Who are the Unbanked?
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics
Pedro C. Miranda
Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)
The World Bank
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. WPS4647
We use nationally representative survey data from Mexico to compare households with savings accounts in formal financial institutions to their neighbors who do not have such accounts. The survey, which was conducted in 2005, contains information on nearly 5000 households. We find that while neighboring banked and unbanked households have similar demographic and occupational profiles, the former are more educated and have markedly greater wealth. The median banked household spends 32% more per capita than the median unbanked household, and the median per capita wealth in banked households is 88% higher than that in unbanked households. Our findings suggest that education levels, wealth and unobserved household attributes which might be correlated with wealth and education play a major role in explaining who is banked.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28
Keywords: unbanked, access to financial services, savings accounts, banking for the poor
JEL Classification: O16, O20, G21, D10
Date posted: June 21, 2008