GFDR 2014 Seminars
The following seminars have taken place during the second season of Global Financial Development Report seminar series. The objective of the seminar series is to present preliminary findings from the studies underlying the report. The papers presented in the second season feed into the second GFDR, focusing on financial inclusion.
Date: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Time: 1:00 pm–2:30 pm
Venue: MC 10-100
Authors: Miriam Bruhn and Inessa Love (DECFP)
Discussant: P.S. Srinivas (LCSPF)
Chair: Martin Cihak (GFDR Core Team)
Abstract: The authors present new evidence on the impact of access to finance on poverty. They point out an important channel through which access affects poverty — the labor market. Their study exploits the opening of Banco Azteca in Mexico, a unique “natural experiment” in which over 800 bank branches opened almost simultaneously in pre-existing locations of Elektra stores. Importantly, the bank has focused on previously underserved low-income clients. Their key finding is the sizeable effect of access to finance on labor market activity and income levels, especially among low income individuals and those located in areas with lower pre-existing bank penetration. They also find that Banco Azteca, while making loans of a similarly small size, is more efficient than micro-finance institutions.