In the literature, both definition of financialinclusion and index formation to define financial inclusion have beenextensively discussed. Studies of causes of financial inclusion either focusedon particular regions or covered all countries. First, index formation will bediscussed then literature looking at financial inclusion’s impact on growth,stability and income equality will be presented. Definition ofFinancial Inclusion and Index Formation Existing literature on financial inclusion hasdifferent definitions of the concept and the notion of financial inclusion attracteda mounting interest from the academia.
Numerous studies define the concept interms of financial exclusion instead which is linked to a broader context ofsocial inclusion. Sinclair(2001) indicated that the notion of financial exclusion was theincapability to access essential financial services while Leyshon and Thrift (1995)defined it as the processes which serve to preclude some social groups and/orindividuals from accessing the formal financial system. Similarly, Carbo et al. (2005)defined financial exclusion as the incapacity of some groups in accessing thefinancial system. On the other hand, Government of India’s definition offinancial inclusion lies on the basis of creating a system thatguarantees/ensures access by exposed groups (including low income ones) tofinancial services with (i) acceptable credit conditions and (ii) with an affordablecost, in a timely manner.
Rajan(2014) signifies that financial inclusion encompasses the deepening offinancial services for those people with limited access as well as extension offinancial services to those who do not have any access. Furthermore, Amidži?,Massara, and Mialou (2014) and Sarma (2008) directly define financialinclusion. The former describe financial inclusion as an economic state where personsand firms have access to basic financial services.
Other studies have results that certainly could have significantpolicy implications with regards to increasing the level of financial inclusion.For instance, Burgess and Panda (2005) found that theexpansion of bank branches in rural India had a significant impact onalleviating poverty. Similarly, Brune et al. (2011) conducted experiments in rural Malawiexamining how access to formal financial services improves the lives of thepoor, pertaining to saving products. Allen et al.
(2013) explored the factors behind the financialdevelopment and inclusion among African countries. Although it appears that there is a consensus on how financial inclusion is defined, there certainly is no standard way ofmeasuring it. Hence, existing studies offer differing measuring techniques of financial inclusion. For example, Honohan(2007 and 2008) constructed an indicatormeasuring financial access by taking into account the overall adultpopulation in an economywith access to formal financialintermediaries. For countries with existing data onfinancial access, the composite indicatoris formulated byutilizing household survey data.
For those without householdsurvey, the indicator is formed using the information on bank account numbers incombination with GDP per capita.The data is constructed as across-section series using the mostrecent data as the reference year varying across economies. However, Honohan’s (2007 and 2008) calculations only deliver a snapshot offinancial inclusion across various countries and is not appropriate for comprehending the relative trends andchanges across countries over time.