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Financial inclusion

About: Financial inclusion is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 5578 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 49723 citation(s).
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Asli Demirguc-Kunt1, Leora Klapper1Institutions (1)
Abstract: This paper provides the first analysis of the Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) Database, a new set of indicators that measure how adults in 148 economies save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk. The data show that 50 percent of adults worldwide have an account at a formal financial institution, though account penetration varies widely across regions, income groups and individual characteristics. In addition, 22 percent of adults report having saved at a formal financial institution in the past 12 months, and 9 percent report having taken out a new loan from a bank, credit union or microfinance institution in the past year. Although half of adults around the world remain unbanked, at least 35 percent of them report barriers to account use that might be addressed by public policy. Among the most commonly reported barriers are high cost, physical distance, and lack of proper documentation, though there are significant differences across regions and individual characteristics.

1,037 citations

Posted Content
Abstract: The Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) database, launched by the World Bank in 2011, provides comparable indicators showing how people around the world save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk. The 2014 edition of the database reveals that 62 percent of adults worldwide have an account at a bank or another type of financial institution or with a mobile money provider. Between 2011 and 2014, 700 million adults became account holders while the number of those without an account?the unbanked?dropped by 20 percent to 2 billion. What drove this increase in account ownership? A growth in account penetration of 13 percentage points in developing economies and innovations in technology?particularly mobile money, which is helping to rapidly expand access to financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa. Along with these gains, the data also show that big opportunities remain to increase financial inclusion, especially among women and poor people. Governments and the private sector can play a pivotal role by shifting the payment of wages and government transfers from cash into accounts. There are also large opportunities to spur greater use of accounts, allowing those who already have one to benefit more fully from financial inclusion. In developing economies 1.3 billion adults with an account pay utility bills in cash, and more than half a billion pay school fees in cash. Digitizing payments like these would enable account holders to make the payments in a way that is easier, more affordable, and more secure.

591 citations

19 Apr 2018
Abstract: The Global Findex Database 2017 presents key findings from the Global Findex database, with detailed insight into how adults in more than 140 economies access accounts, make payments, save, borrow, and manage risk. As the data show, each economy has its own successes, challenges, and opportunities when it comes to financial inclusion. A growing body of research demonstrates the impact of country advances on significant priorities such as reducing poverty, hunger, and gender inequality.

582 citations

15 Jun 2015
Abstract: This paper analyzes the extent of income inequality from a global perspective, its drivers, and what to do about it. The drivers of inequality vary widely amongst countries, with some common drivers being the skill premium associated with technical change and globalization, weakening protection for labor, and lack of financial inclusion in developing countries. We find that increasing the income share of the poor and the middle class actually increases growth while a rising income share of the top 20 percent results in lower growth—that is, when the rich get richer, benefits do not trickle down. This suggests that policies need to be country specific but should focus on raising the income share of the poor, and ensuring there is no hollowing out of the middle class. To tackle inequality, financial inclusion is imperative in emerging and developing countries while in advanced economies, policies should focus on raising human capital and skills and making tax systems more progressive.

555 citations

Posted Content
Abstract: Financial inclusion -- defined here as the use of formal accounts -- can bring many welfare benefits to individuals. Yet the authors know very little about the factors underpinning financial inclusion across individuals and countries. Using data for 123 countries and over 124,000 individuals, this paper tries to understand the individual and country characteristicsassociated with the use of formal accounts and what policies are effective among those most likely to be excluded: the poor and rural residents. The authors find that greater ownership and use of accounts is associated with a better enabling environment for accessing financial services, such as lower account costs and greater proximity to financial intermediaries. Policies targeted to promote inclusion -- such as requiring banks to offer basic or low-fee accounts, exempting some depositors from onerous documentation requirements, allowing correspondent banking, and using bank accounts to make government payments -- may be especially effective among those most likely to be excluded. Finally, the study the factors associated with perceived barriers to account ownership among those who are financially excluded and find that these individuals report lower barriers in countries with lower costs of accounts and greater penetration of financial service providers. Overall, the results suggest that policies to reduce barriers to financial inclusion may expand the pool of eligible account users and encourage existing account holders to use their accounts with greater frequency and for the purpose of saving.

466 citations

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No. of papers in the topic in previous years