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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
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4080
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  1. Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2005. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 780-795, June.
  2. Honohan, Patrick, 2005. "Measuring microfinance access : building on existing cross-country data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3606, The World Bank.
  3. 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.
  4. King, Robert G & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-37, August.
  5. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Growth is good for the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2587, The World Bank.
  6. Levine, Ross, 2005. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 865-934 Elsevier.
  7. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial Sector Policy and the Poor : Selected Findings and Issues," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14874.
  8. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 1989. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 3189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1768, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    • La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    • Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  10. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2003. "Halving Global Poverty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  11. World Bank, 2005. "World Development Indicators 2005," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12425.
  12. 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.
  13. Honohan, Patrick, 2006. "Household financial assets in the process of development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3965, The World Bank.
  14. 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.
  15. Dean Karlan & Xavier Gine & Jonathan Morduch & Pamela Jakiela, 2006. "Microfinance Games," Working Papers 936, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  16. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 151-72, April.
  17. 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.
  18. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2000. "Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?," NBER Working Papers 7793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. repec:wbk:wbpubs:12426 is not listed on IDEAS
  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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