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Resolving the African Financial Development Gap: Cross-country comparisons and a within-country study of Kenya

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  • ALLEN, Franklin
  • CARLETTI, Elena
  • CULL, Robert
  • QIAN, Jun
  • SENBET, Lemma
  • VALENZUELA, Patricio

Abstract

With extensive country- and firm-level data sets we first document that the financial sectors of most sub-Saharan African countries remain significantly underdeveloped by the standards of other developing countries. We also find that population density appears to be considerably more important for banking sector development in Africa than elsewhere. To better understand how countries can overcome the high costs of developing viable banking sectors outside large metropolitan areas, we focus on Kenya, which has made significant strides in financial inclusion and development in recent years. We find a positive and significant impact of Equity Bank, a leading private commercial bank on financial access, especially for under-privileged households. Equity Bank’s business model—providing financial services to population segments typically ignored by traditional commercial banks and generating sustainable profits in the process—can be a potential solution to the financial access problem that has hindered the development of inclusive financial sectors in many other African countries.

Suggested Citation

  • ALLEN, Franklin & CARLETTI, Elena & CULL, Robert & QIAN, Jun & SENBET, Lemma & VALENZUELA, Patricio, 2012. "Resolving the African Financial Development Gap: Cross-country comparisons and a within-country study of Kenya," Economics Working Papers ECO2012/15, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2012/15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Evelyn Wamboye & Rajen Mookerjee, 2014. "Financial development and manufactured exports: the African experience," International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(1), pages 22-34.
    2. Antonio David & Montfort Mlachila & Ashwin Moheeput, 2014. "Does Openness Matter for Financial Development in Africa?," IMF Working Papers 14/94, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena & Cull, Robert & Qian, Jun & Senbet, Lemma & Valenzuela, Patricio, 2012. "Improving Access to Banking: Evidence from Kenya," Working Papers 12-11, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
    4. Mohamed Sami Ben Ali & Timoumi Intissar & Rami Zeitun, 2018. "Banking Concentration and Financial Stability. New Evidence from Developed and Developing Countries," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 44(1), pages 117-134, January.
    5. Ghosh, Saibal, 2016. "Does mobile telephony spur growth? Evidence from Indian states," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1020-1031.
    6. Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena & Qianc, Jun “QJ†& Valenzuela, Patricio, 2013. "Financial Intermediation, Markets, and Alternative Financial Sectors," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.),Handbook of the Economics of Finance, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 759-798, Elsevier.
    7. Beck, Thorsten & Cull, Robert, 2013. "Banking in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6684, The World Bank.
    8. Azanaw Mengistu & Hector Perez-Saiz, 2018. "Financial Inclusion and Bank Competition in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 18/256, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Ibrahim, Muazu & Sare, Yakubu Awudu, 2018. "Determinants of financial development in Africa: How robust is the interactive effect of trade openness and human capital?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 18-26.
    10. Sèna Kimm Gnangnon, 2019. "Effect of Export Upgrading on Financial Development," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 10(03), pages 1-37, October.
    11. Beck, Thorsten & Cull, Robert, 2014. "SME finance in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7018, The World Bank.
    12. Park, Cyn-Young & Mercado, Jr., Rogelio, 2018. "Financial Inclusion: New Measurement and Cross-Country Impact Assessment," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 539, Asian Development Bank.
    13. Amuakwa-Mensah, Franklin & Klege, Rebecca A. & Adom, Philip K. & Amoah, Anthony & Hagan, Edmond, 2018. "Unveiling the energy saving role of banking performance in Sub-Sahara Africa," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 828-842.
    14. Henderson, Daniel J. & Papageorgiou, Chris & Parmeter, Christopher F., 2013. "Who benefits from financial development? New methods, new evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 47-67.
    15. Ibrahim, Muazu & Alagidede, Paul, 2018. "Effect of financial development on economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1104-1125.
    16. International Monetary Fund, 2014. "Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC); Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 14/305, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Wamboye, Evelyn & Adekola, Abel, 2013. "Foreign Aid, Legal Origin, Economic Growth and Africa’s Least Developed Countries," MPRA Paper 47846, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; Kenya; Finance and growth; population density; Equity Bank; financial access;

    JEL classification:

    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General

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