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Measuring household usage of financial services : does it matter how or whom You Ask ?

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  • Cull, Robert
  • Scott, Kinnon

Abstract

In recent years, the number of surveys of access to and use of financial services has multiplied, but little is known about whether the data generated are comparable across countries, or within the same country over time. This paper reports results from a randomized experiment in Ghana to test whether the identity of the respondent and the inclusion of product-specific cues in questions affect the reported rates of household usage of financial services. The analysis shows that rates of household usage are almost identical when the head reports on behalf of the household and when the rate is tabulated from a full enumeration of household use. Randomly selected informants (i.e., non-heads of the household) provide a less complete summary of household use of financial services than the other two methods. The findings also show that for credit from formal institutions, informal sources of savings, and insurance, usage rates are higher when questions are asked about specific financial products rather than about the respondent’s dealings with types of financial institutions. In short, who is asked the questions and the form in which they are asked both matter.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5048.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5048

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Keywords: Access to Finance; Banks&Banking Reform; Housing&Human Habitats; Emerging Markets;

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  1. 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.
  2. Beck, T.H.L. & Levine, R. & Loayza, N., 2000. "Finance and the sources of growth," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125520, Tilburg University.
  3. Beck, T.H.L. & Levine, R. & Loayza, N., 2000. "Financial intermediation and growth: Causality and causes," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125519, Tilburg University.
  4. Menno Pradhan, 2001. "Welfare Analysis with a Proxy Consumption Measure – Evidence from a Repeated Experiment in Indonesia," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-092/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Honohan, Patrick, 2008. "Cross-country variation in household access to financial services," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 2493-2500, November.
  6. Honohan, Patrick, 2005. "Measuring microfinance access : building on existing cross-country data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3606, The World Bank.
  7. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2007. "Reaching out: Access to and use of banking services across countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 234-266, July.
  8. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial development, growth, and poverty: how close are the links?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3203, The World Bank.
  9. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1996. "Stock markets, banks, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1690, The World Bank.
  10. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Maria Soledad Martinez Peria, 2008. "Banking Services for Everyone? Barriers to Bank Access and Use around the World," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 397-430, November.
  11. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2000. "A New Database on the Structure and Development of the Financial Sector," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 14(3), pages 597-605, September.
  12. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2008. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1329-1372, November.
  13. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  14. George R. G. Clarke & Lixin Colin Xu & Heng-fu Zou, 2011. "Finance and Income Inequality: What Do the Data Tell Us?," CEMA Working Papers, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics 489, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  15. David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on Returns to Capital and Access to Finance in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 457-482, November.
  16. Levine, Ross, 2005. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Handbook of Economic Growth, Elsevier, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 865-934 Elsevier.
  17. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, 2008. "Access to Finance: An Unfinished Agenda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 383-396, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Aterido, Reyes & Beck, Thorsten & Iacovone, Leonardo, 2013. "Access to Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Is There a Gender Gap?," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 102-120.

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