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Improving Access to Banking: Evidence from Kenya

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  • Franklin Allen
  • Elena Carletti
  • Robert Cull
  • Jun “Qj” Qian
  • Lemma Senbet
  • Patricio Valenzuela

    ()

Abstract

Using household surveys and bank penetration data at the district-level in 2006 and 2009, this paper examines the impact of Equity Bank—a leading private commercial bank focusing on microfinance—on the access to banking in Kenya. Unlike other commercial banks in Kenya, Equity Bank pursues distinct branching strategies that target underserved areas and less privileged households. Equity Bank presence has a positive and significant impact on households' use of bank accounts and bank credit, especially for Kenyans with low income, no salaried job and less education, and those that do not own their own home. The findings are robust to using the district-level proportion of people speaking a minority language as an instrument for Equity Bank presence. It appears that Equity Bank's business model—providing financial services to population segments typically ignored by traditional commercial banks and generating sustainable profits in the process—can be a solution to the financial access problem that has hindered the development of inclusive financial sectors in many African countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 298.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:edj:ceauch:298

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  1. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," North American Stata Users' Group Meetings 2003 05, Stata Users Group.
  2. Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2003. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 40, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena & Cull, Robert & Qian, Jun & Senbet, Lemma & Valenzuela, Patricio, 2013. "Resolving the African financial development gap : cross-country comparisons and a within-country study of Kenya," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6592, The World Bank.
  4. Beck, Thorsten & Cull, Robert & Fuchs, Michael & Getenga, Jared & Gatere, Peter & Randa, John & Trandafir, Mircea, 2010. "Banking sector stability, efficiency, and outreach in Kenya," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5442, The World Bank.
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  6. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
  7. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2005. "Reaching out : access to and use of banking services across countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3754, The World Bank.
  8. Isaac Mbiti & David N. Weil, 2011. "Mobile Banking: The Impact of M-Pesa in Kenya," Working Papers 2011-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  9. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-86, June.
  10. Honohan, Patrick, 2008. "Cross-country variation in household access to financial services," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 2493-2500, November.
  11. George R. G. Clarke & Lixin Colin Xu & Heng-fu Zou, 2011. "Finance and Income Inequality: What Do the Data Tell Us?," CEMA Working Papers 489, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  12. Beck, T.H.L. & Demirgüç-Kunt, A. & Levine, R., 2007. "Finance, inequality and the poor," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125426, Tilburg University.
  13. Ravallion Martin, 2009. "Should the Randomistas Rule?," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-5, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Thorsten Beck & Robert Cull, 2013. "Banking in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Franklin Allen & Elena Carletti & Robert Cull & Jun Qian & Lemma Senbet & Patricio Valenzuela, 2012. "Resolving the African Financial Development Gap: Cross-Country Comparisons and a Within-Country Study of Kenya," NBER Working Papers 18013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Pascaline Dupas & Sarah Green & Anthony Keats & Jonathan Robinson, 2014. "Challenges in Banking the Rural Poor: Evidence from Kenya's Western Province," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes: Modernization and Development National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pascaline Dupas & Sarah Green & Anthony Keats & Jonathan Robinson, 2012. "Challenges in Banking the Rural Poor: Evidence from Kenya's Western Province," NBER Working Papers 17851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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