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Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment

Listed author(s):
  • Burgess, Robin
  • Pande, Rohini

Lack of access to finance is often cited as a key reason for why poor people remain poor. This Paper uses data on the Indian rural branch expansion programme to provide empirical evidence on this issue. Between 1977 and 1990, the Indian central bank mandated that a commercial bank could open a branch in a location with one or more bank branches only if it opens four in locations with no bank branches. We show that, between 1977 and 1990, this rule caused banks to open relatively more rural branches in Indian states with lower initial financial development. The reverse was true outside this period. We exploit this fact to identify the impact of opening a rural bank on poverty and output. Our estimates suggest that the Indian rural branch expansion programme significantly lowered rural poverty, and increased non-agricultural output.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4211.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4211
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  1. Valerie R. Bencivenga & Bruce D. Smith, 1991. "Financial Intermediation and Endogenous Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 195-209.
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  7. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-261, March.
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  9. Hoff, Karla & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1998. "Moneylenders and bankers: price-increasing subsidies in a monopolistically competitive market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 485-518, April.
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  11. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
  12. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1998. "Stock Markets, Banks, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 537-558, June.
  13. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
  14. Kenichi Ueda, 2001. "Transitional Growth with Increasing Inequality and Financial Deepening," IMF Working Papers 01/108, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Binswanger, Hans & Khandker, Shahidur, 1992. "The impact of formal finance on the rural economy of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 949, The World Bank.
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  19. repec:hrv:faseco:30747188 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Braverman, Avishay & Guasch, J. Luis, 1986. "Rural credit markets and institutions in developing countries: Lessons for policy analysis from practice and modern theory," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(10-11), pages 1253-1267.
  21. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction, and Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 389-430.
  22. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 151-172.
  23. Robert Eastwood & Renu Kohli, 1999. "Directed credit and investment in small-scale industry in India: Evidence from firm-level data 1965-78," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 42-63.
  24. Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande & Grace Wong, 2005. "Banking for the Poor: Evidence From India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 268-278, 04/05.
  25. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  26. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Savings, credit and insurance," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2123-2207 Elsevier.
  27. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
  28. Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2005. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 780-795, June.
  29. Angus Deaton and Jean Drèze & Jean Drèze, 2002. "Poverty and Inequality in India: A Reexamination," Working papers 107, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
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  31. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_dreze_poverty_india is not listed on IDEAS
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