IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Financial Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean: Review and Lessons

  • Ricardo N. Bebczuk

    ()

    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP)

Our study critically surveys financial inclusion in Latin American and Caribbean countries, gauging access to both credit and deposit accounts by poor households. Our review confirms some pieces of conventional wisdom in this area, but challenges some others. Regarding the latter, we claim that (a) Limited financial inclusion does not simply follows from unfair discrimination against the poor, but to a great deal from a low demand for financial services and scarce access for the population at large. In this sense, we argue that supply-side constraints have a second-order importance; (b) Despite the impressive progress of microfinance in recent years, stakeholders should avoid overoptimism, rooted in an apparent over-advertisement of a few successful cases. While a potentially powerful tool to fight poverty, microcredit must be carefully targeted, and granted by highly specialized intermediaries under commercially-oriented criteria; (c) Although financial inclusion is a social matter, the private sector has provided more and better responses than the public sector. Furthermore, these private programs have proven to be quite profitable; (d) Recent experiences in several LAC countries hint that governments can play a decisive role in coordinating financial inclusion initiatives, leading normative changes, and supporting innovative banking outreach strategies without engaging directly in credit allocation; and (e) Governments, donors and intermediaries should make coordinated efforts to assemble microdata and encourage sound impact evaluations comparable across countries and time. A number of policy recommendations emerge from the analysis.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/archivos_upload/doc_cedlas68.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata in its series CEDLAS, Working Papers with number 0068.

as
in new window

Length: 73 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0068
Contact details of provider: Postal: Calle 48 No555 - La Plata (1900)
Phone: 21- 1466
Fax: 54-21-25-9536
Web page: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Sergei Suarez Dillon Soares & Rafael Guerreiro Osório & Fabio Veras Soares & Marcelo Medeiros & Eduardo Zepeda, 2007. "Conditional Cash Transfers in Brazil, Chile and Mexico: Impacts upon Inequality," Working Papers 35, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  2. Ricardo Bebczuk & Francisco Haimovich, 2007. "MDGs and Microcredit: An Empirical Evaluation for Latin American Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0048, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  3. Maldonado, Jorge Higinio & Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio & Romero, Vivianne, 2003. "The Influence Of Microfinance On The Education Decisions Of Rural Households: Evidence From Bolivia," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22067, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  4. Ricardo N. Bebczuk, 2004. "What Determines the Access to Credit by SMEs in Argentina?," Department of Economics, Working Papers 048, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  5. Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio & Schreiner, Mark & Meyer, Richard L. & Rodriguez-Meza, Jorge & Navajas, Sergio, 1996. "Bancosol: The Challenge Of Growth For Microfinance Organizations," Economics and Sociology Occasional Papers 28333, Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
  6. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2005. "Reaching out : access to and use of banking services across countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3754, The World Bank.
  7. Solo, Tova Maria & Manroth, Astrid, 2006. "Access to financial services in Colombia : the"unbanked"in Bogota," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3834, The World Bank.
  8. Fabio Veras Soares & Sergei Suarez Dillon Soares & Marcelo Medeiros & Rafael Guerreiro Osório, 2006. "Cash Transfer Programmes in Brazil: Impacts on Inequality and Poverty," Working Papers 21, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  9. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2006. "Banking services for everyone ? Barriers to bank access and use around the world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4079, The World Bank.
  10. Huffman, David B. & Barenstein, Matias, 2004. "Riches to Rags Every Month? The Fall in Consumption Expenditures Between Paydays," IZA Discussion Papers 1430, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. repec:idb:brikps:71758 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Fabio Veras Soares & Tatiana Britto, 2007. "Confronting Capacity Constraints on Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America: the cases of El Salvador and Paraguay," Working Papers 38, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  13. Sharma, Manohar, 2000. "Impact of microfinance on poverty alleviation," MP05 briefs 2, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  14. Delfiner, Miguel & Pailhé, Cristina & Perón, Silvana, 2006. "Microfinanzas: Un análisis de experiencias y alternativas de regulacion," MPRA Paper 497, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Apr 2006.
  15. Simtowe, Franklin & Zeller, Manfred & Phiri, Alexander, 2006. "Determinants of Moral hazard in Microfinance: Empirical Evidence from Joint Liability Lending Schemes in Malawi," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25287, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  16. Simtowe, Franklin & Zeller, Manfred, 2006. "Determinants of Moral Hazard in Microfinance: Empirical Evidence from Joint Liability Lending Programs in Malawi," MPRA Paper 461, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2007. "The impact of credit on income poverty in urban Mexico. An endogeneity-corrected estimation," MPRA Paper 2367, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Dean Karlan & Xavier Gine & Jonathan Morduch & Pamela Jakiela, 2006. "Microfinance Games," Working Papers 936, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  19. Ricardo Bebczuk, 2009. "SME Access to Credit in Guatemala and Nicaragua: Challenging Conventional Wisdom with New Evidence," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0080, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  20. repec:idb:brikps:36799 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521797320 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521793421 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0068. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ana Pacheco)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.