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Financial Sector Policy and the Poor : Selected Findings and Issues

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  • Patrick Honohan

Abstract

This paper presents new empirical evidence on how financial sector policy can help the poor. It is often thought that promotion of specialized microfinance institutions is the best or only way forward. However, a strong mainstream financial system is also pro-poor-perhaps even more so: while mainstream financial depth is measurably associated with lower poverty, for microfinance this is not yet so. The roles played by microfinance and mainstream finance in tackling poverty should be regarded as complementary and overlapping rather than as competing alternatives. The essential similarities between the two will become more evident as individual microfinance firms, or associations of firms, grow to the scale needed for sustainability. Policy design that recognizes the need for larger and stronger microfinance institutions poses no threat to the health of mainstream finance. Such a policy would not impose low interest rate ceilings; nevertheless, the goal of protecting the vulnerable from credit market abuses and prejudice should not be neglected in an effective package of policies favorable to the growth of both micro and mainstream finance.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 14874 and published in 2004-09.

ISBN: 0-8213-5967-3
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:14874

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Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
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Web page: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org
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Keywords: Finance and Financial Sector Development - Microfinance Banks and Banking Reform Agriculture - Agricultural Research Finance and Financial Sector Development - Rural Finance Infrastructure Economics and Finance - Private Participation in Infrastructure;

References

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  1. Munnell, Alicia H. & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell & Lynn E. Browne & James McEneaney, 1996. "Mortgage Lending in Boston: Interpreting HMDA Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 25-53, March.
  2. David G. Blanchflower & Phillip B. Levine & David J. Zimmerman, 1998. "Discrimination in the Small Business Credit Market," NBER Working Papers 6840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fisman Raymond J, 2003. "Ethnic Ties and the Provision of Credit: Relationship-Level Evidence from African Firms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, October.
  4. Neven Valev & Felix Rioja, 2002. "Finance and the Sources of Growth at Various Stages of Economic Development," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0217, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
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  7. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2003. "Halving Global Poverty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  8. Kevin C. Murdock & Thomas F. Hellmann & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2000. "Liberalization, Moral Hazard in Banking, and Prudential Regulation: Are Capital Requirements Enough?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 147-165, March.
  9. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M & Longhofer, Stanley D, 1994. "Housing-Finance Intervention and Private Incentives: Helping Minorities and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(3), pages 634-74, August.
  10. Matin, Imran & Hulme, David, 2003. "Programs for the Poorest: Learning from the IGVGD Program in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 647-665, March.
  11. Patten, Richard H. & Rosengard, Jay k. & Johnston, Don JR., 2001. "Microfinance Success Amidst Macroeconomic Failure: The Experience of Bank Rakyat Indonesia During the East Asian Crisis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1057-1069, June.
  12. Hoff, Karla & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1997. "Moneylenders and bankers: price-increasing subsidies in a monopolistically competitive market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 429-462, April.
  13. Geoffrey M. Tootell, 1996. "Redlining in Boston: do mortgage lenders discriminate against neighborhoods?," Working Papers 96-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  14. Maitreesh Ghatak & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1998. "The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice," Discussion Papers 98-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  15. Lindley, James T & Selby, Edward B, Jr & Jackson, John D, 1984. "Racial Discrimination in the Provision of Financial Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 735-41, September.
  16. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
  17. Drew Dahl & Douglas D. Evanoff & Michael F. Spivey, 2000. "Does the Community Reinvestment Act influence lending? an analysis of changes in bank low-income mortgage activity," Working Paper Series WP-00-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  18. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial development, growth, and poverty: how close are the links?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3203, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cull , Robert & Demirguc-Kunt , Asli & Morduch, Jonathan, 2009. "Does regulatory supervision curtail microfinance profitability and outreach ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4948, The World Bank.
  2. María José Roa García, 2013. "Inclusión financiera en América Latina y el Caribe: acceso, uso y calidad," Boletín, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 121-148, julio-sep.
  3. Hudon, Marek & Périlleux, Anaïs, 2014. "Surplus distribution and characteristics of social enterprises: Evidence from microfinance," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 147-157.
  4. Marek Hudon & Daniel Traca, 2006. "On the efficiency effects of subsidies in microfinance: an empirical inquiry," Working Papers CEB 06-020.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Giorgio Gomel & Fabio Bernasconi & Margherita Laura Cartechini & Veronica Fucile & Riccardo Settimo & Roberto Staiano, 2011. "Financial inclusion - G20 initiatives and the role of the Bank of Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 96, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Aterido, Reyes & Beck, Thorsten & Iacovone, Leonardo, 2013. "Access to Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Is There a Gender Gap?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 102-120.
  7. Honohan, Patrick, 2008. "Cross-country variation in household access to financial services," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 2493-2500, November.
  8. Honohan, Patrick, 2005. "Measuring microfinance access : building on existing cross-country data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3606, The World Bank.
  9. O. Emre Ergungor, 2006. "Bank branch presence and access to credit in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods," Working Paper 0616, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  10. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2004. "Finance, Inequality, and Poverty: Cross-Country Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Cull, Robert & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Morduch, Jonathan, 2006. "Financial performance and outreach : a global analysis of leading microbanks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3827, The World Bank.
  12. Stijn Claessens, 2006. "Access to Financial Services: A Review of the Issues and Public Policy Objectives," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 207-240.
  13. Claessens, Stijn & Feijen, Erik, 2006. "Finance and hunger : empirical evidence of the agricultural productivity channel," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4080, The World Bank.
  14. Honohan, Patrick, 2005. "Banking sector crises and inequality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3659, The World Bank.
  15. Claessens, Stijn & Perotti, Enrico, 2007. "Finance and inequality: Channels and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 748-773, December.
  16. Acosta, Pablo & Kim, Namsuk & Melzer, Illana & Mendoza, Ronald U. & Thelen, Nina, 2011. "Business and human development in the base of the pyramid: Exploring challenges and opportunities with market heat maps," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 50-60, January.
  17. Sana Ben Abdessalem Kacem & Sonia Ghorbel Zouari, 2013. "The determinants of access to financial services for micro-credit associations: Application on Tunisian case," E3 Journal of Business Management and Economics., E3 Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 031-046.

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