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Improving access to banking : evidence from Kenya

Author

Listed:
  • Allen, Franklin
  • Carletti, Elena
  • Cull, Robert
  • Qian, Jun
  • Senbet, Lemma
  • Valenzuela, Patricio

Abstract

Using household surveys and bank penetration data at the district-level in 2006 and 2009, this paper examines the impact of Equity Bank -- a leading private commercial bank focusing on microfinance -- on access to banking in Kenya. Unlike other commercial banks in Kenya, Equity Bank pursues distinct branching strategies that target underserved areas and less-privileged households. Equity Bank presence has a positive and significant impact on households'use of bank accounts and bank credit, especially for Kenyans with low income, no salaried job, and less education and those who do not own their own home. The findings are robust to using the district-level proportion of people speaking a minority language as an instrument for Equity Bank presence. It appears that 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 solution to the financial access problem that has hindered the development of inclusive financial sectors in many African countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena & Cull, Robert & Qian, Jun & Senbet, Lemma & Valenzuela, Patricio, 2013. "Improving access to banking : evidence from Kenya," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6593, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6593
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Franklin Allen & Elena Carletti & Robert Cull & Jun Qian & Lemma Senbet & Patricio Valenzuela, 2014. "Resolving the African Financial Development Gap: Cross-Country Comparisons and a Within-Country Study of Kenya," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume III: Modernization and Development, pages 13-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2003. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(1), pages 1-31, March.
    3. Georg R. G. Clarke & Lixin Colin Xu & Heng-fu Zou, 2006. "Finance and Income Inequality: What Do the Data Tell Us?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 578-596, January.
    4. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
    5. Brune, Lasse & Gine, Xavier & Goldberg, Jessica & Yang, Dean, 2011. "Commitments to save : a field experiment in rural Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5748, The World Bank.
    6. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
    7. 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.
    8. Ravallion Martin, 2009. "Should the Randomistas Rule?," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-5, February.
    9. Pascaline Dupas & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Savings Constraints and Microenterprise Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 163-192, January.
    10. 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.
    11. Isaac Mbiti & David N. Weil, 2015. "Mobile Banking: The Impact of M-Pesa in Kenya," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume III: Modernization and Development, pages 247-293 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2007. "Finance, inequality and the poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 27-49, March.
    13. Honohan, Patrick, 2008. "Cross-country variation in household access to financial services," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 2493-2500, November.
    14. 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.
    15. Brown, Martin & Guin, Benjamin & Kirschenmann, Karolin, 2013. "Microfinance Banks and Household Access to Finance," Working Papers on Finance 1302, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pascaline Dupas & Sarah Green & Anthony Keats & Jonathan Robinson, 2014. "Challenges in Banking the Rural Poor: Evidence from Kenya's Western Province," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume III: Modernization and Development, pages 63-101 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Franklin Allen & Elena Carletti & Robert Cull & Jun Qian & Lemma Senbet & Patricio Valenzuela, 2014. "Resolving the African Financial Development Gap: Cross-Country Comparisons and a Within-Country Study of Kenya," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume III: Modernization and Development, pages 13-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:bla:devpol:v:35:y:2017:i:5:p:645-657 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Franklin Allen & Elena Carletti & Robert Cull & Jun ‘QJ’ Qian & Lemma Senbet & Patricio Valenzuela, 2014. "The African Financial Development and Financial Inclusion Gaps," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 23(5), pages 614-642.
    5. Laetitia Chaix & Dominique Torre, 2015. "The Dual Role of Mobile Payment in Developing Countries," GREDEG Working Papers 2015-01, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    6. repec:kap:jfamec:v:38:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10834-017-9519-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Thorsten Beck & Robert Cull, 2013. "Banking in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    8. Nargiza Alimukhamedova & Randall Filer & Jan Hanousek, 2015. "The Importance of Geographic Access for the Impact of Microfinance," CESifo Working Paper Series 5433, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Chernykh, Lucy, 2014. "Dwarf banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 31-40.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banks&Banking Reform; Access to Finance; Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures; Corporate Law; Debt Markets;

    JEL classification:

    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis

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