nep-fle New Economics Papers
on Financial Literacy and Education
Issue of 2020‒05‒18
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Rural financial intermediation and poverty reduction in Ghana: A micro-level analysis By Michael Danquah; Abdul Malik Iddrisu; Williams Ohemeng; Alfred Barimah
  2. The economic trigger: Enabling gendered social inclusion processes and outcomes amidst poverty escapes in Niger and Malawi By Vidya DIWAKAR
  3. The Global Impact of COVID-19 on Fintech Adoption By Jonathan Fu; Mrinal Mishra

  1. By: Michael Danquah; Abdul Malik Iddrisu; Williams Ohemeng; Alfred Barimah
    Abstract: The financial sector in rural areas, where most of the poor people in sub-Saharan Africa are found, has transformed massively in recent times, notably through the increased penetration of several types of rural financial intermediaries in addition to rural and community banks and microfinance institutions. Using recent household survey data, we ascertain the access of rural populations to various types of financial services, and the influence of rural financial intermediation on poverty reduction, in Ghana.
    Keywords: rural financial intermediation, Poverty reduction, Welfare, Financial inclusion, Ghana
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Vidya DIWAKAR
    Abstract: This mixed methods paper explores social inclusion of poor women and children in Niger and Malawi. We identify social inclusion outcomes focused primarily on access to education and health, and supported by gendered processes of inclusion in economic and financial activities. This point of departure allows us to understand how social and economic processes affect social inclusion outcomes in health and education of poor and near-poor children. There are cases where economic services like financial inclusion are quite strong among women, and others where they are not, which has varying effects on the social inclusion of children. The paper examines the gendered intersection of these spheres and policies to promote social inclusion and consequently both social cohesion and sustained poverty reduction.A key message of this study is that despite much higher levels of human development investment in Malawi than Niger, economic inclusion is needed in both countries to activate inclusion in human development services and better outcomes. For children to be socially included in education and health, their mothers need to be economically included and households need to be supportive. The economic inclusion women benefitted and derived agency from was sometimes a product of the entire household, through the channel of improved welfare and assets, or through targeted assistance or permanent employment in the context of otherwise vulnerable marital arrangements in both countries. It was crucially the interactive process of a supportive household with women’s economic inclusion that fostered socially inclusive outcomes for children.
    Keywords: Niger
    JEL: Q
    Date: 2019–10–11
  3. By: Jonathan Fu (Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth; University of Zurich - Department of Banking and Finance); Mrinal Mishra (Swiss Finance Institute; University of Zurich - Department of Banking and Finance)
    Abstract: We draw on mobile application data from 74 countries to document the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the adoption of digital finance and fintech. We estimate that the spread of COVID-19 and related government lockdowns have led to between a 24 and 32 percent increase in the relative rate of daily downloads of finance mobile applications in the sample countries. In absolute terms, this equates to an average daily increase of roughly 5.2 to 6.3 million application downloads and an aggregate increase of about 316 million app downloads since the pandemic’s outbreak to the present, taking into account prior trends. Most regions across the world exhibit notable increases in absolute, relative, and per capita terms. Preliminary analysis of country-level characteristics suggest that market size and demographics, rather than level of economic development and ex-ante adoption rates, drive differential trends.
    Keywords: digital finance, fintech, financial inclusion, technological adoption, COVID-19, cross-country
    JEL: G23 G20
    Date: 2020–05

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