Reaching out to the unbanked: the role of political ideology in financial inclusion

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This paper studies the effect of political ideology on household financial inclusion. Financial inclusion is the access to formal financial services and provides an entry key for people to participate in the economy. Using granular data of 65 countries, we find that financial inclusion is higher under right-wing regimes than under left-wing governments. We use regression discontinuity design and propensity-score matching to address endogeneity issues. We investigate multiple channels for the effect and conclude that right-wing market-oriented policies are more successful in enhancing financial inclusion than left-wing societal policies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102678
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of International Money and Finance
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Financial inclusion
  • Government ideology
  • Mobile banking
  • Political ideology

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