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Banking the Unbanked: Evidence from Three Countries - Working Paper 440

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  • Pascaline Dupas, Dean Karlan, Jonathan Robinson and Diego Ubfal

Abstract

We experimentally test the impact of expanding access to basic bank accounts in Uganda, Malawi, and Chile. Over two years, 17 percent, 10 percent, and 3 percent of treatment individuals made five or more deposits, respectively. Average monthly deposits for them were at the 79th, 91st, and 96th percentiles of baseline savings. Survey data show no clearly discernible intention-to-treat effects on savings or any downstream outcomes. This suggests that policies merely focused on expanding access to basic accounts are unlikely to improve welfare noticeably since impacts, even if present, are likely small and diverse.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascaline Dupas, Dean Karlan, Jonathan Robinson and Diego Ubfal, 2016. "Banking the Unbanked: Evidence from Three Countries - Working Paper 440," Working Papers 440, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:440
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    File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/publication/banking-unbanked-evidence-three-countries
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. IPA’s weekly links
      by Jeff Mosenkis (IPA) in Chris Blattman on 2017-01-13 20:44:06

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Antonia Grohmann & Theres Klühs & Lukas Menkhoff, 2017. "Does Financial Literacy Improve Financial Inclusion? Cross Country Evidence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1682, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. repec:eee:deveco:v:130:y:2018:i:c:p:145-159 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Vincent Somville & Lore Vandewalle, 2017. "Access to Formal Banking and Household Finances: Experimental Evidence from India," CMI Working Papers 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial access; savings; banking; microfinance; field experiment; multi-country; Uganda; Malawi; Chile;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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