It is an undeniable fact that financial inclusion has become a global policy priority. Despite its popularity in the policy sphere, the concept of financial inclusion lacks a comprehensive measure to monitor and evaluate inclusive financial systems across the globe. To fill this gap, we combine macro-level data from the Financial Access Survey of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank’s Global Findex database to construct novel indices of financial inclusion. First, we compute new financial inclusion indices that incorporate access to financial services by groups prone to exclusion. Second, we account for the recent upsurge in mobile money adoption in the developing world by computing a novel mobile money inclusion index. We further relate the financial inclusion indices with legal origin to ascertain the role of initial conditions of the regulatory environment in countries’ financial inclusion achievements. We find that whereas developed countries continue to lead in banking inclusion, developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa are at the frontiers of mobile money inclusion. Also, we find evidence suggesting that the regulatory environment matters for financial inclusion.
|Number of pages||45|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
|Series||UNU-MERIT Working Papers|
- g21 - "Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages"
- o16 - "Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance"
- o57 - Comparative Studies of Countries
- financial inclusion
- banking inclusion
- financial innovation
- mobile money inclusion