Financial services—savings, credit, insurance, money transfers—are vital yet intangible economic infrastructure. CGD’s work on financial services analyzes how to strengthen, deepen, and broaden financial systems in poor countries to maximize the benefits for poor households and improve development prospects.
Financial services help people manage some of life’s great challenges: investing in education, softening the financial trauma of illness and death, attaining ownership of a safe home. On a macroeconomic scale, they channel investment and diversify risk. Building a strong and inclusive financial sector is an essential part of the development process.
Examples of CGD’s work in this area:
CGD senior fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez led a Task Force on Access to Financial Services that identified ten principles for financial-sector policymakers (national authorities, donors, private-sector participants, international financial institutions, and others) involved in the facilitation, regulation, and direct provision of financial services.
The Provision of Banking Services in Latin America: Obstacles and Recommendations by Rojas-Suarez.
David Roodman and Uzma Qureshi’s Microfinance as Business report asks how some microfinance institutions succeed in controlling costs, raising capital, and scaling up.
David Roodman and Jonathan Morduch’s working paper, The Impact of Microcredit on the Poor in Bangladesh: Revisiting the Evidence, replicates and challenges the leading nonexperimental studies of the impacts of microcredit.
David Roodman's Open Book Blog
The Open Book Blog is an experiment in sharing the process of writing of a book about the history and impacts of microfinance. Roodman, a CGD research fellow, asks bottom-line questions about the benefits of microfinance and encourages readers to comment on draft chapters for a forthcoming book. He also shares useful sources that he and his readers uncover.