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Finance and hunger : empirical evidence of the agricultural productivity channel

  • Claessens, Stijn
  • Feijen, Erik

Using cross-country and panel regressions, the authors show that financial sector development significantly reduces undernourishment (hunger), largely through gaining farmers and others access to productivity-enhancing equipment, translating into beneficial income and general effects. They show specifically that a deeper financial sector leads to higher agricultural productivity, including higher cereal yields, through increased fertilizer and tractor use. Higher productivity in turn leads to lower undernourishment. The results are robust to various specifications and econometric tests and imply that a 1 percentage point increase in private credit to GDP reduces undernourishment by 0.22-2.45 percentage points, or about one-quarter the impact of GDP per capita.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4080.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4080
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  1. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Growth is good for the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2587, The World Bank.
  2. RAFAEL LaPORTA & FLORENCIO LOPEZ-de-SILANES & ANDREI SHLEIFER & ROBERT W. VISHNY, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance,"," CRSP working papers 324, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  3. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2003. "Halving Global Poverty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  4. Dean Karlan & Xavier Gine & Jonathan Morduch & Pamela Jakiela, 2006. "Microfinance Games," Working Papers 936, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  5. Honohan, Patrick, 2005. "Measuring microfinance access : building on existing cross-country data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3606, The World Bank.
  6. Burgess, Robin & Pande, Rohini, 2004. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4211, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. George Clarke & Lixin Colin Xu & Heng-fu Zou, 2003. "Finance and Income Inequality: Test of Alternative Theories," CEMA Working Papers 493, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
  11. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial Sector Policy and the Poor : Selected Findings and Issues," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14874.
  13. Ross Levine, 2004. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Honohan, Patrick, 2006. "Household financial assets in the process of development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3965, The World Bank.
  15. repec:wbk:wbpubs:12425 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 151-172.
  17. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Duflo, Esther, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 267-99, September.
  18. World Bank, 2005. "World Development Indicators 2005," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12426.
  19. 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.
  20. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial development, growth, and poverty: how close are the links?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3203, The World Bank.
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