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  • Karlan, Dean
  • Morduch, Jonathan

Abstract

Expanding access to financial services holds the promise to help reduce poverty and spur economic development. But, as a practical matter, commercial banks have faced challenges expanding access to poor and low-income households in developing economies, and nonprofits have had limited reach. We review recent innovations that are improving the quantity and quality of financial access. They are taking possibilities well beyond early models centered on providing microcredit for small business investment. We focus on new credit mechanisms and devices that help households manage cash flows, save, and cope with risk. Our eye is on contract designs, product innovations, regulatory policy, and ultimately economic and social impacts. We relate the innovations and empirical evidence to theoretical ideas, drawing links in particular to new work in behavioral economics and to randomized evaluation methods.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Dani Rodrik & Mark Rosenzweig (ed.), 2010. "Handbook of Development Economics," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 5, number 6, January.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Development Economics with number v:5:y:2010:i:c:p:4703-4784.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:devchp:v:5:y:2010:i:c:p:4703-4784

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    Related research

    Keywords: microfinance; microcredit; microinsurance; credit savings; insurance; behavioral economics; financial intermediation; economic growth; randomized controlled trials;

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    Cited by:
    1. Noelia Camara & Ximena Pena & David Tuesta, 2014. "Factors that Matter for Financial Inclusion: Evidence from Peru," Working Papers 1409, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
    2. Wagner, Charlotte, 2010. "From boom to bust: how different has microfinance been from traditional banking?," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 156, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    3. Beck, T.H.L. & Lu, L. & Yang, R., 2013. "Finance and Growth for Microenterprises: Evidence from Rural China," Discussion Paper 2013-053, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Thorsten Beck, 2013. "Finance, growth and fragility: the role of government," International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(1/2), pages 49-77.
    5. Martijn Boermans & Daan Willebrands, 2012. "Financial constraints, risk taking and firm performance: Recent evidence from microfinance clients in Tanzania," DNB Working Papers 358, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    6. Montgomery, Heather & Weiss, John, 2011. "Can Commercially-oriented Microfinance Help Meet the Millennium Development Goals? Evidence from Pakistan," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 87-109, January.

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