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Financial development and poverty: evidence from the CFA Franc Zone


  • publications
  • 2016
  • Editeur : Routledge
  • publié Applied Economics
  • Vol. 48 , n° 56
  • p. 5421-5436
  • 16 p.
  • Référence : A2016.22
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    Auteur(s) : KIENDREBEOGO [Y] , MINEA [A]
    Abstract / Résumé : The financial liberalization in the 1980s and early 1990s led the CFA Franc Zone countries to deepen reforms in their financial systems. These reforms fostered financial development, which in turn may have reduced income poverty, as emphasized by several theoretical arguments in the literature. This study aims at estimating the contribution of financial development to poverty alleviation in the CFA Franc Zone. Results based on a panel of CFA Franc Zone countries show that financial development is associated with a drop in the proportion of poor population. Next, financial development reduces the extent to which the income of individuals falls below the poverty line. Moreover, in some cases, the effect of financial development on poverty may be subject to nonlinearities. Finally, financial instability or unstable financial development leading to crises may mitigate the favourable effect of financial development on poverty reduction. These findings are robust to the use of alternative measures of financial development and hold after controlling for a potential simultaneity and a small sample biases.