Published on Monday, February 2, 2015 | Updated on Sunday, May 13, 2018

Financial inclusion, rather than size, is the key to tackling income inequality

In this paper we assess empirically whether financial inclusion contributes to reducing income inequality when controlling for other key factors, such as economic development and fiscal policy. We conclude that financial inclusion contributes to reducing income inequality to a significant degree, while the size of the financial sector does not. The policy implication of this result is that financial inclusion should be at the forefront of government policies to reduce income inequality in a given economy. Given the broad way in which we have defined inequality in our empirical analysis, this means facilitating the use of credit to both households, especially low-income ones, as well as to small and medium-sized enterprises. JEL: D63, F63, F65, G21, H23, O15.

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