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Which Households Use Banks? Evidence from the Transition Economies

  • Thorsten Beck
  • Martin Brown

This paper uses survey data for 29,000 households from 29 transition economies to explore how the use of banking services is related to household characteristics, bank ownership structure and the development of the financial infrastructure. At the household level we find that the holding of a bank account or bank card increases with income, wealth and education in most countries and also find evidence for an urban-rural gap, as well as for a role of religion and social integration. Our results show that foreign bank ownership is associated with more bank accounts among high-wealth, high-income, and educated households. State ownership, on the other hand, does not induce financial inclusion of rural and poorer households. We find that higher deposit insurance coverage, better payment systems and creditor protection encourage the holding of bank accounts in particular by highincome and high-wealth households. All in all, our findings shed doubt on the ability of policy levers to broaden the financial system to disadvantaged groups.

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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank in its series Working Papers with number 2011-01.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2011-01
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  1. Martin Brown & Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 2008. "Information Sharing and Credit: Firm-Level Evidence from Transition Countries," Discussion Papers 3_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  2. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2004. "Bank competition and access to finance: international evidence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 627-654.
  3. Claudia M. Buch & Gayle L. DeLong, 2001. "Cross-Border Bank Mergers: What Lures the Rare Animal?," Kiel Working Papers 1070, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Enrica Detragiache & Poonam Gupta & Thierry Tressel, 2006. "Foreign Banks in Poor Countries; Theory and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 06/18, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Rainer Haselmann & Paul Wachtel, 2007. "Risk Taking by Banks in the Transition Countries," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(3), pages 411-429, September.
  6. Katharina Pistor & Martin Raiser & Stanislaw Gelfer, 2000. "Law and Finance in Transition Economies," CID Working Papers 49, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  7. Ralph de Haas & Ilko Naaborg, 2005. "Does Foreign Bank Entry Reduce Small Firms' Access to Credit? Evidence from European Transition Economies," DNB Working Papers 050, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  8. Cull, Robert & Senbet, Lemma W. & Sorge, Marco, 2001. "Deposit insurance and financial development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2682, The World Bank.
  9. Shawn Cole, 2009. "Fixing Market Failures or Fixing Elections? Agricultural Credit in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 219-50, January.
  10. Buch, Claudia M. & Lipponer, Alexander, 2004. "FDI versus cross-border financial services: The globalisation of German banks," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,05, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  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. Goldberg, Lawrence G & Saunders, Anthony, 1981. "The Growth of Organizational Forms of Foreign Banks in the U.S.: A Note," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 13(3), pages 365-74, August.
  13. Claeys, Sophie & Hainz, Christa, 2007. "Acquisition versus greenfield: The impact of the mode of foreign bank entry on information and bank lending rates," Working Paper Series 210, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  14. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
  15. Beck, Thorsten & Cull, Robert & Fuchs, Michael & Getenga, Jared & Gatere, Peter & Randa, John & Trandafir, Mircea, 2010. "Banking sector stability, efficiency, and outreach in Kenya," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5442, The World Bank.
  16. Ergungor, O Emre, 2004. "Comment on "Bank Competition and Access to Finance: International Evidence" by Thorsten Beck, Asli Demirguc-Kunt, and Vojislav Maksimovic," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 649-54, June.
  17. Katharina Pistor & Martin Raiser & Stanislav Gelfer, 2000. "Law and finance in transition economies," Working Papers 48, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  18. Inessa Love & Nataliya Mylenko, 2003. "Credit reporting and financing constraints," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3142, The World Bank.
  19. Honohan, Patrick, 2008. "Cross-country variation in household access to financial services," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 2493-2500, November.
  20. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Karacaovali, Baybars & Laeven, Luc, 2005. "Deposit insurance around the world : a comprehensive database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3628, The World Bank.
  21. 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, School of Economics and Management.
  22. Atif Mian, 2006. "Distance Constraints: The Limits of Foreign Lending in Poor Economies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1465-1505, 06.
  23. Adam, Christopher & Collier, Paul & Ndung'u, Njuguna (ed.), 2010. "Kenya: Policies for Prosperity," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199602377.
  24. Katharina Pistor & Martin Raiser & Stanislaw Gelfer, 2000. "Law and Finance in Transition Economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(2), pages 325-368, July.
  25. Focarelli, Dario & Pozzolo, Alberto Franco, 2001. "The patterns of cross-border bank mergers and shareholdings in OECD countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 2305-2337, December.
  26. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3159645 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  28. Goldberg, Lawrence G. & Grosse, Robert, 1994. "Location choice of foreign banks in the United States," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 367-379, December.
  29. Goldberg, Lawrence G. & Saunders, Anthony, 1981. "The determinants of foreign banking activity in the United States," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 17-32, March.
  30. Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Atif Mian, 2005. "Do Lenders Favor Politically Connected Firms? Rent Provision in an Emerging Financial Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1371-1411, November.
  31. Aterido, Reyes & Beck, Thorsten & Iacovone, Leonardo, 2011. "Gender and finance in Sub-Saharan Africa : are women disadvantaged ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5571, The World Bank.
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