EMNES Working Paper No 34

This paper proposes a new multi-dimensional financial inclusion index based on a two-stage Principal Components Analysis (PCA) and aggregating indicators of availability, access and use. The paper first assesses the cross-country variations in the index and analyses trends over time for a sample of countries members of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) from 2010-18. Second, it investigates factors that could explain the level of financial inclusion across countries.

Our financial inclusion index shows a downward trend for the full sample over the period under investigation, however when splitting the sample by income group, it appears that high and middle income countries did not register the same trend. When examining the determinants of financial inclusion for UfM countries, we find that macroeconomic, social and governance factors, as well as banking conditions, matter.

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