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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:

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.