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 paper reviews current thinking on the relationship between financial development and poverty alleviation-a subject that has grown increasingly important in the policy prescriptions of the IMF and other international financial institutions in recent years. Although work on this issue is far from over, some important lessons can be learned from the existing evidence. The paper reflects on these lessons and looks at some of the policy implications of the analysis.