Financial Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean: Review and Lessons
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.
|Date of creation:||May 2008|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Calle 48 No555 - La Plata (1900)|
Phone: 21- 1466
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.:
- Dean Karlan & Xavier Gine & Jonathan Morduch & Pamela Jakiela, 2006.
936, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Gine, Xavier & Jakiela, Pamela & Karlan, Dean & Morduch, Jonathan, 2006. "Microfinance games," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3959, The World Bank.
- Xavier Gine & Pamela Jakiela & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Morduch, 2006. "Microfinance Games," Working Papers 2102, The Field Experiments Website.
- Xavier Gine & Pamela Jakiela & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Morduch, 2006. "Microfinance games," Framed Field Experiments 00150, The Field Experiments Website.
- 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,"
35, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
- Sergei Soares & Rafael Guerreiro Osório & Fábio Veras Soares & Marcelo Medeiros & Eduardo Zepeda, 2009. "Conditional cash transfers in Brazil, Chile and Mexico: impacts upon inequality," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 0(Special i), pages 207-224.
- 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.
- Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2007. "Reaching out: Access to and use of banking services across countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 234-266, July.
- Jorge Higinio Maldonado, 2005.
"The Influence Of Microfinance On The Education Decisions Of Rural Households: Evidence From Bolivia,"
003606, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
- 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).
- repec:idb:brikps:71758 is not listed on IDEAS
- Bebczuk,Ricardo N., 2003.
"Asymmetric Information in Financial Markets,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521797320, October.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Maria Soledad Martinez Peria, 2008. "Banking Services for Everyone? Barriers to Bank Access and Use around the World," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 397-430, November.
- Beck, T.H.L. & Demirgüc-Kunt, A. & Martinez Peria, M., 2008. "Banking services for everyone? Barriers to bank access and use around the world," Other publications TiSEM 667b51d6-c698-43ce-9777-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sharma, Manohar, 2000. "Impact of microfinance on poverty alleviation," MP05 briefs 2, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Bebczuk, Ricardo N., 2007. "Access to credit in Argentina," Financiamiento para el Desarrollo 188, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
- 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).
- 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.
- repec:idb:brikps:36799 is not listed on IDEAS
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.