Financial Inclusion: New Measurement and Cross-Country Impact Assessment

Publication | March 2018

A new measurement is used to assess the impact of financial inclusion on poverty and income inequality of 151 economies.

Financial inclusion—one of the pillars of the global development agenda—aids inclusive growth and economic development. This paper introduces a new index of financial inclusion for 151 economies using principal component analysis to compute weights for aggregating nine indicators of access, availability, and usage. It then assesses the impact of financial inclusion on poverty and income inequality. The results indicate that high- and middle-high-income economies with high financial inclusion have significantly lower poverty, while no such relation exists for middle-low and low-income economies. The nonlinearities in the cross-country determinants and impacts of financial inclusion on poverty and income inequality across income groups are important to choosing appropriate policies for achieving inclusive growth in different development stages.


  • Introduction
  • Financial Inclusion Concepts and Measurement
  • Index of Financial Inclusion
  • Empirical Methodology and Results
  • Conclusions
  • Appendix: Data Definition and Sources

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • Finance sector development
  • Poverty
  • 34
  • 8.5 x 11
  • WPS189270-2
  • 2313-6537 (print)
  • 2313-6545 (electronic)

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