Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Report
Title Who does formal finance reach in rural Malawi?
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Publisher IRIS Center, University of Maryland
City College Park, MD
Country/State USA
URL http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.170.9903&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Abstract
This paper examines the outreach of formal and informal service providers with savings and loan products in rural Malawi. Outreach is analyzed on two dimensions: breadth and depth. While many rural households use financial services from a variety of formal and informal sources, formal financial services are unlikely to reach poorer households, even among those that hold some cash savings at home. The households accessing informal financial services (most commonly loans from friends and family) tend to be poorer than those accessing formal services or non-users. Additionally, literacy seems to be an important contributor to access, suggesting an educational barrier either in demand for formal products or problems in understanding terms or application procedures.

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