Corinne Deléchat, Lama Kiyasseh, Ms. Margaux MacDonald, and Rui Xu
This study analyzes the drivers of the use of formal vs. informal financial services in emerging and developing countries using the 2017 Global FINDEX data. In particular, we investigate whether individuals’ choice of financial services correlates with macro-financial and macro-structural policies and conditions, in addition to individual and country characteristics. We start our analysis on middle and low-income countries, and then zoom in on sub-Saharan Africa, currently the region that most relies on informal financial services, and which has the largest uptake of mobile banking. We find robust evidence of an association between macroprudential policies and individuals’ choice of financial access after controlling for personal and country-level characteristics. In particular, macroprudential policies aimed at controlling credit supply seem to be associated with greater resort to informal financial services compared with formal, bank-based access. This highlights the importance for central bankers and financial sector regulators to consider the potential spillovers of monetary policy and financial stability measures on financial inclusion.
This paper highlights the sources of payments problems in less developed countries. Growth in the industrial countries has a direct impact on the current account of the developing countries through its influence on both the prices and volumes of their exports. An increase in the real effective exchange rate is clearly a fundamental determinant of a deteriorating current account since, other things being equal, it tends to raise domestic demand for imports and to reduce foreign demand for exports.
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.