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access to finance

The Infinite Potential of Mobile Banking

Brookings has released a report on the state of access to finance in developing countries, taking a specific look at the lessons learned from the mobile banking sector in Kenya. The report paints a troubling picture of the state of financial access in many developing countries, but then gives some reasons for optimism.

First, the bad news:

Responsible Finance: The Case of the Philippines

Yesterday I attended a presentation at CGAP on responsible finance, which featured three excellent guest speakers, including Fe de la Cruz, Director of Corporate Affairs, Central Bank of the Philippines (the other guests included a former member of the Brazilian Central Bank, and Daryl Collins, co-author of Portfolios of the Poor).

Got Behavioral Economics?

Anushka Thewarapperuma's picture

Despite economists’ frequent assumption that humans are rational economic agents, let’s admit it, we have limitations; we may be weak, altruistic, easily manipulated or scatter-brained among many other things. Thus, results based on, say field experiments relying on one-off interviews may tend to miss a lot of that important human behavior.



Ryan Hahn's picture

David Roodman, a fellow at the Center for Global Development, set off a storm with a post on the popular microfinance organization Kiva. Many lenders on the sight probably had the impression this was a peer-to-peer lending sight, but David reveals this is not quite so. Kiva connects lenders to microfinance institutions, not individual microentrepreneurs.

Bringing Finance to Pakistan's Poor

Yesterday I attended the World Bank's book launch of Bringing Finance to Pakistan's Poor: Access to Finance for Small Enterprises and the Underserved. The authors, Tatiana Nenova and Ceclie Thioro Niang, interviewed 10,000 households from across Pakistan's geographic and socio-economic landscape, including both men and women.

Informal Sector Comparison: Manufacturing vs Services

Mohammad Amin's picture

I have been comparing the differences between manufacturing and services firms in the informal or unregistered sector. There is a rich literature on how and why these firms differ, but it is based on firms in the formal or registered sector. It’s a moot point whether differences between manufacturing and service firms in the formal sector also hold for the informal sector. For example, differences in scale economies between service and manufacturing firms are known to be important for the formal sector, but this is not immediately obvious when comparing these firms in the informal sector.

“Unwilling” Entrepreneurs

Mohammad Amin's picture

The common perception of the informal sector is that unregistered businesses are not as efficient as registered or formal businesses. One proposed reason for this is that, by not being registered, informal businesses face severe hardships in accessing finance, markets, public services and government programs. Hence, the usual policy response to informality is simple: try and encourage informal businesses to register.