Mr. Arnoud W.A. Boot, Peter Hoffmann, Mr. Luc Laeven, and Mr. Lev Ratnovski
We study the effects of technological change on financial intermediation, distinguishing between innovations in information (data collection and processing) and communication (relationships and distribution). Both follow historic trends towards an increased use of hard information and less in-person interaction, which are accelerating rapidly. We point to more recent innovations, such as the combination of data abundance and artificial intelligence, and the rise of digital platforms. We argue that in particular the rise of new communication channels can lead to the vertical and horizontal disintegration of the traditional bank business model. Specialized providers of financial services can chip away activities that do not rely on access to balance sheets, while platforms can interject themselves between banks and customers. We discuss limitations to these challenges, and the resulting policy implications.
Marco A Espinosa-Vega, Ms. Kazuko Shirono, Mr. Hector Carcel Villanova, Miss Esha Chhabra, Ms. Bidisha Das, and Ms. Yingjie Fan
This departmental paper marks the 10th anniversary of the IMF Financial Access Survey (FAS). It offers a retrospective of the FAS database, along with some reflections as to its future directions.
Since its 2009 launch, the FAS has provided granular data on access to and use of financial services. It is a supply-side database with annual global coverage based on data sourced directly from financial service providers—aimed at supporting policymakers to target and evaluate financial inclusion policies. Its data collection has kept pace with financial innovation, such as the rise of mobile money and growing demand for gender-disaggregated data—and the FAS must continue to evolve.
This paper examines innovation, deregulation, and firm dynamics over the life cycle of the
U.S. ATM and debit card industry. In doing so, we construct a dynamic equilibrium model to
study how a major product innovation (introducing the new debit card function) interacted
with banking deregulation drove the industry shakeout. Calibrating the model to a novel
dataset on ATM network entry, exit, size, and product offerings shows that our theory fits the
quantitative pattern of the industry well. The model also allows us to conduct counterfactual
analyses to evaluate the respective roles that innovation and deregulation played in the
This paper examines the dynamics of economic growth. First, it demonstrates that the standard neoclassical growth model with constant elasticity of intertemporal substitution is not consistent with the patterns of development we observe in the real world, once we consider the initial conditions. Second, it examines an alternative growth model, which is consistent with endogenously determined initial conditions and also generates dynamics that are in accord with the historical patterns of growth rates, capital flows, savings rates and labor supply. The alternative model is a generalized version of the neoclassical growth model, with increasing rates of intertemporal substitution due to a Stone-Geary type of utility.