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Finance for All? Policies and Pitfalls in Expanding Access

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  • World Bank

Abstract

This book, finance for all, presents first efforts at developing indicators illustrating that financial access is quite limited around the world and identifies barriers that may be preventing small firms and poor households from using financial services. Based on this research, the report derives principles for effective government policy on broadening access. The report's conclusions confirm some traditional views and challenge others. For example, recent research provides additional evidence to support the widely-held belief that financial development promotes growth and illustrates the role of access in this process. Improved access to finance creates an environment conducive to new firm entry, innovation, and growth. However, research also shows that small firms benefit the most from financial development and greater access-both in terms of entry and seeing their growth constraints relaxed. Hence, inclusive financial systems also have consequences for the composition and competition in the enterprise sector. This report reviews and synthesizes a large body of research, and provides the basis for sound policy advice in the area of financial access. The findings in this report also underline the importance of investing in data collection: continued work on measuring and evaluating the impact of access requires detailed micro data both at the household and enterprise level.

Suggested Citation

  • World Bank, 2008. "Finance for All? Policies and Pitfalls in Expanding Access," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6905, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:6905
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    File URL: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/6905/417920PAPER0Fi18082137291301PUBLIC1.pdf?sequence=1
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