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Finance and hunger : empirical evidence of the agricultural productivity channel

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4080
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  1. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1788, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. repec:wbk:wbpubs:12425 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Greenwood, J. & Jovanovic, B., 1988. "Financial Development, Growth, And The Distribution Of Income," RCER Working Papers 131, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. 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 274-298, April.
  5. World Bank, 2005. "World Development Indicators 2005," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12426.
  6. Xavier Gine & Pamela Jakiela & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Morduch, 2006. "Microfinance games," Framed Field Experiments 00150, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2004. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/104, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  8. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Duflo, Esther, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 267-299, September.
  9. 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.
  10. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2003. "Halving Global Poverty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  11. 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.
  12. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial Sector Policy and the Poor : Selected Findings and Issues," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14874.
  13. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
  14. Clarke, George & Xu, Lixin Colin & Zou, Heng-fu, 2003. "Finance and income inequality : test of alternative theories," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2984, The World Bank.
  15. Ross Levine, 2004. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial development, growth, and poverty: how close are the links?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3203, The World Bank.
  17. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Honohan, Patrick, 2006. "Household financial assets in the process of development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3965, The World Bank.
  19. Honohan, Patrick, 2005. "Measuring microfinance access : building on existing cross-country data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3606, The World Bank.
  20. 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.
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