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Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is Director of Development Policy in the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency and Chief Economist of the Financial and Private Sector Development Network (FPD). She is the coeditor of Financial Structures and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Comparison of Banks, Markets, and Development (MIT Press, 2001). 

Titles by This Editor

Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion

About 2.5 billion adults, just over half the world’s adult population, lack bank accounts. If we are to realize the goal of extending banking and other financial services to this vast “unbanked” population, we need to consider not only such product innovations as microfinance and mobile banking but also issues of data accuracy, impact assessment, risk mitigation, technology adaptation, financial literacy, and local context. In Banking the World, experts take up these topics, reporting on new research that will guide both policy makers and scholars in a broader push to extend financial markets.

The contributors consider such topics as the complexity of surveying people about their use of financial services; evidence of the impact of financial services on income; the occasional negative effects of financial services on poor households, including disincentives to work and overindebtedness; and tools for improving access such as nontraditional credit scores, financial incentives for banking, and identification technologies that can dramatically reduce loan default rates.

Issues of Design and Implementation

Explicit deposit insurance (DI) is widely held to be a crucial element of modern financial safety nets. For this reason, establishing a DI system is frequently recommended by outside experts to countries undergoing reform. Predictably, DI systems have proliferated in the developing world. The number of countries offering explicit deposit guarantees rose from twenty in 1980 to eighty-seven by the end of 2003. This book challenges the wisdom of encouraging countries to adopt DI without first repairing observable weaknesses in their institutional environment. The evidence and analysis presented confirm that many countries would do well to delay the installation of a DI system. Analysis shows that many existing DI systems are not adequately designed to control possible DI-induced risk taking by financial institutions, and the book provides advice on principles of good design for those countries in the process of adopting or reforming their DI systems. Empirical evidence on the efficiency of real-world DI systems has been scarce, and analysis has focused on the experience of developed countries. The contributors to this book draw on an original cross-country dataset on DI systems and design features to examine the impact of DI on banking behavior and assess the policy complications that emerge in developing countries. Chapters covers decisions about DI adoption, design, and pricing, and review individual country experiences with DI--including issues raised by the EU’s DI directive, banking reform in Russia, and policy efforts to protect depositors in China. Recent bank runs on loss-making banks in Germany and the U.K. have pushed the issues of DI systems back to the center of debates on regulatory policy in both developing and industrialized countries. The guiding principles identified in this book can contribute powerfully to that debate. ContributorsThorsten Beck, Modibo K. Camara, Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Kalina Dimitrova, Stephen Haber, Patrick Honohan, Harry Huizinga, Edward Kane, Baybars Karacaovali, Randall Kroszner, Luc Laeven, William Melick, Fernando Montes-Negret, Nikolay Nenovsky

A Cross-Country Comparison of Banks, Markets, and Development

This is the first broad cross-country assessment of the ties between financial structure—the mix of financial instruments, institutions, and markets in a given economy—and economic growth since Raymond Goldsmith's 1969 landmark study. Most studies focus on developed countries and compare bank-based and market-based systems. Debates over the relative merits of the two systems have relied on case studies of Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, countries with similar long-run growth rates. The absence of data on developing countries limits the usefulness of such studies for policy makers.

The book contains recently acquired cross-country data from almost 150 countries. It includes information on the size, efficiency, and activity of banks, insurance companies, pension and mutual funds, finance companies, and stock and bond markets. It also incorporates information on each country's political, economic, and social environment. The chapters contain a mix of case studies, cross-country studies, macro- and micro-oriented approaches, and analytical and empirical work. The conclusions point not to markets versus banks, but to markets and banks. It is how well a financial system functions that is critical for long-run economic growth. The research suggests that strong legal rights for outside investors and the overall efficiency of contract enforcement are effective tools for developing the financial sector and the economy. The book includes a CD containing World Bank data.