The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This article investigates how financial development helps to reduce poverty directly through the McKinnon conduit effect and indirectly through economic growth. The results obtained with data for a sample of developing countries from 1966 through 2000 suggest that the poor benefit from the ability of the banking system to facilitate transactions and provide savings opportunities but to some extent fail to reap the benefit from greater availability of credit. Moreover, financial development is accompanied by financial instability, which is detrimental to the poor. Nevertheless, the benefits of financial development for the poor outweigh the cost.