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

  • 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
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4211
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  1. Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2003. "Do rural banks matter? evidence from the Indian social banking experiment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2244, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. repec:fth:wobaco:1083 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Government Ownership of Banks," Working Paper Series rwp01-016, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Greenwood, J. & Jovanovic, B., 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, And The Distribution Of Income," University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations Working Papers 9002, University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations.
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  7. Kenichi Ueda, 2001. "Transitional Growth with Increasing Inequality and Financial Deepening," IMF Working Papers 01/108, International Monetary Fund.
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  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. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 1998. "Land reform, poverty reduction and growth : evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2018, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Sapienza, Paola, 2004. "The effects of government ownership on bank lending," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 357-384, May.
  12. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  13. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ross Levine & Sara Zervos, . "Stock markets, banks and economic growth ," CERF Discussion Paper Series 95-11, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  15. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  16. 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.
  17. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  18. Bencivenga, V.R. & Smith, B.D., 1988. "Financial Intermediation And Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 124, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  19. 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 249-61, March.
  20. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 151-72, April.
  21. 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.
  22. Binswanger, Hans P. & Khandker, Shahidur R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1993. "How infrastructure and financial institutions affect agricultural output and investment in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 337-366, August.
  23. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Jayaratne, Jith & Strahan, Philip E, 1996. "The Finance-Growth Nexus: Evidence from Bank Branch Deregulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 639-70, August.
  25. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Paul J. Gertler & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2002. "Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 239-280, April.
  26. 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.
  27. Besley, T., 1993. "Savings, Credit and Insurance," Papers 167, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  28. Eastwood, Robert & Kohli, Renu, 1997. "Directed credit and investment in small scale industry in India: evidence from firm-level data 1965-78," Discussion Papers in Economics 02/97, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
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