, this thesis also treats the notions of civil society and womens empowerment as relevant areas that pertain to poverty mitigation.