The Common Denominator: Numbers Using Cross-country and Micro Data on Access
This presentation discusses different methods of measuring access and the potential of microfinance to deal with the problem of access.
The presentation provides information about:
- Importance of financial deepening and development to enable access for the poor;
- Debate that access might not necessarily be a problem;
- Need to have data for two different questions:
- What is observed access and participation?
- What is the relationship between access/participation and certain desirable outcomes?
- Traditional, as well as new indicators of access;
- Symptoms of access asymmetries and segmentations;
- Indicators of physical outreach;
- Use of geographic indicators, such as branch density across countries;
- Use of firm-level data;
- Challenges in evaluating the impact of microfinance and their solutions;
- Collection and use of new cross-country data on access and participation.
The presentation concludes that:
- Developing access indicators will help to:
- Benchmark countries;
- Disentangle the channels of finance-poverty relationship;
- Develop policies to expand welfare-improving access.
- New indicators will include:
- Cross-country indicators that capture the different dimensions of access and exclusion;
- Supplier data from banks and microfinance institutions.
- It is important to distinguish between benchmarking and assessing relationships between access and desirable outcomes.
The presentation ends by recommending a holistic approach to the measurement of access.