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Who are the Unbanked?

27 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016  

Simeon Djankov

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics

Siddharth Sharma

The World Bank

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 1, 2008


This paper uses 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 5,000 households. The findings show that although 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 percent more per capita than the median unbanked household, and the median per capita wealth in banked households is 88 percent higher than that in unbanked households. The findings suggest that education levels, wealth, and unobserved household attributes that might be correlated with wealth and education play a major role in explaining who is banked.

Keywords: Access to Finance, Banks & Banking Reform, Emerging Markets, Debt Markets

Suggested Citation

Djankov, Simeon and Sharma, Siddharth, Who are the Unbanked? (June 1, 2008). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol. , pp. -, 2008. Available at SSRN:

Simeon Djankov (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Siddharth Sharma

The World Bank ( email )

2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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